Behind The Data Center Curtain

Most of us work on a computer or even computers, throughout the day. We move from application to application, website to website, and all of this is happens without a second of thought behind how it all really works. I remember my first week on the job when one of our co-founders said "the hosting business is actually quite industrial," and I thought to myself “is he serious?”

My, how little did I know! If you have never had the opportunity to visit a data center I suggest you do it NOW! It is truly amazing the amount of detailed production and coordination that goes into place each and every day. No matter the angle you analyze a data center from, the scale and functionality  are both extremely profound yet, really concrete and "industrial." I recently had my first experience with a massive data center in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. I honestly felt like I was in the middle of the James Bond movie!

It was a phenomenal experience to see the nuts and bolts (literally) that have made our success possible. It was also great to be able to put faces to the names of our data center techs. We currently have approximately 75 employees but only half of those are located in our downtown Chicago office while the other half are in one of our two data centers. I've always thought of our DC techs as the Marines of our operations. They are always on the front lines - whether it's a hardware replacement or a complete cabinet assembly, there right there in the thick of it!

Not only do our DC techs have to be extremely well versed in a constantly evolving industry, they have to be great communicators too. Our tech support and system administrators that work in our downtown office are in constant communication with those techs within the data centers. It is imperative that the two sides not only speak the same language but also understand the importance of our clients needs. We have always had extremely rigid internal timing standards and just recently made those same guidelines public in the creation of our Customer Bill of Rights!

It is because of their hard work and talent that I am literally able to write this post at the same time our nearly 4,500 clients' businesses are running smoothly. Check back this week for a recap of “Operation 100,” a recent install of 100 servers from truck to up-and-running in 48 hours! Cue the “Mission Impossible” music now!