Posts Tagged 'Upgrades'

February 15, 2010

Automation + Innovation = Success

In the beginning butter was churned by hand and water was fetched from a well. However, as we humans take a step forward, we acknowledge that time is of great value and we quickly redefine a process or function to allow for more precious time. Here at SoftLayer, our evolution hasn’t been much different. With each passing day new ideas are brought to the table, discussed and executed; later giving fruit to more success. As part of this fast growing company our Accounting Department has gone through its share of growth and discovery. In the beginning everyone from our Controller to our CFO helped in answering tickets and billed for upgrades. Now that our department has grown larger in size they can tend to more important tasks while we take care of our customers.

It is while executing every day responsibilities that we find new alternatives to simplifying our customer’s experience with us. Alternatives such as automation of Ram and Port Speed upgrades give our customers easier access to business expansion. Bandwidth upgrades no longer take a series of steps to complete. With a few clicks of our mouse we not only upgrade a server’s bandwidth capacity but we have the ability to choose the time in which this upgrade will take effect. In a matter of minutes a customer can move one or several of their servers into their Virtual Dedicated Rack. While this is all taking place their invoice is automatically being updated to show the recent changes and hence bandwidth allotment is immediately brought up to date.

Nevertheless we could not brag about our awesome tools if it weren’t for the genius minds of our friendly neighbors; our Development Department. Every single department within SoftLayer has their share of gratitude towards this great group of people. Here in the Accounting realm, many of our ideas have come to pass because of the effort of these developers. When something happens to go wrong as naturally things do, we turn to a developer for help. Within a matter of minutes a piece of code is revised and our world is back to normal once more. Automation continues to simplify not only our daily jobs but our customer’s path to business success. There is always a better way to do things and you can bet that there is more than one person coming up with the next “big” idea as I write this. Whether it’s redefining a process or writing the code that will make it all happen, innovation is in the hands of all of us here at SoftLayer.

June 16, 2008

More RAM!

More RAM. DDR2 must be going out of style, because Microcenter is selling a gig for $12.99. This time I don't make it in time before they run out, and I settle for sour grapes: my home pc can't use all the addressable memory, anyway. 4 Gigabytes. The maximum addressable memory for a 32-bit motherboard / OS. It used to be such a big deal to me- maxing out the 4 slots on my Dell, but not anymore. Why? Because now I work for SoftLayer. When you work with motherboards with up to 32 slots, 1 or 2 gig each; 4 measly slots just seems sad. I start nosing around for a video card that will fit the last expansion slot on my pc. No luck. I end up going home empty handed from Microcenter (outrageous!) and ordering the pci-e x1 video card from Newegg.

So, the hardware that customers can order at SoftLayer is impressive enough to jade the geek tech-lust of any home technician. And everything fits so nice and clean. Working on SoftLayer servers has really spoiled me for home pc's. Open up the case on your home pc and what do you see? Fabulous shiny bits? No. Cables. Cables in the computer. Cables behind the computer. Cables everywhere! You get the nifty zips and loops from Radio Shack, spend 2 hours zipping and looping, and as you proudly call your wife over to take a look she says, "Can't it all be wireless?"

The truth is neat cables take time, and SoftLayer engineers spend every spare minute making neat, organized, color-coordinated cables running to the servers. Cat 5e. Fiber. Special cables. Cables we can't talk about. All very neat and aesthetic. If Mr. Crosby ever takes you for a walk through the dc (datacenter), it looks effortless and lovely. But it took hours. Hundreds of hours. Just on cabling (I think SoftLayer might have stock in zip ties). You can be sure your SoftLayer server is not lost in a sea of Cat5 and power cables. It has been gracefully bound to its slot, the formidable innards pumping away at your command, your data streaming straight and true from switch to switch into the Internet beyond...

-Philip

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