Alan Smith

Joseph Hofmann

CEO // DevOps Engineer

Schulstraße 36, 85419 Mauern, Germany

Personal Profile

Work Experience

CEO @ combahton IT Services UG (haftungsbeschränkt)

September 2017 - Present

I founded combahton IT Services back in September 2015 and acted as shareholder until April 2016, when I joined the company as CTO. In September 2017, the former CEO left combahton and I took over the CEO position together with Michael. combahton uses my self developed ddos-protection solutions since it's early days in order to protect their customers against huge and complex attacks.

DevOps Engineer @ Optile GmbH

April 2016 - Present

In April 2016, I joined Optile GmbH, a munich based company which is focused on providing a open payment platform, handling payments of Europe's largest online businesses. I'm mostly engaged with it's datacenter network infrastructure, distributed monitoring, pci dss, automated configuration management and common daily tasks.

System administrator @ Mivitec GmbH

September 2012 - March 2016

At Mivitec I was mostly in charge with it's daily datacenter and server operation. I managed several linux based servers, java webapplications and built a solution to host webapps based on a containerized infrastructure. Also I was working on VMWare ESX clusters and large streaming / shop infrastructures. In the last couple of months, I was mostly managing the service delivery.

Key Skills

  • Network Operations
  • Datacenter Operations
  • DDoS-Protection
  • High Availability
  • Virtualization
  • Security

Coding / Programming


I developed several network oriented applications in C. One of them is my ddos-protection solution called flowShield. flowShield was formerly based on a Linux Kernel Module, currently on a netmap based userspace application which bypasses the kernel completely for high throughput under minimal load. Also I developed a application which analyzes sflow datagrams in order to recognize ddos-attacks and activate the mitigation platform through BGP. flowShield is actively operated in the network of combahton, dealing with hundreds of different attacks every month.


I have some knowledge in webapplication development in PHP. Allthough I dont have huge skills in object oriented PHP programming, I'm able to understand whats going on. At an age of 14, I developed my first application which was a self built social network offering a forum, private messaging and a news feed.


In python, I developed the former version of my ddos-analyzation solution. Today it's completely based on several lines of C-Code. Also I built some internal tools like split knowledge password management and automated sflow based network abuse detection in Python.


In most of my jobs, I developed puppet modules in order to automate the server side infrastructure. For example, the virtualization infrastructure at combahton is fully managed by puppet. In order to deploy a new kvm node, we just need to add the physical server into the rack, connect it to both power and network. The installation is done fully automated, including monitoring and customization. This safes us a lot of time and prevents human errors as we test our code before execution.

Daily business

Debian GNU/Linux

I'm working with Debian based systems since I was 13 years old. In my early days with Debian, I started with Etch (4.X). Most of my work experience had or has a near coverage with Debian based servers.

CentOS Linux

In my years as system operator, I dealt also with CentOS based servers. I dont have the level of knowledge I have with Debian based systems, but I'm able to do all typical daily tasks without any struggle.

FreeBSD / OpenBSD

For some years, I've operated BSD based servers acting as firewalls, dns-caches and webservers. Currently I dont operate any bsd based servers anymore, because I did not wanted to deal with multiple different machines anylonger.

Network gear

Oh, thats a long story. Back in 2012, I started to administrate my first network devices, beginning with Dell Force10 running FTOS (cisco like cli, NetBSD based). At some point I was also operating Brocade RX, MLXe and VDX devices for a few years. In the meantime, I earned a broad experience in operating Juniper based devices like SRX, MX and EX. I have experience in operating networks based on BGP, typical Layer2 stuff and Firewalling / VPN.