Validator introductions - Crouton Digital

Entity name and location
Crouton Digital , Riga Latvia

Infrastructure location
Latvia Riga, Finland Helsinki, Australia Sidney.
Bare metal, also we practicing with kubernetes, and we have our own hardware. ( Latvia, Finland, Australia)

Technical make-up of team (elaborate on no. of dev ops engineers, experience, etc.)
2 dev ops (one of them have +12 years of experience in web2, and in crypto since 2019) second dev ops is more crypto oriented. Also we have FrontEnd Developer, and Backend Developer, few QA testers. Overall 9 team members.
Infrastructure as code: Terraform, Ansible
Backend: Go, Python, Node.JS, JAVA
Web-Server: NGINX, Apache
Cloud computing: GoogleCloud, AWS, Azure, Digital Ocean, OVH
Containerisation: Kubernetes, Docker
CI/CD: CloudBuild, Teamcity
QA: Selenium
Monitoring: Grafana, Prometheus, Alert manager

Years of experience
If we talk about crypto, then 6 years. ( since 2017 )

What other networks are you running validators for?
Currently we are mainnet validators in Axelar, Umee, Compossable, Stader Ethereum, Nym. We got delegations from teams in this networks (Axelar,Umee, Compossable,Stader) . Also we running multiple testnets 20+ you can see more here .

Based on your participation in any previous testnets, mainnets, are there any best practices to be aware of? What are some things that made previous testnets, mainnet launches successful and/or things to avoid that have gone poorly?
In our opninion is good to start testnet with limited amount of Validators ( you select some genesis testnet validators with good portfolio ) and start testing network with them, in next phase you increase amount of validators etc. If you allow entry to everyone, it may have some problems during upgrades etc, if some validators miss the upgrade. Another problem what we faced during testnets, is that some validator find a way to abuse faucet from genesis block, and he have most of voting power, then if this validator is nor responsible during upgrades (also all network will have issues) so our advise to start with limited amount of validators, and DyDx team distribute testnet tokens to validators to start with.

Do you have a validator voting framework and process?
For voting we have set up our own telegram bot with all chains that we are supporting. Once there is a new proposal, we receive a message in telegram, and we can vote directly from this bot. We always discuss with between each other the subject of new proposal, and also we like to discuss things with community of the project, to hear different opinions, and decide what is the correct choice for future project development. For node monitoring status we use prometheus and grafana.

Are you planning to play any additional roles in the dYdX ecosystem (e.g. market maker, trader, indexer, front-end, other)?
We are full time in crypto, and we are always ready to support projects, and we are ready to contribute our skills, time and energy, if project will choose us, we are always happy to give our best to improve project and help them to develop

Are there other products or services you want to highlight that could be relevant for dYdX?
We are working on some optimization tools for different needs, we have experience team of developers, who can make contributions to DyDx. We just need clear target. Also we provide web services for supported networks. And we have a european license to operate crypto ↔ fiat transactions, and we cooperating with few payment systems ( all european license ).

Any notable contributions in other ecosystems that you would like to highlight for the community?
We never missed a voting proposaal or any upgrade in all networks that we are participating. We were selcted by Stader team as a DAO committee, Alsso we are part of subspace ambassadors and Nym, Cascadia network selected as a core Validator in testnet with most of VP. You can some more info in our github and medium