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Fun Data Center Field Trip!

Feb 10, 2010 | Schedulefly Crew
We made a quick day trip to Raleigh yesterday to slip a new Dell server into the rack at our data center. We co-locate our web and database servers in Raleigh NC at a company called Hosted Solutions. The SAS 70 Type II certified data center is impressive. We only spent about 20 minutes at our server cage on this visit but I wanted to blog some highlights because it is such a cool experience.

1. As we entered the facility lugging a new server, some rack rails and a backpack full of cords, we found ourselves in a holding area with a security guard [see below, nice guy] behind a ballistic-rated glass window. Yes, ballistic.

2. He had 6 monitors showing activity inside and outside the building - including the parking lot. I saw my car - so I guess he watched us pull in.

3. After he eyeballed us and asked us who we were via a speaker - we told him were the Schedulefly guys. We handed him our driver's licenses and a signed a visitor log.

4. He looked at it our info and then transported our badges to us via a contraption like drive up bank tellers use. He then touched a button and a door to the left of him unlocked and opened. I had no idea it was even a door - it had no handle.

5. We walked through and now we were in a small room with no doors. It is a man trap room that you can not get in or out of without a biometric scan by the guard. It is like some room from Willy Wonka's chocolate factory, no windows or door handles. The guard entered from one side and he scanned us in through the other side. We were in! We were then escorted to our cage so he could unlock it.

6. On the way to our rack - we passed countless racks of humming Dell servers and I could not help but think how COLD it was in there. Had to be less than 50 degrees. I zipped up my down vest. We also passed the NOC (Network Ops Center) - which looks like a scene from War Games. Engineers monitoring activity in the data center. It's very cool.

7. As we rounded corners and passed into new rooms, we walked across large sticky mats that cleaned the dust from our shoes. You would walk across and it felt like glue. When you were off - nothing. Weird feeling.

8. We got to our cage and the guard opened her up using a laser etched key with a magnetic signature! We said thanks and he stared at us and left. We eyeballed our servers and all the little lights were twinkling. Check.

9. We mounted the new server in the rack. We hooked it to our redundant power, redundant switches, redundant firewall and redundant Internet drops.

10. We labeled the new server, snapped a few pics and left. On the ride back we discussed the plan for this new machine. We were like proud parents having just dropped off their kid at camp. We have so many dreams for this new addition to our family. It's going to play a part in taking care of our customer's and their data. It is going to make us proud!

Here are a few pics...

The guard


The new server


Our rack and our founder


Thanks for reading!

The Schedulefly Team