Welcome to the first instalment of our new Customer Spotlight series. In it, we’ll highlight the many different kinds of companies and organisations that use SnapShooter. Our first spotlight is on Cobalt Intelligence and its founder, Jordan Hansen.
Can you give us a quick overview of your company Cobalt Intelligence?
Cobalt Intelligence is a data-mining company. We perform custom data mining jobs for our customers and have several products that deliver data on a regular basis for marketing and real estate investing purposes.
I started the company 6 years ago and we’ve been focused on web scraping for the last 3 years.
What’s your backstory and how did you come up with the business idea?
For the last five years, I worked as a lead software engineer at Lenovo. I landed a contract job to do some web scraping about five years ago and the lightbulb just went off. It really intrigued me and I started a blog about web scraping three years ago. As I wrote more and more, I learned more and more and found some really interesting data.
I went full time at Cobalt this year, and it’s been great to grow the product and company. We have a suite of products, an API and more on the way.
There is little that is more satisfying than creating a product and watching it run without you! There’s so much data on the internet and being able to package and consume it the way our customers need it is immensely satisfying.
Tell us about how you use SnapShooter?
I started using DigitalOcean’s built-in backup tool. It was okay but I didn’t feel comfortable that it only took a snapshot once a week. I wanted more frequent backups. SnapShooter allows me to easily setup daily snapshots and the price is very reasonable.
Great story of when SnapShooter saved the day.
I was messing around with the firewall settings on my droplet. This droplet contained a critical Mongo database and I forgot to add back the IP address filtering for the port I needed. It was now open from any IP, which is bad. Even though it had strong password protection, it took less than a week before I found that my data had been stolen.
There was one row in my database that explained that it was being held for ransom and that I should send an amount of bitcoin to have the data restored.
Enter SnapShooter. I was so grateful that I could rely on it to easily restore a snapshot from the day before and in the end I lost barely any data. My firewall was locked up immediately and within minutes I was back up and running. Take that, ransomware guy!
Where can we go to learn more about your business?
You can learn more about Cobalt Intelligence on our website, and our blog is here. We’ve got a ton of great information there on a variety of topics, so if you’re new to web scraping or have a great deal of experience, I think you’ll find good information there.