Posts Tagged 'Uniform'

February 10, 2012

Amsterdam Data Center (AMS01): Does it Measure Up?

SoftLayer data centers are designed in a "pod" concept: Every facility in every location is laid out similarly, and you'll find the same network and server hardware connected to the same network. The idea behind it is that this design makes it easier for us to build out new locations quickly, we can have identical operational processes and procedures in each facility, and customers can expect the exact same hosting experience regardless of data center location. When you've got several data centers in one state, that uniformity is easy to execute. When you open facilities on opposite sides of the country, it seems a little more difficult. Open a facility in another country (and introduce the challenge of getting all of that uniformity across an ocean), and you're looking at a pretty daunting task.

Last month, I hopped on a plane from Houston to London to attend Cloud Expo Europe. Because I was more or less "in the neighborhood" of our newest data center in Amsterdam, I was able to take a short flight to The Netherlands to do some investigatory journalism ... err ... "to visit the AMS01 team."

Is AMS01 worthy of the SoftLayer name? ... How does it differ from our US facilities? ... Why is everything written in Dutch at the Amsterdam airport?

The answers to my hard-hitting questions were pretty clear: SoftLayer's Amsterdam facility is absolutely deserving of the SoftLayer name ... The only noticeable differences between AMS01 and DAL05 are the cities they're located in ... Everything's written in Dutch because the airport happens to be in The Netherlands, and people speak Dutch in The Netherlands (that last question didn't get incorporated into the video, but I thought you might be curious).

Nearly every aspect of the data center mirrors what you see in WDC, SEA, HOU, SJC and DAL. The only differences I really noticed were what the PDUs looked like, what kind of power adapter was used on the crash carts, and what language was used on the AMS facility's floor map. One of the most interesting observations: All of the servers and power strips on the racks used US power plugs ... This characteristic was particularly impressive to me because every gadget I brought with me seemed to need its own power converter to recharge.

When you see us talking about the facilities being "the same," that's not a loosely used general term ... We could pull a server from its rack in DAL05, buckle it into an airplane seat for a 10-hour flight, bring it to AMS01 (via any of the unique modes of Amsterdam transportation you saw at the beginning of the video), and slide it into a rack in Amsterdam where we could simply plug it in. It'd be back online and accessible over the public and private networks as though nothing changed ... Though with Flex Images making it so easy to replicate cloud and dedicated instances in any facility, you'll just have to take our word for it when it comes to the whole "send a server over to another data center on a plane" thing.

While I was visiting AMS01, Jonathan Wisler took a few minutes out of his day to give a full tour of the data center's server room, and we've got video and pictures to share with more shots of our beautiful servers in their European home. If there's anything in particular you want to see from AMS01, let us know, and we'll do our best to share it!

-@khazard

P.S. Shout out to the SLayers in the Amsterdam office who offered their linguistic expertise to add a little flair to the start of the video ... From the four employees who happened to be in the office when I was asking for help, we had six fluent-language contributions: English, Italian, French, Dutch, Polish and German!

**UPDATE** After posting this video, I learned that the "US" server power plugs I referred to are actually a worldwide computer standard called C13 (male) and C14 (female).

January 23, 2012

ClothingLayer - SoftLayer Gear

It was a cold winter day, a little over two years ago I was a nervous wreck walking into SoftLayer's headquarters for my first day of work. I didn't know what to suspect. I was immediately put on apparel, in other words known as "swag" distribution. Not soon after I became the "go to" girl for any and all "swag" items.

As employee number 173 I have seen this company grow in so many ways. The transformation that applies more to me would be SoftLayer's apparel. When I started it was merely a polo handed to me out of a closet, can't complain, but now we have a whole store dedicated to SL branded clothing and accessories. That's right an online store where employees can purchase all kinds of SoftLayer branded items from jackets to back packs, we even have items for kids.

Junior SLayers

Employees get so excited about the apparel most come to me on their first day asking for their new hire bag. What's a new hire bag you say? This bag contains all kinds of goodies to get new employees started on their adventure with SoftLayer. Take a look:

Goodie BagNew Hire Gear
Look at those goodies! You've got a polo, a "blackout T-shirt," a mug, a lanyard, and a notebook all tucked in to a SoftLayer branded bag.

 

Twice a year SoftLayer opens it apparel catalogue to employees, spring and fall. Employees get so anxious waiting for the next apparel order.

SoftLayer loves to see all employees geared up so we offer all employees at $50 credit! Take a look at a few of the featured pieces this season on SoftLayer's runway:

SLayer VestSoftLayer Women's Vest (aka. 80's come back)
Vanishing back in the 80's along with jeans jackets and cut off shorts SoftLayer has brought back the puffer vest. This stylish piece of clothing helps keep you warm in the winter and looks great with a long sleeve t-shirt and a scarf. Stay warm and look stylish, I'll take it!

 

SLayer CoverallSoftLayer Coverall (aka. Adult Onesie)
Who says onesies are only for infants? NOT SoftLayer! This make shift onesie is great for working in the data center. With multiple pockets and a loop, you most definitely have enough room for all your server-fixing gear.

 

SLayer DressSoftLayer Dress
There is nothing wrong with looking cute while you work. This American Apparel leisure dress is perfect for any work occasion and wears perfectly at tradeshows, along with a SoftLayer cardigan of course.

 

SLayer Bowling ShirtSoftLayer Men's Bowling Shirt (aka. The Charlie Sheen)
Leave it to SoftLayer to bring Two and Half Men's famous character to life. Now we don't mean the actual character more less the attire. This bowling shirt will definitely attract customers, in a good way of course. :-)

 

SLayer BurnoutSoftLayer Women's Burnout shirt (aka. The Double Take)
This burnout shirt has been put through an extensive process to reveal years of weathering. Each bit of pilling and striation in this sheer garment captures a true vintage worn-in feel. Yes we said "sheer," so ladies wear a tank top underneath.

 

And these are just a few of the items SoftLayer offers ... Just watch a few of our videos, and you're bound to see some other fashionable choices. Kevin seems to wear a different SoftLayer shirt for every one of his Tech Partner Marketplace interviews ... I wonder how many SoftLayer shirts he has.

-Natalie

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