Posts Tagged 'Funny 2'

August 22, 2011

Changing the (YouTube) Channel

As one of the newest members to the SoftLayer family, let me make something clear: One of the biggest changes in SoftLayer's social media presence is directly a result of me. Okay ... well I might not have directly initiated the change, but I like to think that when you're a new kid on the block, you have to stick together with the other new editions. My new BFF and partner in crime at SL is the SoftLayer Channel on YouTube. He's replaced SoftLayerTube Channel (though I should be clear that I haven't replaced anyone ... just become a big help to our registered Social Media Ninja KHazard).

This blog is my first major contribution to the InnerLayer, and when I was asked to write it I must admit I was very excited. On literally my 6th day of work, my hope was to make a major impact or at least prove that a ninja-in-training (that would be me) can hold her own with a full-fledged ninja ... but I digress. The real reason I'm here is to talk about our move from SoftLayerTube to SoftLayer. With a little YouTube wizardry and some help from our friends in Mountain View, CA, we've been able to take the help of the better-branded /SoftLayer account.

Don't worry, you are not going to lose any of your favorite SL videos ... They're just taking a permanent trip to the SoftLayer channel.

TL;DR Version
Old and busted: /SoftLayerTube

New SL YouTube Channel

New Hotness: /SoftLayer

New SL YouTube Channel

Subscribe!

-Rachel

August 18, 2011

Subtract Server. Add Humor.

Once in a blue moon, a SoftLayer customer has to cancel a server. Sometimes their business is growing and they're moving up to more powerful hardware, sometimes they need to consolidate their equipment to cut their costs, and sometimes their reason can't really be categorized. In this case, a happy customer with a few dozen servers decided he needed to shut one down, and the explanation he gave would clearly fall into the third category:

Initial Ticket

Customer
I would like to cancel this server on August 20th, 2011, but not before that date. Anytime on this date will be okay.

We no longer have a need for this server and would like to cancel it before our next billing period. Thank you for your help in this matter. Please send me an email when this server has been canceled on August 20th, 2011.

She's been with us for a long time, but things just aren't working out ... She's become a gold digger. It's her, not me. Please let her down easy. I don't like punking out and having someone do my dirty work, but I'm afraid she might be violent. Diamond rings hurt when you get hit with them.

SoftLayer
I'm sorry to hear things did not work out for the two of you. While your safety is important to us, I must ask that you end this relationship via official channels.

Please submit an official cancellation request by going to Sales --> Cancel Server and proceeding through the cancellation steps. The server will be reclaimed at the end of your billing cycle on August 22nd.

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Customer
She always tried to make it hard for me to break up with her. Done!
 
SoftLayer
Glad to hear things went smoothly. Things don't always do, but we knew you could pull through it. :-)
 

Official Cancellation Request

Customer
Word to your moms I came to drop bombs, I got more rhymes than the Bible's got Psalms.
 
SoftLayer
Thanks for your unique note, definitely was a nice break from the norm.

We're glad to continue being part of your success!

Please contact us should future needs arise.

Customer
Thanks, it was a subtle reminder to get out your seat and jump around.
 

Let this be a lesson to all of you: Get out your seat and jump around.

-@khazard

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!"

-Robert

October 7, 2010

A Seller of Skin Products?

It goes without saying that no one enjoys a trip to the doctor for whatever the reason, but I must admit that my last trip there was somewhat amusing. Having been involved in a car accident a day before, I had reluctantly prepared to head off to the doctor’s office by putting on my SoftLayer attire which for the first time in my career, it was completely acceptable to wear clothing with company logo even when off of work:

SoftLayer T-Shirt

Strolling into the lobby in a dejected mood with my mind filled with unpleasant images of my damaged car, I certainly did not expect that my disposition would soon change for the better due to conversing with another individual in such a serious atmosphere. The exchange that would happen after I signed in went as follows:

Receptionist: “Hello sir, how are you today? Is this your first visit here?”
Me:I’m alright, thanks. Yes, this is my first time here.”
Receptionist: “Ok great, now if I could just get some basic info from you first like your company name.”
Me: “Well, I work for SoftLayer.”
Receptionist: “Software?”
Me: “Oh no, Soft Layer, as my shirt reads.” (pointing to my jersey)
Receptionist: “Ah! Don’t they sell skin products?”
Me with a smile: “Actually no, we provide datacenter and web hosting services.”

I continued to describe a little more about our company but soon cut it off short when noticing the original enthusiasm shown on her face had quickly dissipated. As they say, to each his/her own.

This particular encounter was a good reminder for me that the field you work in will often influence your mindset or familiarity with certain companies, products, technologies, etc. I recall another exchange with my brother-in-law when I first started working with SoftLayer about my new job and what it entailed. I had mentioned the term cloud computing and he somewhat seriously asked me if that involved computing the location of clouds. He is a doctor himself and is quite fascinated with science but was unfamiliar with that emerging technology so I did get a chance to delve into the topic further with him. So in ending my story, I’d like to ask when was the last time, if ever, that you had a discussion about SoftLayer or cloud computing with another individual and was it as entertaining?

-Danny

Categories: 
October 5, 2010

Why Does SoftLayer Rock????

So this blog may be a tad bit delayed, seeing that it is about HostingCon, but better late than never. Right?? During HostingCon, at the SoftLayer Happy Hour, we filmed customers, random followers, and employees to see Why SoftLayer Rocks. Here are the responses we got….

Why Does SoftLayer Rock? Because……

"I get 100% uptime with them and they make sure all my servers are up"

"They offer the best cloud storage in the business"

"They are the ambassadors of the industry and help our business grow"

"My server has never gone down"

Now the most common responses were from the random guests at the Happy Hour. Go figure!

"Cause they throw great parties"

"When you mix alcohol and weapons that could potentially poke an eye out (SoftLayer Rockets)….It’s always in good fun" But… I think the best responses came from the employees….

"Because it is the best company to ever exist" Why is that? "The automation, technology, innovation, and the COO" –Sam Fleitman

"Cause we have a butt ton of cool customers" – Steve Kinman

"The bald guy makes a lot of very cool people happy" –Sean Charnock

There are many reasons Why SoftLayer Rocks and we could ask everyone and will get a different answer. Now if you ask an employee most likely they will eventually mention in their statement "because of me". Here is why I think SoftLayer rocks….

SoftLayer is one of the fastest growing private companies (Inc 500/5000). SoftLayer offers customers everything at their fingers tips, especially now with the iPhone, Blackberry, and Android mobile apps. Besides everything that SoftLayer offers to customers, they are extremely good to their employees. Oh and another reason Why SoftLayer Rocks ‘because of ME!’ :-)

Lets here what more people have to say Why SoftLayer Rocks….Post a comment and tell us!

September 10, 2010

Who is Your IT Guy?

In any environment where the need for quick transfer and access of information is required, an “IT guy” is a must. Most people have a bit of a preconceived notion as to what a tech should look like. Most think of large glasses, pocket protectors, and a social anxiety that is idiosyncratic to that particular group. Fans of Saturday Night Live will recall Nick Burns, the condescending technician who fixed the computers in his little corner of TV Land.

SNL IT Guy Nick Burns

While popular culture seems to think that the standard IT Guy fits the above criteria, allow me to be the first to dispel that rumor. For living proof, I submit to you, the SoftLayer NOC.

The technicians here are more exceptions to this seemingly universally accepted rule of what an IT Technician should be. While we possess a large wealth of knowledge, our technicians are all but condescending. To those who don’t know, we’re here to teach you. Being a server administrator has it’s challenges, but our technicians can be your eyes and ears in the datacenter, and instead of replying with “was that so hard?!”, we’ll provide as much information and assistance as we can to get you back on your feet. Our technicians are not just the geeky typecasts that one would expect. Our techs come from all walks of life. Some are self taught, some were taught in a university, while others learned their skills in the Military. Our hobbies run the gamut, including the piloting of aircraft, gaming, sports, outdoor activities, and music – Heck, we even have some former rock stars in our ranks.

Just remember, don’t be afraid to ping your IT Guy for information. A lot of us like to share some of the ninja tricks, war stories, and other anecdotes about our times in battle with hardware, software, and everything in between. Not only do we like to share our technical knowledge, but our individual stories, interests, and fun facts as well. Remember: IT guys are people too!

September 2, 2010

Three Walks of Speed

I love to travel every chance I get. Growing up, my family would always take a summer vacation. We were just like the Griswalds, making our way across the country in a Station Wagon, driving hundreds of miles to go to a world famous theme park. I’ll admit, it would have been fun holding John Candy hostage with a pellet gun. Wherever we ended up going each year, we would always drive.

As an adult, I still enjoy going on vacations, but the thought of driving a great distance makes me nauseated. Anytime I make plans, I always check and see if I can fly there instead of driving. Some people do not enjoy flying. Some individuals don’t like to wait all day at the airport. Some folks are fearful of flying. But the thought of getting to my destination 95% faster than driving, has always appealed to me.

Being the frugal individual that I am, I usually won’t pay for a direct flight and as a result, will have a connecting flight in route to my destination. Trying to get to my connecting flight always seems to be an adventure. They always seem to be in another terminal, on the other side of the airport. When walking, or in most cases, running to the other terminal, I have noticed a few things about how people walk from one terminal to the next.

Most of your major airports have automatic, or moving sidewalks. These devices have always fascinated me. The usual layout in most terminals is two moving walkways on either side of the terminal, with a standard walkway in the middle. DFW International is set up this way. I have noticed three different ways that people walk through these terminals.

  1. The First is Mr. Safe - he takes the middle path. He might not be in a hurry or maybe he is afraid of a moving floor beneath his feet.
  2. The Second is Mr. Stationary - he is a little more adventurous, but not too risky. He rides the automatic walkway, but does not move from his standing position until he absolutely has to. You might consider this individual to be lazy, but perhaps he is saving his energy to deal with that screaming baby on the next flight.
  3. The Third is Mr. Hurrysome - he is very energetic. Not only is he riding the automatic walkway, he is physically walking on the moving sidewalk to make faster time. This individual is ahead of the pack and in front of everyone else.

Web Hosting Companies like SoftLayer and their competitors usually fit into one of these three categories:

  1. Mr. Safe - always taking the slow path, never doing anything innovative, always playing it safe, never leading the way.
  2. Mr. Stationary - a little more adventurous, but not wanting to get in too much of a hurry. He could move a little faster, but why use all that energy when he can sit back and enjoy the ride.
  3. Mr. Hurrysome - fastest walker, always a step ahead of everyone else, a leader with new technology services like CDN, Data Transfer Services, covering more ground per second than anyone around him, always the first to arrive.

If you sit back and think about it for a moment, you will see that SoftLayer is the only web hosting company that moves like traveler number three. Everyone else is left in the dust.

June 22, 2010

Fajitas, Chicken Wings, and Cloud Computing

Three of Lance Crosby’s favorite things are fajitas, chicken wings, and cloud computing. Believe it or not, there is a common thread between all three. See if you can figure it out.

First, let’s consider fajitas. What are they? Well, the only true fajita is beef outside skirt steak. Everything else is just grilled meat that you stuff in a tortilla. For many years, the outside skirt steak was a “throwaway” cut often given to vaqueros as part of their pay <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fajita> . I know a man who grew up in a family of migrant farm workers, and in his youth they would visit slaughterhouses to ask for free throwaway cuts. They often got fajitas.

Back in the ‘80s, the retail price of fajitas skyrocketed. Tex-mex restaurants suddenly made that cut of meat popular. Then, in 1988, a treaty with Japan allowed the Japanese to import American outside skirt steak without the usual 200% tariff. Thus, 90% of our outside skirt steak winds up in Japan. Bottom line, a previously unutilized throwaway cut of meat became a gold mine and boosted the utilization of a side of beef. Consequently, when you order fajitas today, you usually get some sort of substitute beef <http://www.dallasobserver.com/2009-06-18/restaurants/so-what-exactly-are-you-eating-when-you-order-fajitas-in-a-tex-mex-restaurant/1> , not true outside skirt steak.

Next, think about the lowly chicken wing. I just saw an ad for a local chicken wing place offering their “boneless” chicken wings for a special low price. These aren’t really wings. They are pure white tender boneless chicken breast strips – what you would think is the premium cut of a chicken. The fine print on the ad says that bone-in wings may NOT be substituted for this promotion. Huh? You can’t sub a worse cut of meat that’s mostly bone for a premium cut that’s all meat and no bone?

As it turns out, the demand for the formerly throwaway cut of chicken wings has driven up their price such that boneless breast strips yield a higher profit margin <http://www.abc3340.com/news/stories/0310/711570.html> than the bony wings. Once again, a formerly thrown away item becomes a gold mine and allows for higher utilization of the whole bird.

Finally, let’s add in cloud computing to this puzzle. When dedicated servers are used, they each often perform a single task, whether it’s an email server, a web server, an application server, a database server, etc. Such servers frequently have a resource utilization rate of less than 20%, which means that 80% of the server’s processing power is thrown away.

Enter cloud computing. When done correctly, cloud computing increases the utilization rate of each individual server and turns the formerly thrown away processing power into a gold mine. This allows for more efficient capital investments and a higher return on assets.

So what’s the common thread between fajitas, chicken wings, and cloud computing? You’ve probably already figured it out. All three have taken something that previously was almost worthless and thrown away and turned it into something valuable and highly demanded by boosting utilization.

SoftLayer plans to take this to another level later this year when we release BYOC – Build Your Own CloudTM. You’ll then be able to tailor your processing power to exactly what you need. Just select the amount of RAM, number of processors, storage space, an operating system, select hourly or monthly billing, and go. You don’t pay for resources you don’t need or use, and we have less unused processing capacity in our datacenters. It’s a win-win for our customers, our company, and the environment since power and real estate will be used more efficiently.

May 19, 2010

The Mad Scientist Server Inventory Ordering Formula

For a while now I’ve been working with Samf to learn the new server order process. SKinman asked if I could make sense of it all and try to write about it. So we started trying to come up with the exact way to represent how one chooses how much of what server needs to be ordered for which datacenter. Ultimately we came up with the following formulas:

bookerg

bistat

Where P is the brain power needed (r for Red Bull, t for teetering on insanity), lambda is the brain wave length, g is the grasp concept factor (r and t again), r is the reasoning factor, sigma is the scattering effect of brain cells exploding on the inner side of the skull and f is the fudge it factor. Once you have your case of Red Bull ready say a small prayer and hit go (your head against the desk!).

Oh wait did I mention none of this really holds water because I quickly learned you have to divide and round by Samf! Rounding has no common line of thought. Sometimes 2 could be rounded up to the nearest 10, 5 or 3. Where as anything 5 and above could be rounded from minus 15 to positive 25 or hell not rounded at all! Ultimately we get to the conclusion that the true answer is “Snowmobile” or “7”. If you know any of us here at SoftLayer that’s the end all be all answer to any unicorn type question. ;-)

Maybe I should nickname Samf “Deep Thought” or “DT” for short. Deep Thought was the supercomputer from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy that is used to compute the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything. For those of you who didn’t read the book much less saw the movie. It takes Deep Thought 7 ½ million years to finally compute the ultimate answer which is “42”. However, know one knows the ultimate question itself. It doesn’t take Samf that long to get to Ultimate Server order answer and we most certainly know the question!

In all seriousness we take pride in using all the information that is stored in our portal and can trust that with those numbers, open communication with all our departments, historical trends and some good ole fashion common sense we can place new server orders without blinking an eye. At times it’s like Bullwinkle trying to pull a rabbit out of a hat and getting a lion instead but you don’t have to be a Mad Scientist (at least yet) to gain a grasp of the process. I will say that it’s been a pleasure learning yet another role here at SoftLayer!

Thanks Samf!

March 29, 2010

Motivation by Lance

SoftLayer has now been around for over four years, which is just crazy! I remember when there were less than twenty employees with just a hope and a dream. NOW LOOK AT US! There are many reasons why SoftLayer has become so extremely successful. The people who work here really care, they are extremely intelligent, and we work in a great, fun, and committed environment. I thought it would be funny to go back and look at some of Lance’s old emails, sent out to our teensy-tiny sales team back in the day. I got a kick out of this, because it was extremely entertaining. Lance never hesitated to shoot us an email reminding us how hard we needed to continue to work for our goal. Some of the things we were excited about back then boggle my mind. Here are a few highlights!
Example # 1 --
Sent:Fri 2/17/2006 9:57PM
From:Lance Crosby
Subject:It’s Official
“We just sold our 100th server……well actually we are at 102!!”

***This is hilarious and adorable looking back, considering we now have 24,000 servers in production and 1,000+ in inventory.

Example # 2 --
Sent:Thurs 3/30/2006 5:35PM
From:Lance Crosby
Subject:Changes
“Lots of changes to keep up with in the portal……
Check out graphing from the customer side – now has daily/weekly/monthly/billing and table data!
Automated OS reloads are live for customer control!
Click around a bit and see what the dev team has put together over the past few weeks.
Good stuff!!”

***We were excited about bandwidth graphs and automated OS reloads, which is a regular staple now! This is not to mention all of the amazing features our development team has added to the portal since then. These features include, but are not limited to, purchasing servers, hardware control, monitoring configuration, DNS management, public and private port control, firewall setup and management, CDN management, IPMI Management & Stats, etc. etc. etc. THE LIST GOES ON AND ON!

Example # 3 --
Sent:Fri 9/8/2006 2:59PM
From:Lance Crosby
Subject:Ding!!!
“We just crossed the $6M recurring revenue mark!!”

***Sure, it takes baby steps, but now we have reached $110 million in recurring revenues, which is absolutely nothing to sneeze at.

Example # 4 --
Sent:Sat 10/14/2006 1:39PM
From:Lance Crosby
Subject:Job Well Done
“Hats off to all the folks that worked last night to build the 33 Pentium D’s. Not only are we server building experts now, our build team cleared the build queue within two hours of arrival at the Infomart last night.
It’s a good thing…..because Sales is on fire today………13 Servers by 1:00 on a SATURDAY!!”

***Our build team has done nothing but improve even from near perfection back then. They have been known to build out 100+ servers in the recent past within a few hours. The same definitely goes for our Sales team, who do you think sold all of those servers to be built out after all?

Example # 5 --
Sent:Tue 9/25/2007 9:10PM
From:Lance Crosby
Subject:Big 4-0
“Hit 40 tonight and I will buy the Steak Finger Baskets and Blizzards for lunch/dinner tomorrow!!
Yip – that’s DQ Country Style”

***This is classic Lance, who knows true motivation is through the belly. For those of you who are not familiar with Dairy Queen, their big red sign is the true “Texas stop sign.”

It is great to be a part of a fast-growing company such as SoftLayer. Keep up the motivation, Lance!

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