Author Archive: Will Tharp

August 10, 2010

Where do we go from here?

We are about to move, and in my new home, it turns out to be cheaper to get my daughter a cell phone than it is to add a home phone... That wouldn’t be particularly remarkable, except that she just turned 7 -- this year! That got me to thinking: I am part of the generation during which computers went from curiosities to appliances... That is, I remember a time during which the only thing at home comparable to today’s PCs was an IBM Selectric typewriter my mother used. So, yeah, I am old.

I would guess that the first piece of technology a child uses is still the TV. Sure, we use phones around them and some use baby monitors, but I think most parents have used the one-eyed baby-sitter at one time or another. And with the familiarity with a TV, is it that much of a leap to viewing a computer monitor? Is the leap from remote control to a keyboard that huge?

And as our children get more and more familiar with technology at younger and younger ages, I’m thinking this is putting us more and more into an “On Demand” society. Through the past decade or two I have watched that concept evolve from pure marketing to reality; you can get non-programmed TV at the touch of a remote button, you can order pizza online, and, thanks to the innovation of Softlayer, you can create a turn-key server solution in a matter of hours.

As much as I worry about how my daughter will adapt to the technological leaps she is going to face in her lifetime, I am also curious about the wonders she will get to experience and build upon. This is one of the many reasons I am proud to work for Softlayer—we will create more of those wonders before I am done. And who knows? Some day she may be writing here about how it used to take a few hours to create a turn-key server solution and that her father must be really old to have ever lived in a world without computers...

January 24, 2009

When Is A Server Like A Puppy?

My wife gave me a pair of pups for my birthday, and I got to thinking about how having a pup/dog was like having a server…

Puppies

With puppies, you need to be very careful picking one out. Even if you get a pure bred dog, you still need to pay attention to its “personality.” When you are picking out a server, you need to know something about the company supporting it. Friendly folks are nice, but does that server tech know what he is doing, is he dedicated to doing it, and does he inspire confidence in you when he does it. At SoftLayer, the answer is yes.

As you “maintain” your puppy, it will grow and mature. Mine are going to be 100 pound beasts, so I am making sure to train them when they are small – this should insure the most amount of enjoyment out of them. When you are purchasing servers from SoftLayer, you can get any size to fit your needs, and when your requirements change, your dedicated servers can be changed to match – and quickly. Did you plan on one level of need and your business suddenly took off? No problem! You can get a second server in 1 – 4 hours and throw them both behind a load balancer in minutes.

I am fortunate in that I have a big backyard for my beasties, and I am careful to keep them up to date on all their shots. In a dedicated server, SoftLayer provides a safe environment in which you can administer your server (the private network accessible by VPN), and we make sure you have access to all the shots your servers need (ready to go, best practice software installs and vendor patches as they become available).

Dedicated servers may not be as fun as puppies (they don’t roll around, play with you or give you kisses), but they don’t chew your furniture, have “oopsies” on the floor or chase the cat… And at SoftLayer, if your server barks or cries in the middle of the night, you have dedicated Support staff to help you find out why – my puppies can’t tell me, and if I call the NOC they just laugh at me…

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