May 7, 2008

The Great Debate

Who would win in a fight to the death between a Grizzly Bear and a Great White Shark?

Yes, we here in SLales, particularly Daniel and myself, have these types of serious debates quite often. Now before you get all riled up about how this would never happen and there’s no way these two would ever even meet, etc, etc, hear me out folks. Daniel said it best during one of our many debates about this important issue:

“I win the lotto and I’m putting this show on Pay-Per-View.... greatest show on earth.”

IIIIIIIIIIIn the red corner weighing in at 5,000lbs, laying 20 feet long – SHARKY! AAAAAAAnd in the blue corner weighing in at 1,500lbs and standing 8 feet tall – GRIZZLY!

The setting would be similar to the UFC Octagon, only twice the size, instead of a cage it will be a solid metal octagon and filled with 4 feet of water so the Shark can maneuver and so can the Bear. Both animals are fully grown adults - the Shark is a female, the Bear is a male - predatory in nature and very aggressive.

My contention would be that the Great White wins this battle to the death for a few reasons:

  1. The Great White Shark has been dubbed “an efficient killing machine” on several occasions by many scientists and experts.
  2. This ain’t no Salmon Grizzly; this is 20ft and 5,000lbs of fury coming for YOU Bear!
  3. Sharky is HUGE, more than double the size of Grizzly.
  4. Sharky has rows and rows of teeth that are easily replaceable in a fight to the death, Grizzly has one set and that’s it.
  5. Great White Sharks are notorious for their thick skin; the bear doesn’t stand a chance with his teeth and claws.
  6. Yes, Grizzly will be more maneuverable, however one bite from Sharky and he’s done.
  7. There is a certain 80's rock band named after Sharky, none for Grizzly.

What’s you guys’ take on the outcome here, do you think Sharky or Grizzly would win?

Daniel, I await your side of the argument sir!


***The views and expressions of these events are completely fictional and meant for entertainment purposes only. ***

May 6, 2008

High Five Rebuttal

I know this is an overdue rebuttal, but I have to stick up for myself here. Recently it has been brought up the high five and the fist bump pro’s and cons. I am here to shed new light on the matter which will provide a feasible alternative, but at the same time bring respect to all no matter what form you like to bring it.

Let's review:

The high five is a cornerstone of cool. It is the revolutionary leader in which we should pay homage because without it we wouldn’t have this conversation in the first place. God only knows when the high five was invented, but even then he must have been impressed. So in the interest of staying positive let’s stick with the pro’s of the high five.

  • A high five can be a good alternative to anything else because of range and when height is a factor (especially over a cube wall).
  • The high five is versatile in different levels and angles that it can be applied from. It can even go inverted (see explanation of “low five” in blogs to come)
  • The high five is not likely to spur on a game of bloody knuckles or other such contests of pain thresholds even as invigorating as they can be.
  • The high five is universal and you can take it all over the world. (see Borat, he’ll tell you all about it)
  • The high five can be seen in many instances throughout the movie “TOP GUN”. Especially in the brotherhood of “Maverick” and “Goose”. I don’t care who you are or how old you are TOPGUN is still one of the coolest movies around and the high fives used in the movie just help make it that much cooler. Also, as a side note, if you didn’t feel remotely bad when Goose died in the movie you have no soul and can probably stop reading at this point.
  • Above all the high five has withstood a test many popular things haven’t or won't; the test of time.

So now that we have elaborated on why the high five is not the evil empire of office camaraderie, but in fact a form of communication to be respected and treasured, we can move onto the fist bump. The fist bump is more recent. It’s hip, it’s now, it’s from the streets. You can do kewl little things like “lock it up” or “blow it up”. They perform a fist pump out of sign of respect before any boxing match or other fight. Some believe it to be a sign of strength or superiority. I find it simply to be a solid alternative to be used to keep things fresh when pumping up the colleagues. For more on the positive promise of the fist bump please note our CEO’s perfectly mannered and unbiased point of view of the subject in an earlier blog.

Taking it to the next level people have suggested the chest bump. However, I don’t have a lot to say about this one because I don’t know when it’s ever really ok to get that close to someone else in the office and we’ll just leave it at that.

OK, so after all this. I have a suggestion to include the elbow into the repertoire. Names that have been thrown out have been simply “the elbow” and the “e-dap”. If stating that the fist bump is a sign of strength and thus making it good the elbow bump or other connection has to be the next logical form of enthusiasm.

  • No set of bones in the human body are as strong as the elbow (the thigh could claim some contention, but we’re not touching that with a really long pole) and nothing can be as impactful as a well placed “forearm shivva”.
  • In the heyday of steroids in baseball it was the en vogue way of celebrating. At no other point in time was neither baseball nor the players stronger than during the reign of “the elbow”.
  • In entertainment disguised as sport in wrestling “The Rock” (name spurred on from a symbolism of strength) had a favorite move called “The People’s Elbow”. It was aptly named for the people because of its popularity.
  • The Elbow has an outreach so wide that Michael Miller of the sales department often speaks of “The Flying Elbow” inspired by the Macho Man Randy Savage.

The fist bump is still quite popular now, but with all of this evidence available I implore upper management to cease its discrimination of other forms of enthusiasm. Please broaden your horizons to accept new ways as well as classic ways of expressing ones pride in celebration. After all people of one mind and one spirit working for one goal cannot be wrong in any form of celebration as victory is achieved.


May 5, 2008

Money, Money, Money, Money…Money!

I am a CSA with SoftLayer and I have the privilege of working with extremely successful customers on a daily basis solving issues and keeping their businesses running smoothly. I continue to be amazed at the amount of money that some of our customers must be making. I looked at a certain customer’s website, and then compared his prices for the services he provides using his SoftLayer servers with the average price of a server on SoftLayer’s website, the conclusion I came to was unbelievable. Of course, I had to make an educated guess concerning how much he could provide per a given server. And, I do not know how much he actually pays for any particular server as specials have been run at different times on different servers. But, taking into account that this particular customer has over 30 servers with SoftLayer, and few other factors that I know about this customer from speaking with him over the phone at different times, my best guess is that he is making somewhere in the neighborhood of $30,000 per month all things considered. WOW! (Hold on…I choked…yep, that’s right…about $30,000 per month)

Example Customer X (one of many!):

  • Started with one server and a great business model
  • Took advantage of all that SoftLayer has to offer (specials, tools, resources, etc.)
  • Continued to grow to more than 30 servers
  • Now brings in at least $30,000 per month per my best guess! WOW!

Of course, this is just one of our customers. SoftLayer has many extremely successful customers like this. I find it very interesting that we have such a large number of very successful customers. That tells me that SoftLayer must be a great foundation for a successful business. It just makes sense. If you have many unsuccessful customers and the customer turn-over is high, then your sales team must be great, but your product is bad. But, when you have many enormously successful customers and customer turn-over is low, then you must have a great product that is the best thing going. And, if these successful customers could choose to support their very successful businesses with any provider that they wanted, and yet they continue to choose SoftLayer, that means that SoftLayer is a great choice if you want to be successful!

Personally, I will attain this level of success one day. Will I be a Customer X or will I be a Lance Crosby? I don’t know yet. I do know that I am truly enjoying the journey to my ultimate success while learning everything I can in my current position here at SoftLayer.

So, to all you amazingly successful SoftLayer customers…and to all of you who are so quickly building your success on the foundation of SoftLayer, thank you for your inspiration.

If you don’t mind sharing some of your story of success with us here on this blog, I, for one, would really enjoy reading about it.


May 2, 2008

Outsource IT – The Numbers Back it Up

With Skinman blogging about outsourcing (here, here, and here) along with Michael Miller blogging about the ease of leasing vs. buying, I had to jump in to say that the numbers show that their thinking is right on track.

Using database driving financial modeling software, I modeled a small internet-based business doing their IT infrastructure in-house versus using SoftLayer to handle the infrastructure for them. The benefits of using SoftLayer are eye-popping.

Here are the basic assumptions of the mythical company. There are 8 employees, 2 of which are founders who took out second mortgages on their houses to launch the business. First year sales are about $1.5 million. Business needs require 12 servers in two different geographic locations, housed in climate controlled rooms. Pricing out the servers and networking gear on Dell and eBay worked out to $71,509. This gear was financed with part of the proceeds from the second mortgages, booked to the balance sheet and depreciated. After three years, it was disposed of and upgraded with new gear costing $125,000.

Using SoftLayer changes several of these assumptions. By letting SoftLayer handle infrastructure, one less employee was required. There was no capital outlay for the needed 12 servers and networking gear. SoftLayer got the servers running in a couple of hours with no setup fees for a manageable monthly charge. This allowed less debt to start the business, and there were no long term contracts with SoftLayer if the business idea didn’t work out. There was no need to book the assets to the balance sheet, depreciate them, and upgrading them after three years involved a simple phone call so SoftLayer. No disposing of old gear or balance sheet write offs were necessary.

Consequently, this improved all the most important financial statement measures besides revenue, which remained the same in each scenario. Gross profit, EBITDA, EBIT, and Net Income all improved dramatically from using SoftLayer. Balance sheet credit worthiness, measured by things like equity and the Current Ratio among other things, dramatically improve. Finally, cash balances and cash flow almost double by using SoftLayer. Just compare the highlighted fields in this spreadsheet.

As they say, “your mileage may vary.” But odds are that you can significantly improve your financial performance by using SoftLayer to eliminate operating costs, depreciation, debt financing, and upgrade logistics related to your IT infrastructure needs.


April 30, 2008

The Art Of Ramen

A man bicycles down a dimly lit street, balancing three hot steaming bowls of soup as he navigates the various pedestrians and suicidal drivers all intent on their destination. Approaching the apartment building, he enters, climbs a few flights of stairs, and makes his delivery, picking up some bowls from the previous night’s dinner. Whereas in America we would have been expecting a pizza delivery, in Japan it’s not an uncommon sight to see Ramen soup delivery.

If you ever find yourself in an “Oriental Style” kitchen, see if you can find some Miso Ramen to eat. The soup is like a more complex version of Chicken Noodle Soup, served in a huge bowl (if they do it right). Hmm. Makes me hungry typing this.

However, in free association, most Americans will think instead of a small, hard brick of fried noodles sealed in a plastic wrap with a small foil packet of soup base. In 1958, Momofuku Ando of Nissin Foods invented instant ramen noodles (named the greatest Japanese invention of the 20th century in a Japanese poll, beating out karaoke and the Walkman (!)) which allows a meal to be prepared in 3 minutes or so. Liberal application of artificial flavoring and monosodium glutamate trick the brain into believing it has indeed had a complete meal. And at 15-20 cents per packet, it beats out mac and cheese and completely decimates spaghetti as the food of choice when you just have to go out and buy a new RAID array or Wii and discover you’ve stomped your food budget (again).

For such a simple meal, however, I’ve discovered that everyone has their own special way of preparing it. A friend of mine boils the water, takes it off the heat, stirs in the sauce and lets it cool. And liberally applies pepper to the resulting soup. 50% (made up statistic) of the people who make these noodles crush the noodle brick before boiling. Various additions and subtractions have been tried, with various levels of success.

My favorite noodle cooking process is to place the brick into rapidly boiling water, then following it with what my sister and I call “Korean Ketchup” (a very spicy red sauce with a rooster on it; you can find it at your local WalMart), about three tablespoons. Allow the water to boil the brick on medium-high heat for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take the pan off and drain, leaving about a quarter inch of water in the bottom of the pan. Return to the stove and set to medium heat. Open the flavor packet and sprinkle on the noodles. Stir rapidly to dissolve the packet in the water before it boils away, and coat the noodles with the resulting sauce. Remove from heat and pour on plate. You end up with a very strongly flavored, spicy, almost Yakisoba style ramen dish. Sometimes I add frozen fajita chicken, but let’s be honest, if I had the money for frozen fajita chicken, I wouldn’t be scarfing down ramen noodles. Goes excellent with disposable wooden chopsticks swiped from your local oriental meal establishment.

I’ve seen tons of recipes for ramen noodles, from Mexican Ramen and Cheese to an almost Rice Krispie Treat type Noodle/Sugar/Chocolate/Marshmallow recipe that tastes pretty good. Yes, the humble ramen noodle brick is so inoffensive and flavorless (by design) that it can be used as the base for nearly any food desired. So, the next time you snag a box of 15 cent plastic packets, try to come up with an exciting new way to cook them. Ramen is an art, not a science.


April 29, 2008

SoftLayer University

WOW…Am I the only one that has noticed the sky-rocketing cost of formal education these days? Or, what about the exorbitant amounts charged for Internet educational programs? (Hello, RH! *I am a student in an online RH course…yes, I paid a ton!)

I truly enjoy learning. I must always have something that I am actively involved in learning. And, I am always looking for something new to learn. Hmmm….maybe that’s why I am in IT…

We all know there is always something more to learn in the world of IT. As a CSA, I can learn more in a day from investigating, researching, and resolving customer issues than most university students learn about a specific subject in an entire semester. I know because I was a university student at one time. The range of issues that we CSA’s face on a daily basis is truly amazing. It makes sense when you look at the vast array of businesses/business models, and therefore applications for their servers, that our customers enjoy. I believe there is another blog in here somewhere in which one of my colleagues outlines some of the hats that we as CSA’s wear on a daily basis. All this is to say that, in the relatively short time that SoftLayer has been around, there has been a massive amount of information that has been learned, communicated, AND SAVED FOR YOUR EDUCATIONAL BENEFIT AND PLEASURE!!!

That’s right! For an unlimited time (as long as you are a SoftLayer customer), you too can benefit from the wealth of information that numerous techs have struggled with, fought for, and, at times, felt like dying for! Volumes of knowledge have been painstakingly documented as a resource for our very own SoftLayer technicians, AND, this same information has been made available to our customers! This amazing resource is available for the bargain basement price of $0.00. Think of all the money you could spend at a university taking classes at inconvenient times of the day. Think of the mounds of cash you could spend for an online course or weekend crash course just to teach you the much needed information found very conveniently in SoftLayer’s very own “KnowledgeLayer”!

You might say, “What if I need a tutor?” Think of the cash you could spend on a personal tutor. No need to spend cash on a tutor when you are a customer of SoftLayer! The SoftLayer forums are filled with tutors ready, willing, and excited to answer your questions, share in your accomplishments, and bask in the glow of your success! There are industry “experts” in there to help advise you when you need to make a decision regarding the next step for your growing business. Did I mention the SoftLayer “tutorials”, which can be found in the SoftLayer portal under the Support tab? Yes, we have our very own customized video tutorials in the portal! SoftLayer is almost a “one-stop-shop” for all your server-related educational needs.

But, wait, there is more! If, after learning from the KnowledgeLayer and being tutored in the forums, you still feel that you need more personalized attention in order to truly understand an issue that you are studying, you can always open a ticket with Support, and a CSA will personally work with you to teach you everything that you need to know regarding that specific issue!

So, in summary, when purchasing a server with SoftLayer, you have not only made an investment in the success of your business by choosing the industries’ best on-demand datacenter provider, you have also enrolled in SoftLayer University!

What courses of study would you like to pursue?


April 28, 2008

Everybody Knows Sevens and Nines Don't Figure

Through the virtue of me having young parents, at age nine my own son Taylor has the fortune of not just having grandparents, but great grandparents alive and well. On my mother’s side in particular, I have a grandfather (after who I am named), who is still quite the traveler at age 72. While he lives in Ohio he frequently “pops in” on my son and me. Despite his inability to call and let me know he is coming or how long he will stay, once I get over the initial shock of discovering he is waiting in the driveway for me to come home from work and welcome him into my home, we usually do have a nice visit. (Though he has yet to convince me to give him his own garage door opener despite asking on more than one occasion!)

My son especially likes having his great-grandfather around. My grandfather, as I am sure do most grandfathers, has seventy plus years worth of stories and opinions and riddles he has collected over a remarkably varied life. And if there is one thing that my grandfather is not, it is shy; so my son finds his great grandpa immensely entertaining--as did I at age nine. (Although between you and me I really thought by the time I was nine I had stopped falling for the old pull-my-finger trick that still sends my grandfather and my son into fits of laughter visit after visit.)

The last time my grandfather came out to visit, Taylor had a lot of homework. So after dinner my grandfather settled onto the couch to watch wrestling, (pronounced WRAST’lin), and Taylor and I went about trying to do his homework. The assignment was geared at reinforcing multiplication tables. Something my son struggled with for a bit. So we were working on it for a while. Long enough that my grandfather decided either the school was passing out too much homework, or I was explaining it wrong. So like any concerned great grandparent would do my grandfather clicked off the TV, walked into the kitchen, and pulled up a chair intent on showing us the error of our ways.

Grandpa asked Taylor to explain the assignment--which my son did. Without warning Grandpa then plucked the page and pencil from my son’s hands and proceeded to stare over a multiplication problem for some time. The page stared back at him.

128 x 69 =

Taylor and I watched with growing fascination as grandpa proceeded to scribble nearly as many figures on the page as there were problems. At last he grunted and wrote his answer.


Now I am by no means a mathematical giant, but something seemed a bit peculiar about his answer. So I did a quick computation and came up with 8,832. And while I was still trying to politely figure out how to tell my grandpa “thanks but no thanks”, my son didn’t show any such discretion.

“That’s wrong Great Grandpa!” he exclaimed.

My grandfather took the page back, made some more of his calculations in the margin, then looked up in all seriousness and said to my son:

“Taylor, you are old enough to know the truth.”

I have to tell you at this moment I was pretty shocked. While I was not sure what great personal revelation my grandfather intended to make, I was sure it was to be a difficult one. Every father and grandfather and great grandfather wants the children in his life to see him as a giant, a genius, a god. I could only imagine how difficult this was going to be for my grandfather to explain to my son that times had changed, things had changed, and maybe he wasn’t as sharp as he once was. My grandfather said none of those things. Instead he continued:

“Taylor, your teachers and your school and your principal aren’t going to tell you this, but the truth is when it comes to arithmetic, and I mean real world arithmetic, not the stuff they have picked out for you and put into those books, well the truth is 7’s and 9’s don’t figure. The answer to your homework will never come out right because one of the numbers ends with a 9. So I did the only thing you can do, in real life I mean, I rounded the 9 up to a 10. Sure you can round a 7 or 9 down as well if you want to low-ball it, but I figured this would be easier for you to follow.”

I stared for a moment, incredulous, not sure if my son was believing this, if my grandfather was believing it. I had no earthly idea what to say. Then I thought about my grandfather who in his day had worked as a machinist, who built the die and tool that was used to punch the first removable soda-pop top. Remember, (or maybe you don’t), those first aluminum soda cans that had the tab you just pulled off of the can entirely and chucked it onto the ground? Obviously that was before “give a hoot—don’t pollute” and those pull tabs littered highways everywhere until someone got the idea to make the tab a part of the larger can. Still, discounting the negative environmental aspect, in its day the pop-top was an ingenious piece of engineering. A technological leap and my grandfather was a part of it.

Then I considered how much computers have changed, from the time when I was an 11 year old boy banging out BASIC on my TRS-80, to now when the processor in my wristwatch has more memory and operating capacity than some of the machines that were remarkably once labeled “personal computers”. Day in and day out at the office, I see the technological envelope pushed here at SoftLayer. We offer our customers the latest and greatest from integrated remote out of band management, to high speed fault tolerant digital backups. I am an integral part of one of the most exciting and talked about technology ventures in the history of webhosting. Yet will there come a day when I am sitting at the table with my own son’s children wondering how it happened that I can’t manage to come up with the correct answer for an elementary school problem?

“Well for now,” I said trying to sound authoritative, “I guess we better do it the way your teacher wants—the way the book explains it. You have quite a while to go before you are out in the real-world and by then I bet you have figured out how things work all on your own.” Taylor shrugged and wrote down 8,832. Grandpa started to speak, hesitated, and then held up his index finger. “Does this look crooked to you Taylor?” he asked. “Say maybe you could help me straighten it out by giving it a little pull?” Laughter ensued.


April 24, 2008

On This Day! April 24th (The 114th Day of the Year)

1800: The U.S. Library of Congress was established.

1898: Spain declared war on the US.

1907: Hershey Park, founded by Milton S. Hershey for the exclusive use of his employees, is opened.

1916: Irish Nationalist declared Ireland an independent republic.

1967: Soviet Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov dies in a space mission.

1970: We were all happily living under President Nixon and the Chinese transmitted its first song over satellite, “East is Red”.

1981: IBM introduces its first PC, the IBM PC! Thanks!!!!

1990: West and East Germany agree to merge their currency.

Famous People Born on this Date: Willem de Kooning, Anthony Trollope, Robert Penn Warren, Edmund Cartwright, Shirley MacLaine.

Deaths: Estee Lauder

Astrological Sign: Taurus – They are patient and reliable, Warmhearted and loving, Persistent and determined, placid and security loving. On the darkside they are Jealous and possessive, Resentful and inflexible, Self-indulgent and greedy.

So now that we have determined all of this historical and astrological hoopla you might be wondering what the heck this is all about. So I am going to focus on one year of all of this. 1970. I think the song they sent over the Chinese satellite, “East is Red” should have new words, something like “East is Red and Black!” DC! We are almost there! So here is a recording of the new song. JUST KIDDING! I wouldn’t do that to you twice!

I focus on today because it is our fearless leader's 38th Birthday. Here he is at 1 Day old. His mother was nice enough to send the picture.



Well, I think you all know by now that the greatest CEO in the world is none other than Lance Trevor Crosby of the Stephenville Crosby’s. Its cool working for Lance and for SoftLayer because he makes us all be a team. That is hard trust me! Try having to see your brother everyday and keep up with his bloghogging ways. Just kidding Gary.

Since it IS his birthday


I have to tell this story of yet another trip to work. (I know up until now you think I am just bucking for a promotion or a raise, but you write something like this about your CEO and see where it gets ya). Here goes.

I was crossing the bridge over the lake and this truck right in front of me was hauling snacks to all you hard workers in the world. These snacks fit in vending machines all over the place and you see them all the time. The funny thing is what was written on the back of the truck, and on both sides, and If I had a stinkin camera phone it would have made it even better.

What was written on the truck was, “I got Lance in my pants”! As you can imagine I almost drove into the lake from laughing so hard. When I got to my desk the first thing I had to do was try to find a picture for this blog. Well believe it or not, they sing it to you! “I got Lance in my Pants!” . If that isn’t the funniest slogan that you have ever heard then you don’t know our CEO like we do.

By the way, unlike most CEO’s in the world we all know him and see him every day and he puts in more hours than most of us which is a lot of total hours. So anyway, Happy Birthday to the big guy. Now is the company sponsoring a Happy Hour tonight or what?



April 22, 2008

Buying a House vs. Buying a Server

Thinking of buying a house – don’t. I have been through the 7 layers of candy cane to get into the one I just bought. Not only did I have to search to find the right Real Estate Agent that fit my needs and my busy schedule, I had to search around for the right house, in the right location for the right price – sound familiar?

After all of that I finally found the perfect place, got my funds in order, and then I had to sign the rights away to my first and third born sons. Never in my life (or whole life for that matter) have I had to sign and initial my name to so many documents at once.

Yay, I’ve got the house, now I get to furnish it so I can actually live there. More. Fun. Now I’m out there shopping around for furniture, kitchen appliances, bedroom furniture, bathroom things and all that other good stuff.

I’m completely exhausted from all of the above and work on top of that. I now see where y'all (I’m from Texas, cut me some slack) are coming from when shopping around for a server. I miss my lease. The whole process was simple, efficient and for all encompassing purposes much much easier. Sure, a house traditionally appreciates in value with time and a server in all likely purposes depreciates with time and there is a difference between the two, however I did want to compare these two markets in my cool little blog here.

Leasing a server is a lot like leasing a house or apartment, of which after this whole ordeal I do very much miss. In a server and house lease you are not liable for any maintenance on either. We at Softlayer will take care of all of that for you, and the landlord takes care of the house/apartment if anything breaks. If something comes up then you can get out of the lease quite easily as well as the cost is 3-5 times less than actually buying outright. Leasing also takes less time. You can get into a lease in just a couple of days on a house/apartment or a server for that matter in just a couple of hours. Buying a house takes months of preparation, searching, getting funds in order, signing and moving in. On the other hand, buying a server can take days, weeks, and months even depending on your setup, co-location facility and how fast you can get it into a live production setting. There are literally a million different variables that go into both of these equations for time, but this is just generally speaking. I’m sure there are many of you out there that can buy both in a matter of minutes and have everything setup and running just as fast.

In the long run my house will in all probability appreciate in value so it will be worth it – aside from the hassles and giving up my first and third born sons. However buying a server and co-locating it somewhere for years will likely depreciate with value as technology changes so rapidly in this day in age. Likely your old servers will not work as efficiently as new technology comes out and will eventually become obsolete. In the housing market my house will be around and habitable so to speak (depending on how rough I treat her) for decades to come. However as I pointed out earlier they are very different markets but the lease/buy theory is still the same.

To sum it all up – don’t buy, lease, you’ll thank me later.


April 17, 2008


Wal-Mart! Champion of Retail! Who else can build a large brick box, paint it blue, stuff it with stuff, and make money hand over fist? What is the source of this power? Many will say it's their sheer size. However, this isn't true! Because what many people forget is that Wal-Mart had to start with one single store, just like every other retailer in America. So what is their secret?


It's been said that Wal-Mart can track a single apple from the tree to the front of the store. Every piece of inventory is logged and tracked from pickup to delivery. Every single bottle of aspirin, every sock, every donut is duly logged and mashed up in massive data warehouses where giant computers munch the data and produce useful reports. You know what the most popular item is at Wal-Mart? According to an employee friend of mine, in the Cedar Creek Lake Area of North Texas, it's Bananas. They know how many bananas are sold, when they were sold, what the best day of the week is for banana sales, and which cashier is responsible for the most banana sales during a month. They can track banana sales over time, by store, region, trucking company, banana producer, you name it. They know which employee was on duty in the fresh fruit aisle when banana sales were high, and which employee used to be on duty in the fresh fruit aisle when banana sales were low. It's all in there, if you want it.

However, Wal-Mart had to build this technology from scratch. They had to install special data systems in their distribution centers. They had to build their own server farms, lease their own data lines... did you know Wal-Mart has it's own SATELLITE NETWORK?!? The Wal-Mart Satellite Network is one of the largest private satellite systems in the world, carrying real time data from every single Wal-Mart store and distribution center to Wal-Mart's headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, where it is poured into their massive data warehouse. They can plan, instantly, to take care of overstocks and shortfalls at every store, as soon as it happens.

You don't need to build your own satellite network to get competition crushing infrastructure today. Using the technology solutions provided by SoftLayer, and simple connections to the Internet, you too can have the type of infrastructure necessary to succeed in today's business world. We provide world class servers for your number crunching, huge amounts of networked storage for your data warehouse, geographically diverse datacenters for disaster security, and a private network that allows you to tie it all together as blazing high speeds. Using our awesome API 3.0, you can automate just about every part of maintaining your infrastructure. Leveraging the Internet, you can build data portals that allow your partners to keep you up to date on production, to plan finances, track bananas, whatever you want to do!

We've already taken care of the hard work required to build the infrastructure. Now all you have to do is leverage it.



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