Author Archive: Robert Stanton

October 29, 2011

Coworkers and Divisional Rivals: Football at SoftLayer

Cheering for the hometown team has always been interesting at SoftLayer. With U.S. data centers in Dallas, Houston, Washington DC, Seattle and San Jose, the "home team" varies throughout the organization. It's always fun to talk about games with fans when I'm not invested in the outcome of a game outside my favorite team's division ... And when it comes to the NBA (which no longer has a team in Seattle), it's easy to cheer for the teams that other SLayers are cheering for. When the Dallas Mavericks won the NBA Championships, our Dallas techs were going crazy, and their enthusiasm was pretty contagious.

When it comes to NFL football, things are a little different. Prior to the launch of our San Jose facility, supporting each data center's home NFL team with some playful banter was normal. When San Jose came into the mix, that meant we'd have a lot of new employees (Yay!) who are probably going to be fans of my Seahawks' divisional rivals, the San Francisco 49ers (Booo! :-)). Now cheering for games gets a little trickier since we don't want a football-related civil war between offices.

In reality, I'm sure it'll never be an issue, since SLayers are like a big, diverse family ... That being said, I'm glad I wasn't in the office on the Monday after the Seahawks' opening game loss against the 49ers. My California peers would have probably been quick to chat about the game, and I probably wouldn't have wanted to talk about it. It's different for me to have coworkers who are die-hard fans of a rival team due to their geography (and not just because they are a bandwagon fan), and as we keep growing, I'm sure the football support between offices is going to keep getting more and more diverse ... My vote is that we avoid adding a data center in another NFC West rival's market, though.

The interoffice atmosphere is just another reason why I love working for SoftLayer. Our team is so different, but we're united by the common goal of making SoftLayer the best company in the world (for our customers and for our employees). For right now, I'm glad that there aren't as many soccer fans in our halls ... You don't want to see me in my soccer hooligan mode.


December 24, 2010

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the NOC
All the Technicians were rushing, even our boss.
The cable bundles were hung on the racks with care,
In hopes that new servers soon would be there.

The parts were nestled all snug in their boxes,
While tickets for upgrades danced in the queues.
And the CSAs on their phones, and the SBTs doing builds,
Had just settled our brains for a long day of work.

When out on the forums there arose such a clatter,
Everyone sprang from their beds to see what was the matter.
Away to our computers we flew like ssd drives,
Tore open the browser and threw up the /.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature Smart Car with the three bars logo on YouTube.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be Lance!

As he sped off, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew to give him a push.
But I heard him exclaim, 'ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"


September 28, 2010

You say Data Center?

During a chat with one of my friends the other day, I came to the realization that I have been working as a Data center tech for 5 years now with 2+ years here at Softlayer. I have to admit that I have seen a lot of different styles of how they are run. My data center life started with a place in which the ethernet cabling looked more like a rat nests with duct tape holding it up. My young mind knew that it wasn’t right, and I promptly ended that internship. My next experience was a little better, although deep in my mind I could see the efficiencies that could be gained by doing some things differently.

When I came to Softlayer it was definitely a shock. This is a place that looks like those fake Datacenters you see in the movies. Everything is clean, uniform looking, efficient and functional. The best part of working here is the fact that the culture is not just about keeping things running to turn a profit, but also to make it better and push beyond our limitations to become better than the rest.

This is the first job that I am happy to have, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for me here at Softlayer. 3Bars for life!

October 28, 2009

Meet Virus Jack

I am Jack’s Vundo Virus. I cause Jack’s computer to have popup. I also disable Windows Automatic Updates, task manager, registry editor, and msconfig so Jack cannot boot to safe mode. I use Jack’s Norton AntiVirus to help spread my infection. I make Jack’s google searches to redirect to rogue antispyware sites. Jack got me by not keeping his system up to date. Now there are programs out there designed to remove me but the best way is for Jack to reformat. Let’s hope he has backups. Morale of this story is keep your computers up to date with the latest OS updates, AntiVirus definitions and program updates.

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