With GI Partners' investment into SoftLayer last August and the subsequent merger with The Planet in November, I haven't had a spare moment to write a blog. As I write this, it's just before year end 2010, and now that we are the largest privately held pure-play hosting company in the world, I sort of wonder how soon it will be before SoftLayer TV commercials start popping up. Hey, maybe one day we'll do a Super Bowl commercial! We always dream big.
Thus, I thought I'd try my hand at a script for our first commercial:
We need another 50 servers as fast as you can get them to us – we are out of capacity and the big guns are demanding better email performance and lower latency for incoming orders and customer service traffic. I wish I could have them tomorrow, but…
Yeah, we can't do tomorrow. Let's see, I think I can squeeze them into next week's production run and then expedite shipping. We can probably have them on your dock in 12-14 days.
Oh boy. I don't know if that will be good enough. I'm caught between a rock and a hard place. I have accounting on my case about minimizing lowly utilized machines while sales, marketing, and operations whine about not keeping enough spare capacity to handle business spikes. I can't win.
Ouch. Wish I could get them there faster, but 12 days is our best-case scenario for you.
OK, thanks for trying. Go ahead and get them here as fast as you can.
You wanna order a few more for a cushion?
Not if I don't want the CFO complaining to my boss about me over ordering – again.
I understand. We'll go with the 50 for now.
IT GUY hangs up the call, still stressed out, talks to himself.
Geez. It'll take the full 14 days to get here. Then we have to rack them, cable them, test them, then provision them. It could be a month before they go live in production. I'm doomed.
Another employee – IT GAL – walks up. She has a cheerful, stress-free demeanor.
So, why do you look so 'doomed'?
The business units I support need 50 new servers by yesterday. I'll be lucky to have them online and in production in a month.
What? Why so long?
Well, that's how long it will take them to be built, and shipped, and racked, and cabled, and tested, and provisioned, and...
[Cuts him off.] You should just use SoftLayer.
What? Who's that?
That's who I use in a pinch. Heck, it's who I use most all the time for infrastructure for the groups I support.
Here, let me drive.
IT GUY stands up. IT GAL sits down at his workstation. Move to screen shots of customer portal where applicable.
Here's my account at SoftLayer. Notice that I have servers as my foundation combined with cloud computing capacity that I can adjust on the fly and pay for it by the hour. If I need more power, I ramp up the cloud portion and boost my computing power in 5 minutes – not a month. Here, I'll show you. Click here, Click here and voila! I just added another cloud server. It'll be in production in 5 minutes. It's an hourly machine, so I can release it at the end of the day and it will cost me less than $20.
But how do your groups know that the new cloud server is out there for use?
I use SoftLayer's API connections. To them, it looks like any other server that's available on our corporate network.
It's that easy?
So how do you comply with our backup plan guidelines and disaster recovery planning?
Easy. The production data lives in SoftLayer's Dallas facility. I back it all up at their Seattle facility, and the data moves over SoftLayer's private network that isn't exposed to the public internet. And all transit on the private network is free and doesn't count against my public internet bandwidth limits.
Speaking of bandwidth, what if one of those servers goes over its limit? Do you get hit with overage charges?
No. SoftLayer offers bandwidth pooling between servers as well as global load balancing. You can add it on the fly too.
Also on the fly. No downtime at all.
Wow, I never knew a place like this existed. How do I get started? And how does your department pay for it?
You've got a corporate purchasing card, right?
Give them a call, order your servers, and pay with that card. It's a month-to-month contract. Just give 24 hours notice to cancel. Your first setup will take about 4 hours, but you'll be home at dinner tonight with your 50 new servers online. Not a month from now.
Thanks for the info! Boy, that's a relief.
After calling SoftLayer, don't forget to cancel that order of 50 to come here in a month.
That'll be a pleasure.
Screen fades to black. Graphics appear.