Author Archive: Robert Guerra

October 17, 2011

New Data Centers, Barbara Streisand & "Da Bobby G"

Dealing with jet lag, unfamiliar surroundings, foreign currencies and different languages just begins to describe my hectic life over the past two months. We've been in overdrive, building out SoftLayer's Singapore and Amsterdam data centers in weeks (rather than months).

Our "Go Live Crew" of 16 dedicated SLayers has been working 'round the clock to make sure everything is up and running on time. The biggest challenge has been building out both data centers simultaneously ... With the "Go big or go home" mindset, when we decided to go international, we went all in. Our growing customer base of 23,000 won't stand still, so we need to deliver, whether it be through innovation or expansion. In less than 60 days we've been able to add 31,000+ servers to our network platform, bringing our unique cloud, dedicated and managed hosting solutions closer to our customers around the world.

This accomplishment has been something of a "miracle," and I really need to shout out to my team members on the GLC. Putting in 16-hour days and working weekends while still finding time to go out on the weekends (Jägermeister and Red Bull have been sampled at many a fine pub) has made us a pretty close-knit family. The old "work hard, play hard" saying is an understatement when it comes to the SoftLayer team.

If we're ever dragging a bit in the morning, we can always rely on Duck Sauce to get our pulses racing again by the time we get to the data center. With such a full work schedule, we become creatures of habit, and "Barbara Streisand" is only one example of a staple for the crew. Our daily consistency has even carried over into meal time: My favorite luncheon spot in Amsterdam even named a sandwich after me – Da Bobby G Meat Sandwich. Apparently the combination of meatballs, salami, ham and (a smothering of) ketchup on a bun is not a common order at this establishment, so my innovation needed to be recognized. Nutritional considerations aside, this is one fine sandwich:

Da Bobby G

I've been on the road for a while now, and these are just a few memories I'm taking with me. Jumping around between three continents has definitely had its challenges, but with a great team of focused SLayers, we've been getting the job done. I'm proud to have had a hand in making our international aspirations a reality, and I know that even though this has already been an unbelievable adventure, we're just getting started.

-Robert

September 9, 2009

Taking the Chance

I started working at the ripe’ole age of 16 and since then I’ve had 5 jobs including SoftLayer. I started off at “bullseye” which consisted of straightening merchandise shelves and onto being a cashier. For my second job, I moved on to harassing customers into purchasing leather from a well known mall leather supplier, but for some reason I was having extra-long chili cheese conies and bacon, egg and cheese toasters on my mind, so I made the move to “rollerskates” for job number three. These jobs gave me a decent income (for being 16-18 yrs old), but I knew I didn’t want to be hopping from job to job for the rest of my life… I needed to find a place to grow roots, a place that paid me what I was worth, and finally a place where growth within the company was available. So, I moved to the world of retail digital imaging (large format printing) with a local Dallas company. I started in the shipping and receiving department, slowly learning the whole production side of the company as I knew that is where I could grow. Four long years passed, roots in the company were set fairly deep, or so I thought and the opportunity was “kinda” there, but ultimately I was not happy.

The opportunity for me to work at SL came thru a friend and former colleague at the printing company, Shawna (thanks Shawna!) who left because she also saw the huge potential with SL. At the time I was so ready for something new, but I’ll have to admit, I was a bit reluctant to take the chance because of the four years I had invested, and my lack of knowledge in IT, and particularly SL, knowing that they were doing things that had never been done before (I did my homework). Needless to say I took the chance, and was hired on as an Infrastructure Engineer.

As an Infrastructure Engineer at SL responsibilities range from installing cage nuts, rails, filler panels all the way to installing Cisco switches and Ethernet cables. Basically making sure that the racks are ready to be populated with servers and sold to new or existing customers wanting to expand their business. I can only speak for myself, but there is a great sense of pride when you step back and look at all the live racks you just painstakingly set up, knowing the hard work you had invested was not only helping SL grow but knowing that I had taken a bigger step into starting a solid career.

Yes, I was hired on as an Infrastructure Engineer, but was not just limited to that position. I have been here for over 2 years already and having some of the best times of my life, the opportunities to advance are there, they look for it in their staff, they want me to succeed, knowing it only helps them to succeed as well. What’s next you ask? To be continued…

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