Blog posts from SoftLayer blog

528 blog posts:

HTML5 – Back to Basics with a Strong Foundation Pt. 1
Sep 24, 2014
If you guys have read any of my other blogs, I’m sure you’ll notice a pattern: rather than discussing opinions or news of new technologies, more often than not, I like to write more in the form of tutorials and hands-on exercises that demonstrate either fundamentals or new tips and tricks that I have learned.
Becoming a SLayer in Hong Kong
Sep 22, 2014
When I came on board at SoftLayer, the company was at the beginning of a growth period. IBM had just invested $1.2 billion to build 15 new data centers all over the world including one in Hong Kong—I was excited to get to work there!
The Cloud Doesn't Bite, Part III
Sep 18, 2014
Why it's OK to be a server-hugger—a cloud server hugger. (This is the final post in a three-part series. Read the first and second posts here.) By now, you probably understand the cloud enough to know what it is and does. Maybe it's something you've even considered for your own business. But you're still not sold. You still have nagging concerns. You still have questions that you wish you could ask, but you're pretty sure no cloud company would dignify those questions with an honest, legitimate response.
SoftLayer Asia Roadshow Kick-starts its 5 City Tour
Sep 17, 2014
To help developers understand the benefits of the cloud and how to make their business scalable with the Softlayer environment, SoftLayer, in partnership with e27, is excited to announce the SoftLayer Asia Roadshow. The roadshow will stop in five cities:
CSS3 Tips and Tricks – Generated Content Without jQuery
Sep 16, 2014
If you guys have read any of my past blogs, you know how much I LOVE jQuery, but every good developer knows that if there’s an easier or more efficient way of doing something: DO IT. With all the new developments with CSS3, HTML5, etc. etc., sometimes we have to get back to basics to relearn how to do things more efficiently, so here it goes!
The Cloud Doesn't Bite, Part II
Sep 11, 2014
Why it's OK to be a server hugger—a cloud server hugger. (This is the second post in a three-part series. Read the first post here.)
Building a Secure Cloud-based Solution: Part I
Sep 09, 2014
When you begin a household project, you must first understand what you will need to complete the task. Before you begin, you check your basement or garage to make sure you have the tools to do the work. Building a secure cloud-based solution requires similar planning. You’re in luck—SoftLayer has all the tools needed, including a rapidly maturing set of security products and services to help you build, deploy, and manage your cloud solution.
Keeping your private parts private.
Sep 04, 2014
Even with the knowledge that images can live on forever to haunt you, people continue to snap self-portraits in compromising positions (it’s your prerogative). Heck, before smart phones came along, people were using Polaroids to capture the moment. And, if history teaches us anything, people will continue the trend—instead of a smart phone, it’ll be a holodeck (a la Star Trek). Ugh, can you imagine that? The recent high-profile hack of nude celebrity photos came from private phones. They weren’t posted to Facebook or Instagram. These celebrities didn’t hashtag.
The Cloud Doesn’t Bite, Part I
Sep 03, 2014
Why it's OK to be a server hugger—a cloud server hugger. By now, you probably understand the cloud enough to know what it is and does. Maybe it's something you've even considered for your own business. But you're still not sold. You still have nagging concerns. You still have questions that you wish you could ask, but you're pretty sure no cloud company would dignify those questions with an honest, legitimate response. Well we’re a cloud company, and we’ll answer those questions.
Dude, how do I get into the cloud?
Aug 28, 2014
I know you may think that’s just a catchy title to get you to read my blog, but it’s not. I’ve actually had someone ask me that at a party. In fact, that’s the first thing anyone asks me when they find out I work for SoftLayer. The funny thing is, everyone is already in the cloud—they just don’t realize it! To make my point, I pick up their smart phone and tell them they already are in the cloud, and walk away. That, of course, sparks more conversation and the opportunity to educate my friends and family on the magic and mystery that is the cloud.
Bare Metal Power. By the Hour.
Aug 26, 2014
Think quickly. You hear that your new app will be featured on the front page of TechCrunch in less than two hours. Because it’s a resource-intensive application you know that a flood of new users will bog down its current cloud infrastructure and you’ll need to scale out.
SoftLayer is in Canada, eh?
Aug 20, 2014
Last week, we celebrated the official launch of our Toronto (TOR01) data center—the fourth new SoftLayer data center to go live in 2014, and our first in Canada! To catch you up on our progress this year, we unveiled a data center in Hong Kong in June to provide regional redundancy in Asia.
I PLEB Allegiance to My Data!
Aug 11, 2014
As a "techy turned marketing turned social media turned compliance turned security turned management" guy, I have had the pleasure of talking to many different customers over the years and have heard horror stories about data loss, data destruction, and data availability. I have also heard great stories about how to protect data and the differing ways to approach data protection.
Deploy or Die
Aug 07, 2014
“Forget about being a futurist, become a now-ist.” With those words, Joi Ito, the director of the MIT Media Lab, ends his most recent talk at TED. What thrills me the most is his encouragement to apply agile principles throughout any innovation process, and creating in the moment, building quickly and improving constantly is the story we’ve been advocating at SoftLayer for a long while.
Healthy Startups: HealthXL Global Gathering in Dublin
Aug 06, 2014
We’ve all heard nightmare stories about the health care industry. The combination of insurance companies, health care providers, government regulation, and literal “life and death” situations can make for a contentious environment. And with the outdated policies and procedures that permeate the industry, it’s a perfect opportunity for innovation.
Vyatta Gateway Appliance vs Vyatta Network OS
Jul 16, 2014
I hear this question almost daily: “What’s the difference between the Vyatta Network OS offered by SoftLayer and the SoftLayer Vyatta Gateway Appliance?” The honest answer is, from a software perspective, nothing. However from a deployment perspective, there are a couple fundamental differences.
London Just Got Cloudier—LON02 is LIVE!
Jul 14, 2014
Summer at SoftLayer is off to a great start. As of today, customers can order SoftLayer servers in our new London data center! This facility is SoftLayer's second data center in Europe (joining Amsterdam in the region), and it's one of the most anticipated facilities we've ever opened.
The Cloud in 100 Years
Jul 01, 2014
Today’s cloud is still in its infancy, with less than 10 years under its belt, yet it has produced some of the most advanced products and solutions known to date. Cloud, in fact, has helped change how the world connects by making information, current events, and communication available globally, at the speed of light.
OpenNebula 4.8: SoftLayer Integration
Jun 30, 2014
In the next month, the team of talented developers at C12G Labs will be rolling out OpenNebula 4.8, and in that release, they will be adding integration with SoftLayer! If you aren't familiar with OpenNebula, it's a full-featured open-source platform designed to bring simplicity to managing private and hybrid cloud environments.
Visualizing a SoftLayer Billing Order
Jun 09, 2014
In my time spent as a data and object modeler, I’ve dealt with both good and bad examples of model visualization. As an IBMer through the Rational acquisition, I have been using modeling tools for a long time. I can appreciate a nice diagram shining a ray of light on an object structure, and abhor a behemoth spaghetti diagram.
Sysadmin Tips and Tricks - Understanding the 'Default Deny' Server Security Principle
Jun 05, 2014
In the desktop world, people tend to feel good about their system’s security when they have the latest anti-virus and anti-spyware installed and keep their applications up-to-date. Those of us who compute for a living know that this is nothing close to resembling a “secure” state. But it’s the best option for non-technical people at this time.
My 5 Favorite Sublime Text 2 Plugins
Jun 03, 2014
I can’t believe that is was only a mere year ago since I learned of Sublime Text 2. I know, I know … where have I been? What kind of developer was I that I didn’t even know of Sublime Text? I’ll take the criticism, as I can honestly say it has been the best text editor I have ever used. It’s extremely fast. I rarely wait for saves, uploads, or syntax highlighting, it keeps up with everything I do and allows me to develop directly from the keyboard. I hardly ever reach for my mouse!
Startups and BBQ – The New Memphis
May 29, 2014
BB King. Elvis. Graceland. Jerry Lee Lewis. Beale Street. Cotton. Shipping. Martin Luther King. Civil Rights on the national stage. All of these things come to mind when you think of Memphis, Tennessee. You can now add one more to that list: Startups. Yep. That’s right. Startups.
The Next Next
May 20, 2014
Last month in Europe, I had a chance to participate is some interesting discussions at The Next Web (TNW) Europe and NEXT Berlin conferences. The discussions centered around where we are on the curve of technology development, what the scene looks like now, and what the future holds.
SoftLayer Security: Questions and Answers
May 08, 2014
When I talk to IBM Business Partners about SoftLayer, one of the most important topics of discussion is security. We ask businesses to trust SoftLayer with their business-critical data, so it’s important that SoftLayer’s physical and network security is as transparent and understandable as possible. After going through the notes I’ve taken in many of these client meetings, I pulled out the ten most frequently asked questions about security, and I’ve compiled answers.
Keyboard Shortcuts in the SoftLayer Customer Portal
May 02, 2014
I’m excited to introduce a new feature in the SoftLayer customer portal: Keyboard shortcuts! Keyboard shortcuts give you quick access to the most commonly used features by simply typing a few characters. For those who prefer never having to reach for the mouse to navigate an application, you should find these handy additions quite helpful. After you log into the Customer Portal, type “?” (shift + forward slash) on any page, and you'll see a full list of available keyboard shortcuts:
New App Release: SoftLayer Mobile for Windows 8.1
May 01, 2014
Today, the SoftLayer development team is launching a new platform accessibility tool for SoftLayer customers who want to easily manage their infrastructure from Windows. We've gotten a great response from the users of SoftLayer Mobile app for Windows Phone, so we turned our attention to creating an app for customers on Windows 8.1: SoftLayer Mobile for Windows 8.1.
The Media Industry is Making the Move to Cloud
Apr 29, 2014
Rumor has it that at the entire rendering of James Cameron’s “Avatar” using 3DFusion required more than 1 petabyte of storage space. This is equivalent to 500 hard drives of 2 terabytes each, or a 32 year-long MP3 file! The computing power behind this would consist of about 34 racks, each with 4 chassis containing 32 machines. All of that adds up to roughly 40,000 processors and 104 terabytes of RAM.
Security: 10 Tips for Hardening a Linux Server
Apr 23, 2014
In light of all the complex and specialized attacks on Internet-facing servers, it’s very important to protect your cloud assets from malicious assailants whose sole purpose is to leach, alter, expose, siphon sensitive data, or even to shut you down. From someone who does a lot of Linux deployments, I like to have handy a Linux template with some extra security policies configured.
Sysadmin Tips and Tricks - Stop Using Root!
Apr 23, 2014
A common mistake newer Linux system administrators make is the overuse of root. It seems so easy! Everything is so much simpler! But in the end, it’s not—and it’s only a matter of time before you wish you had not been so free and easy with your super-user, use. Let me try to convince you.
Deep in the Heart of Te(ch)xas: SXSW 2014
Apr 17, 2014
SXSW 2014 was bigger and crazier than ever. For anyone who has been sleeping under a rock, SXSW is one of the largest, most intense start-up technology, music, and film festivals on the planet. Held in March, SXSW turns Austin, Texas, into the global epicenter of everything (startup) technology.
OpenSSL Heartbleed Update
Apr 14, 2014
On April 7th, the OpenSSL Project released an update to address a serious security flaw (CVE-2014-0160), which allows remote attackers to obtain sensitive information from process memory via crafted packets that trigger a buffer over-read, as demonstrated by reading private keys, related to d1_both.c and t1_lib.c, aka the Heartbleed bug.
Sprint Accelerator Spices Up Silicon Prairie
Apr 03, 2014
As part of the community development team here at SoftLayer, I get to travel the world and reach into cities to help local, born-on-the-Web communities grow and prosper. Last week, my travels took me (and my rock star team) to Kansas City, where we were invited to mentor startups in the Sprint Mobile Health Accelerator powered by TechStars (PBTS).
An Inside Look at IBM Cloud Event 2014 in Hong Kong
Mar 19, 2014
On March 17 in Hong Kong, IBM and SoftLayer successfully concluded the first of many intimate cloud events. IBM Cloud Event 2014 marked the beginning of the $1.2 billion investment committed towards our global expansion plans.
Name Servers: Don't Get Lost in (Domain) Translation
Mar 12, 2014
The Domain Name System (DNS) is vital to keeping the Internet in order and easily accessible. Every byte on the World Wide Web lives in (at least) one specific place on the planet, and it's mapped to that location with an IP address like 66.228.118.53 (IPv4) or 2607:f0d0:4545:3:200:f8ff:fe21:67cf (IPv6). DNS translates the domain names you know and love to the correct IP addresses, so without DNS, you would have to memorize a 32-bit or 128-bit IP address for your favorite websites. Remember the last time your cell phone died? How many phone numbers did you have memorized?
Why the Cloud Scares Traditional IT
Mar 07, 2014
My background is "traditional IT." I've been architecting and promoting enterprise virtualization solutions since 2002, and over the past few years, public and hybrid cloud solutions have become a serious topic of discussion ... and in many cases, contention. The customers who gasped with excitement when VMware rolled out a new feature for their on-premises virtualized environments would dismiss any recommendations of taking a public cloud or a hybrid cloud approach.
SoftLayer at SXSW 2014
Mar 04, 2014
When attending South by Southwest (SXSW), the streets of Austin can feel like a giant maze. Keeping up with all the events in and around the conference is exhausting (if not impossible), so we thought we'd create a simple "SoftLayer at SXSW 2014" cheat sheet to eliminate the twists, turns and Internet searches that you'd otherwise make to track us down.
Making an Impact: Catalyst and BEHUM
Mar 04, 2014
Running a startup is hard. We all know that. The right help at the right time makes all the difference, and for many, finding that help is a challenge. Not knowing who to ask for help or where to meet the right people to help move the needle in the right direction, many entrepreneurs and startup teams don't even know where to start.
SoftLayer at IBM Pulse 2014
Feb 20, 2014
When you plan your IBM Pulse schedule, you'll want to know where to find SoftLayer in the sea of people, sessions and events in Las Vegas next week. I consolidated some of the SoftLayer-specific highlights into this blog post, but by the time I got to the end of the post, it seemed like a daunting amount of content. To give the blog audience a "tl;dr" ("too long; didn't read") alternative, I convinced a few of my coworkers into sharing a quick overview of our activities via video:
Building a Bridge to the OpenStack API
Feb 06, 2014
OpenStack is experiencing explosive growth in the cloud market. With more than 200 companies contributing code to the source and new installations coming online every day, OpenStack is pushing hard to become a global standard for cloud computing. Dozens of useful tools and software products have been developed using the OpenStack API, so a growing community of administrators, developers and IT organizations have access to easy-to-use, powerful cloud resources.
Risk Management: 5 Tips for Managing Risk in the Cloud
Feb 03, 2014
Security breaches have made front-page news in recent months. With stories about Target, Neiman Marcus, Yahoo! and GoDaddy in the headlines recently, the importance of good information security practices is becoming harder and harder to ignore — even for smaller businesses. Moving your business into the cloud offers a plethora of benefits; however, those benefits do not come without their challenges. Moving your business into the cloud involves risks such as multi-tenancy, so it's important to be able to properly manage and identify these risks.
Simplified OpenStack Deployment on SoftLayer
Feb 03, 2014
"What is SoftLayer doing with OpenStack?" I can't even begin to count the number of times I've been asked that question over the last few years. In response, I'll usually explain how we've built our object storage platform on top of OpenStack Swift, or I'll give a few examples of how our customers have used SoftLayer infrastructure to build and scale their own OpenStack environments.
Get Your Pulse Racing
Jan 29, 2014
What will the future bring for SoftLayer and IBM? Over the past six months, you've probably asked that question more than a few times, and the answer you got may have been incomplete. You know that IBM is supercharging SoftLayer expansion and that our platform will be the foundation for IBM's most popular enterprise cloud products and services, but you've really only seen a glimpse of the big picture.
Get Your Pulse Racing
Jan 29, 2014
What will the future bring for SoftLayer and IBM? Over the past six months, you’ve probably asked that question more than a few times, and the answer you got may have been incomplete. You know that IBM is supercharging SoftLayer expansion and that our platform will be the foundation for IBM’s most popular enterprise cloud...
What's Next? $1.2 Billion Investment. 15 New Data Centers.
Jan 17, 2014
SoftLayer was founded in a living room on May 5, 2005. We bootstrapped our vision of becoming the de facto platform for cloud computing by maxing out our credit cards and draining our savings accounts. Over the course of eight years, we built a unique global offering, and in the middle of last year, our long-term vision was validated (and supercharged) by IBM.
What’s Next? $1.2 Billion Investment. 15 New Data Centers.
Jan 17, 2014
SoftLayer was founded in a living room on May 5, 2005. We bootstrapped our vision of becoming the de facto platform for cloud computing by maxing out our credit cards and draining our savings accounts. Over the course of eight years, we built a unique global offering, and in the middle of last year, our...
Keep Spending Most Our Lives Livin' in a Gamer's Paradise
Jan 15, 2014
With apologies to Coolio, I couldn't resist adapting a line from the chorus of "Gangsta's Paradise" to be the title of this blog post. While I could come up with a full, cringe-worthy cloud computing version of the song (and perform it), I'll save myself the embarrassment and instead focus on why "Gamer's Paradise" came to mind in the first place.
Keep Spending Most Our Lives Livin’ in a Gamer’s Paradise
Jan 15, 2014
With apologies to Coolio, I couldn’t resist adapting a line from the chorus of “Gangsta’s Paradise” to be the title of this blog post. While I could come up with a full, cringe-worthy cloud computing version of the song (and perform it), I’ll save myself the embarrassment and instead focus on why “Gamer’s Paradise” came...
Platform Improvements: VLAN Management
Jan 10, 2014
As director of product development, I'm tasked with providing SoftLayer customers greater usability and self-service tools on our platform. Often, that challenge involves finding, testing, and introducing new products, but a significant amount of my attention focuses on internal projects to tweak and improve our existing products and services. To give you an idea of what that kind of "behind the scenes" project looks like, I'll fill you in on a few of the updates we recently rolled out to improve the way customers interact with and manage their Virtual LANs (VLANs).
Platform Improvements: VLAN Management
Jan 10, 2014
As director of product development, I’m tasked with providing SoftLayer customers greater usability and self-service tools on our platform. Often, that challenge involves finding, testing, and introducing new products, but a significant amount of my attention focuses on internal projects to tweak and improve our existing products and services. To give you an idea of...
Xplenty: Tech Partner Spotlight
Dec 16, 2013
We invite each of our featured SoftLayer Tech Marketplace Partners to contribute a guest post to the SoftLayer Blog, and this week, we're happy to welcome Yaniv Mor from Xplenty. Xplenty is a cloud-based code-free Hadoop as a Service platform that allows you to easily create data workflows, provision, monitor and scale clusters. Their goal is to eliminate the complexity of Hadoop to make it accessible and cost-effective for everyone.
Xplenty: Tech Partner Spotlight
Dec 16, 2013
We invite each of our featured SoftLayer Tech Marketplace Partners to contribute a guest post to the SoftLayer Blog, and this week, we’re happy to welcome Yaniv Mor from Xplenty. Xplenty is a cloud-based code-free Hadoop as a Service platform that allows you to easily create data workflows, provision, monitor and scale clusters. Their goal...
2013 at SoftLayer: Year in Review
Dec 11, 2013
I'm going into my third year at SoftLayer and it feels like "déjà vu all over again" to quote Yogi Berra. The breakneck pace of innovation, cloud adoption and market consolidation — it only seems to be accelerating.
2013 at SoftLayer: Year in Review
Dec 11, 2013
I’m going into my third year at SoftLayer and it feels like “déjà vu all over again” to quote Yogi Berra. The breakneck pace of innovation, cloud adoption and market consolidation — it only seems to be accelerating. The BIG NEWS for SoftLayer was announced in July when we became part of IBM. Plenty has...
How to Report Abuse to SoftLayer
Dec 05, 2013
When you find hosted content that doesn't meet our acceptable use policy or another kind of inappropriate Internet activity originating from a SoftLayer service, your natural reaction might be to assume, "SoftLayer must know about it, and the fact that it's going on suggests that they're allowing that behavior." I know this because every now and then, I come across a "@SoftLayer is phishing my email. #spamming #fail" Tweet or a "How about u stop hacking my computer???" Facebook post.
How to Report Abuse to SoftLayer
Dec 05, 2013
When you find hosted content that doesn’t meet our acceptable use policy or another kind of inappropriate Internet activity originating from a SoftLayer service, your natural reaction might be to assume, “SoftLayer must know about it, and the fact that it’s going on suggests that they’re allowing that behavior.” I know this because every now...
Protect Your Data: Configure EVault for Server Backups
Nov 19, 2013
In "The Tenth Anniversary" episode of "Everybody Loves Raymond," Raymond accidentally records the Super Bowl over his wedding video. He hilariously tries to compensate for his gaffe by renewing his wedding vows so he can make a new tape for his wife Debra. If life imitates art, it's worth considering what would happen if that tape held your business data. It would be disaster!
Protect Your Data: Configure EVault for Server Backups
Nov 19, 2013
In “The Tenth Anniversary” episode of “Everybody Loves Raymond,” Raymond accidentally records the Super Bowl over his wedding video. He hilariously tries to compensate for his gaffe by renewing his wedding vows so he can make a new tape for his wife Debra. If life imitates art, it’s worth considering what would happen if that...
Enhancing Usability by Building User Confidence
Nov 14, 2013
Consider your experiences with web applications, and see if this scenario seems familiar: Your electricity bill has some incorrect charges on it. Fearing that you will have to spend 40 minutes on hold if you call in, you find that the electric company website has a support center where you can submit billing issues and questions; you are saved! You carefully fill out the form with your sixteen-digit account number and detailed description of the incorrect charges. You read it over and click the submit button.
Enhancing Usability by Building User Confidence
Nov 14, 2013
Consider your experiences with web applications, and see if this scenario seems familiar: Your electricity bill has some incorrect charges on it. Fearing that you will have to spend 40 minutes on hold if you call in, you find that the electric company website has a support center where you can submit billing issues and...
Sysadmin Tips and Tricks - Using the ‘for’ Loop in Bash
Nov 11, 2013
Ever have a bunch of files to rename or a large set of files to move to different directories? Ever find yourself copy/pasting nearly identical commands a few hundred times to get a job done? A system administrator's life is full of tedious tasks that can be eliminated or simplified with the proper tools. That's right ... Those tedious tasks don't have to be executed manually! I'd like to introduce you to one of the simplest tools to automate time-consuming repetitive processes in Bash — the for loop.
Sysadmin Tips and Tricks – Using the ‘for’ Loop in Bash
Nov 11, 2013
Ever have a bunch of files to rename or a large set of files to move to different directories? Ever find yourself copy/pasting nearly identical commands a few hundred times to get a job done? A system administrator’s life is full of tedious tasks that can be eliminated or simplified with the proper tools. That’s...
Paving the Way for the DevOps Revolution
Nov 01, 2013
The traditional approach to software development has been very linear: Your development team codes a release and sends it over to a team of quality engineers to be tested. When everything looks good, the code gets passed over to IT operations to be released into production. Each of these teams operates within its own silo...
Why Hybrid? Why Now?
Oct 24, 2013
As off-premise cloud computing adoption continues to grow in a non-linear fashion, a growing number of businesses running in-house IT environments are debating whether they should get on board as well. If you’ve been part of any of those conversations, you’ve tried to balance the hype with the most significant questions for your business: “How...
JumpCloud: Tech Partner Spotlight
Oct 22, 2013
We invite each of our featured SoftLayer Tech Marketplace Partners to contribute a guest post to the SoftLayer Blog, and this week, we’re happy to welcome David Campbell from JumpCloud. JumpCloud is an automated SaaS-based offering that automates the manual, tedious system administration tasks for DevOps and IT pros. It works with your provisioning to...
Tips and Tricks: Troubleshooting Email Issues
Oct 16, 2013
Working in support, one of the most common issues we troubleshoot is a customer’s ability to receive email. Depending on email server, this can be a headache and a half to figure out, but more often than not, we’re able to fix the problem with one of only a few simple solutions. Because the SoftLayer...
Product Spotlight: Vyatta Network Gateway Appliance
Oct 14, 2013
In the wake of our recent Vyatta network gateway appliance product launch, I thought I’d address some of the most common questions customers have asked me about the new offering. With inquiries spanning the spectrum from broad and general to detailed and specific, I might not be able to cover everything in this blog post,...
Improving Communications for Customer-Affecting Events
Oct 03, 2013
Service disruptions are never a good thing. Though SoftLayer invests extensively in design, equipment, and personnel training to reduce the risk of disruptions to our customers, in the technology world there are times where scheduled events or unplanned incidents are inevitable. During those times, we understand that restoring service is top priority, and almost as...
The Economics of Cloud Computing: If It Seems Too Good to Be True, It Probably Is
Sep 30, 2013
One of the hosts of a popular Sirius XM radio talk show was recently in the market to lease a car, and a few weeks ago, he shared an interesting story. In his research, he came across an offer he came across that seemed “too good to be true”: Lease a new Nissan Sentra with...
Four Rules for Better Code Documentation
Sep 24, 2013
Last month, Jeremy shared some valuable information regarding technical debt on SLDN. In his post, he discussed how omitting pertinent information when you’re developing for a project can cause more work to build up in the future. One of the most common areas developers overlook when it comes to technical debt is documentation. This oversight...
Building a Mobile App with jQuery Mobile: The Foundation
Sep 20, 2013
Based on conversations I’ve had in the past, at least half of web developers I’ve met have admitted to cracking open an Objective-C book at some point in their careers with high hopes of learning mobile development … After all, who wouldn’t want to create “the next big thing” for a market growing so phenomenally...
Sysadmin Tips and Tricks – Using strace to Monitor System Calls
Sep 16, 2013
Linux admins often encounter rogue processes that die without explanation, go haywire without any meaningful log data or fail in other interesting ways without providing useful information that can help troubleshoot the problem. Have you ever wished you could just see what the program is trying to do behind the scenes? Well, you can —...
“Cloud First” or “Mobile First” – Which Development Strategy Comes First?
Sep 12, 2013
Company XYZ knows that the majority of its revenue will come from recurring subscriptions to its new SaaS service. To generate visibility and awareness of the SaaS offering, XYZ needs to develop a mobile presence to reach the offering’s potential audience. Should XYZ focus on building a mobile presence first (since its timing is most...
HTML5 Tips and Tricks – Local Storage
Aug 29, 2013
As I’m sure you’ve heard by now: HTML5 is all the rage. People are creating amazing games with canvases, media interactivity with embeds and mobile/response sites with viewports. We’ve come a long way since 1990s iFrames! In this blog, I wanted to introduce you to an HTML5 tool that you might find useful: Local Web...
Network Cabling Controversy: Zip Ties v. Hook & Loop Ties
Aug 22, 2013
More than 210,000 users have watched a YouTube video of our data center operations team cabling a row of server racks in San Jose. More than 95 percent of the ratings left on the video are positive, and more than 160 comments have been posted in response. To some, those numbers probably seem unbelievable, but...
The 5 Mortal Sins of Launching a Social Game
Aug 19, 2013
Social network games have revolutionized the gaming industry and created an impressive footprint on the Web as a whole. 235 million people play games on Facebook every month, and some estimates say that by 2014, more than one third of Internet population will be playing social games. Given that market, it’s no wonder that the...
Setting Up Your New Server
Aug 14, 2013
As a technical support specialist at SoftLayer, I work with new customers regularly, and after fielding a lot of the same kinds of questions about setting up a new server, I thought I’d put together a quick guide that could be a resource for other new customers who are interested in implementing a few best...
The “Unified Field Theory” of Storage
Aug 01, 2013
This guest blog was contributed by William Rocca of OS NEXUS. OS NEXUS makes the Quantastor Software Defined Storage platform designed to tackle the storage challenges facing cloud computing, Big Data and high performance applications. Over the last decade, the creation and popularization of SAN/NAS systems simplified the management of storage into a single appliance...
A Brief History of Cloud Computing
Jul 29, 2013
Believe it or not, “cloud computing” concepts date back to the 1950s when large-scale mainframes were made available to schools and corporations. The mainframe’s colossal hardware infrastructure was installed in what could literally be called a “server room” (since the room would generally only be able to hold a single mainframe), and multiple users were...
Deconstructing SoftLayer’s Three-Tiered Network
Jul 24, 2013
When Sun Microsystems VP John Gage coined the phrase, “The network is the computer,” the idea was more wishful thinking than it was profound. At the time, personal computers were just starting to show up in homes around the country, and most users were getting used to the notion that “The computer is the computer.”...
Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Transcending Borders
Jul 19, 2013
At Cloud World Forum in London, I did an interview with Rachel Downie of CloudMovesTV, and she asked some fantastic questions (full interview embedded a the bottom of this post). One that particularly jumped out to me was, “Does North America have a technology and talent advantage over Europe?” I’ve posted some thoughts on this...
Riak Performance Analysis: Bare Metal v. Virtual
Jul 16, 2013
In December, I posted a MongoDB performance analysis that showed the quantitative benefits of using bare metal servers for MongoDB workloads. It should come as no surprise that in the wake of SoftLayer’s Riak launch, we’ve got some similar data to share about running Riak on bare metal. To run this test, we started by...
The Importance of Providing Startups a Sandbox
Jul 10, 2013
With the global economy in its current state, it’s more important than ever to help inspired value-creators acquire the tools needed to realize their ideas, effect change in the world, and create impact — now. I’ve had the privilege of working with hundreds of young, innovative companies through Catalyst and our relationships with startup accelerators,...
When to Consider Riak for Your Big Data Architecture
Jul 09, 2013
In my Breaking Down ‘Big Data’ – Database Models, I briefly covered the most common database models, their strengths, and how they handle the CAP theorem — how a distributed storage system balances demands of consistency and availability while maintaining partition tolerance. Here’s what I said about Dynamo-inspired databases: What They Do: Distributed key/value stores...
IBM to Acquire SoftLayer
Jun 04, 2013
As most have seen by now, this morning we announced IBM’s intent to acquire SoftLayer. It’s not just big news, it’s great news for SoftLayer and our customers. I’d like to take a moment and share a little background on the deal and pass along a few resources to answer questions you may have. We...
Tips from the Abuse Department: To Catch a Predator
May 29, 2013
We’ve all seen the emails “THE KING HAS SENT YOU 1,000,000$ US DOLLARS,” or “I NEED A PERSONAL ASSISTANT PAYING 500$ A WEEK.” Do people actually fall for these? The answer is YES, many do. They think, “What risk is there replying to this email and possibly getting $1,000,000 or even a fraction of that?”...
Tech Wildcatters Pitch Day (From a Unique Perspective)
May 27, 2013
In a classic scene from Duck Soup, Groucho Marx (as Rufus T. Firefly) is given a report, and he responds, “Why a four-year-old child could understand this report. Run out and find me a four-year-old child. I can’t make head or tail out of it.” That deadpan line may have come from a movie that...
The Power of the Internet: Breaking into Global Markets
May 23, 2013
The widespread adoption of smartphones and tablets has dramatically changed the way the world accesses the Internet recent years. Continued declines in smartphone cost will drive penetration even further into economies that have not had the buying power to join the Internet revolution. Over the next decade we’ll see this market opportunity explode as these...
Catalyst at SXSW 2013: Startup Community Partners
May 22, 2013
Much of the buzz you’ve heard about Catalyst has to do with our relationships with the entrepreneurs and startups we support around the world. That buzz is understandable since the hosting, mentorship and networking perks of the program are the most visible aspects of the program, but to truly understand why Catalyst has been so...
Secure Quorum: Tech Partner Spotlight
May 15, 2013
We invite each of our featured SoftLayer Tech Marketplace Partners to contribute a guest post to the SoftLayer Blog, and this week, we’re happy to welcome Gerard Ibarra from Secure Quorum. Secure Quorum is an easy-to-use emergency notification system and crisis management system that resides in the cloud. Company Website: http://www.securequorum.com/ Tech Partners Marketplace: http://www.softlayer.com/marketplace/securequorum...
Interop 2013 – SoftLayer + Supermicro Server Challenge II
May 14, 2013
The SoftLayer team visited Las Vegas for Interop 2013, and attendees from around the world stopped by our booth to take on the infamous Server Challenge II. The challenge was completed more than two hundred and fifty times with an average time of 1:31.34. The Server Challenge II “Hall of Fame” was particularly competitive at...
Understanding and Implementing Coding Standards
May 10, 2013
Coding standards provide a consistent framework for development within a project and across projects in an organization. A dozen programmers can complete a simple project in a dozen different ways by using unique coding methodologies and styles, so I like to think of coding standards as the “rules of the road” for developers. When you’re...
Tips from the Abuse Department: DMCA Takedown Notices
May 07, 2013
If you are in the web hosting business or you provide users with access to store content on your servers, chances are that you’re familiar with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). If you aren’t familiar with it, you certainly should be. All it takes is one client plagiarizing an article or using a filesharing...
Startup Series: wind2share
May 02, 2013
I’m amazed by the people who work at the startups that work with Catalyst. If you could somehow bottle the enthusiasm, creativity and passion that entrepreneurs and startup teams have on a daily basis, you’d have an energy drink worth billions of dollars. It’s impossible to describe in a blog, but because I’m surrounded by...
Big Data at SoftLayer: Riak
Apr 30, 2013
Big data is only getting bigger. Late last year, SoftLayer teamed up with 10Gen to launch a high-performance MongoDB solution, and since then, many of our customers have been clamoring for us to support other big data platforms in the same way. By automating the provisioning process of a complex big data environment on bare...
Web Development – Installing mod_security with OWASP
Apr 29, 2013
You want to secure your web application, but you don’t know where to start. A number of open-source resources and modules exist, but that variety is more intimidating than it is liberating. If you’re going to take the time to implement application security, you don’t want to put your eggs in the wrong basket, so...
Catalyst at SXSW 2013: The Startups Speak
Apr 26, 2013
SoftLayer listens to customers. There’s no marketing spin or fluff on that statement … I’m a former client, so I can attest to that from a customer perspective and from an internal perspective. When I joined the company as part of the community development team to work with startups in Catalyst, I knew my role...
Server Challenge II: How SoftLayer Saves the World
Apr 23, 2013
SoftLayer made our way to San Francisco for another great year of digital marketing fun at ad:tech. This event is always a blast because it allows us trade show roadies to change up our usual dialogue and talk about SoftLayer in a unique way … Instead of fielding technical questions about our platform, we get...
Going Global: How to Approach Expansion into Asia
Apr 22, 2013
Asia is an amazing place for business, but companies from outside the region often consider it mysterious and prohibitive. I find myself discussing Asian business customs and practices with business owners from other regions on an almost daily basis, so I feel like I’ve become an informal resource when it comes to helping SoftLayer customers...
iptables Tips and Tricks – Track Bandwidth with iptables
Apr 16, 2013
As I mentioned in my last post about CSF configuration in iptables, I’m working on a follow-up post about integrating CSF into cPanel, but I thought I’d inject a simple iptables use-case for bandwidth tracking. You probably think about iptables in terms of firewalls and security, but it also includes a great diagnostic tool for...
The Heart of SoftLayer: People
Apr 15, 2013
When I started working for SoftLayer as a software engineer intern, I was skeptical about the company’s culture. I read many of the culture posts on the blog, and while they seemed genuine, I was still a little worried about what the work atmosphere would be for a lowly summer intern. Fast-forward almost a year,...
Catalyst at SXSW 2013: Mentorship and Meaningfulness
Apr 12, 2013
In the Community Development group, our mission is simple: Create the industry’s most substantially helpful startup program that assists participants in a MEANINGFUL way. Meaningfulness is a subjective goal, but when it comes to fueling new businesses, numbers and statistics can’t tell the whole story. Sure, we could run Catalyst like some of the other...
Plivo: Tech Partner Spotlight
Apr 10, 2013
We invite each of our featured SoftLayer Tech Marketplace Partners to contribute a guest post to the SoftLayer Blog, and this week, we’re happy to welcome Mike Lauricella from Plivo. Plivo is an open communications and messaging platform with advanced features, simple APIs, easy management and volume pricing. Company Website: http://www.plivo.com/ Tech Partners Marketplace: http://www.softlayer.com/marketplace/plivo...
Server Challenge II Soliloquy: GDC 2013
Apr 05, 2013
This guest blog comes to us from one of the most popular members of the SoftLayer trade show team: The SoftLayer + Supermicro Server Challenge II. You’ve seen our coverage of conference attendees competing to win a MacBook Air, but you’ve never gotten the story from the Server Challenge’s perspective … until now. We secretly...
SoftLayer Mobile: Now a Universal iOS Application
Apr 01, 2013
Last month, we put SoftLayer Mobile HD out to pasture. That iPad-specific application performed amazingly, and we got a lot of great feedback from our customers, so we doubled-down on our efforts to support iPad users by merging SoftLayer Mobile HD functionality with our standard SoftLayer Mobile app to provide a singular, universal application for...
Should My Startup Join an Accelerator/Incubator Program?
Mar 26, 2013
As part of my role at SoftLayer, I have the opportunity and privilege to mentor numerous entrepreneurs and startup teams when they partner with us through our Catalyst program. One question I hear often is, “Should I join an accelerator?” My answer: “That all depends.” Let’s look at the five lessons entrepreneurs should learn before...
Social Media for Brands: Monitor Twitter Search via Email
Mar 22, 2013
If you’re responsible for monitoring Twitter for conversations about your brand, you’re faced with a challenge: You need to know what people are saying about your brand at all times AND you don’t want to live your entire life in front of Twitter Search. Over the years, a number of social media applications have been...
Learntrail: Tech Partner Spotlight
Mar 20, 2013
We invite each of our featured SoftLayer Tech Marketplace Partners to contribute a guest post to the SoftLayer Blog, and this week, we’re happy to welcome Daniel Hamilton, CTO of Learntrail. Learntrail is a learning management system for creating, assigning, and tracking e-learning programs. It helps you train your employees and develop a more effective...
iptables Tips and Tricks: CSF Configuration
Mar 19, 2013
In our last “iptables Tips and Tricks” installment, we talked about Advanced Policy Firewall (APF) configuration, so it should come as no surprise that in this installment, we’re turning our attention to ConfigServer Security & Firewall (CSF). Before we get started, you should probably run through the list of warnings I include at the top...
India: Using Global Technology to Go Hyper-Local
Mar 08, 2013
Bill Gates once told a journalist that everyone should care about developments in India because the world’s largest democracy (of 1.2 billion people) and tenth-largest economy is quickly catching up with us. I recently had the opportunity to see those developments first-hand, and I wholeheartedly agree with Bill’s sentiment. Innovation and technology breakthroughs are not...
Server Challenge II: Strata Conference 2013
Mar 08, 2013
If you want to find the Server Challenge II on an exhibit hall floor, just look for a crowd in one of the aisles and listen for cheers. When SoftLayer partnered with Supermicro to build a retro upgrade for our original Server Challenge, we knew the results would be phenomenal, and we haven’t been disappointed....
Script Clip: HTML5 Audio Player with jQuery Controls
Mar 07, 2013
HTML5 and jQuery provide mind-blowing functionality. Projects that would have taken hours of development and hundreds of lines of code a few years ago can now be completed in about the time it’ll take you to read this paragraph. If you wanted to add your own audio player on a web page in the past,...
Startup Series: Kickback Tickets
Mar 05, 2013
The very first client I recruited to Catalyst when I joined the CommDev team about a year ago happens to be one of Catalyst’s most interesting customer success stories … and I’m not just saying that because it was the first partner I signed on. Kickback Tickets — an online ticketing platform that utilized crowdfunding...
The Three Most Common Hosting-Related Phobias
Feb 27, 2013
As a member of the illustrious the SoftLayer sales (SLales) team, I have the daily pleasure of talking with any number of potential, prospective, new and current customers, and in many of those conversations, I’ve picked up on a fairly common theme: FEAR. Now we’re not talking about lachanophobia (fear of vegetables) or nomophobia (fear...
Global Game Jam: Build a Video Game in 48 Hours
Feb 20, 2013
You’re a conflicted zombie that yearns to be human again. Now you’ve got to dodge grandma and babies in an 8-bit side-scroller. Now you’re Vimberly Koll, and you have to stop Poseidon from raining down on the Global Game Jam. At the end of Global Game Jam Vancouver, teams of developers, 3D artists, level designers...
What Happen[ed] in Vegas – Parallels Summit 2013
Feb 18, 2013
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority says, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” but we absconded from Caesars Palace with far too many pictures and videos from Parallels Summit to adhere to their suggestion. Over the course of three days, attendees stayed busy with presentations, networking sessions, parties, cocktails and (of course) the...
Cedexis: SoftLayer “Master Model Builder”
Feb 15, 2013
Think of the many components of our cloud infrastrucutre as analogous to LEGO bricks. If our overarching vision is to help customers “Build the Future,” then our products are “building blocks” that can be purposed and repurposed to create scalable, high-performance architecture. Like LEGO bricks, each of our components is compatible with every other component...
Tips and Tricks – Building a jQuery Plugin (Part 2)
Feb 14, 2013
jQuery plugins don’t have to be complicated to create. If you’ve stumbled upon this blog in pursuit of a guide to show you how to make a jQuery plugin, you might not believe me … It seems like there’s a chasm between the “haves” of jQuery plugin developers and the “have nots” of future jQuery...
From the Startup Trenches to the Catalyst War Room
Feb 12, 2013
Before joining SoftLayer, I was locked in a dark, cold room for two years. Sustained by a diet of sugar and caffeine and basking in the glow of a 27? iMac, I was tasked with making servers dance to the tune of Ruby. The first few months were the toughest. The hours were long, and...
Startup Series: Planwise
Feb 11, 2013
Every startup dreams about entering an unowned, wide-open market … and subsequently dominating it. About a year ago, I met a couple of Aussies — Vincent and Niall — who saw a gaping hole in the world of personal finance and seized the opportunity to meet the unspoken needs of a huge demographic: People who...
Data Center Power-Up: Installing a 2-Megawatt Generator
Feb 08, 2013
When I was a kid, my living room often served as a “job site” where I managed a fleet of construction vehicles. Scaled-down versions of cranes, dump trucks, bulldozers and tractor-trailers littered the floor, and I oversaw the construction (and subsequent destruction) of some pretty monumental projects. Fast-forward a few years (or decades), and not...
ActiveCampaign: Tech Partner Spotlight
Jan 31, 2013
We invite each of our featured SoftLayer Tech Marketplace Partners to contribute a guest post to the SoftLayer Blog, and this week, we’re happy to welcome Peter Evans from ActiveCampaign. ActiveCampaign is a complete email marketing and marketing automation platform designed to help small businesses grow. Company Website: http://www.activecampaign.com/ Tech Partners Marketplace: http://www.softlayer.com/marketplace/activecampaign The Challenge...
iptables Tips and Tricks: APF (Advanced Policy Firewall) Configuration
Jan 29, 2013
Let’s talk about APF. APF — Advanced Policy Firewall — is a policy-based iptables firewall system that provides simple, powerful control over your day-to-day server security. It might seem intimidating to be faced with all of the features and configuration tools in APF, but this blog should put your fears to rest. APF is an...
Catalyst: In the Startup Sauna and Slush
Jan 28, 2013
Slush.fi was a victim of its own success. In November 2012, the website home of Startup Sauna‘s early-stage startup conference was crippled by an unexpected flood of site traffic, and they had to take immediate action. Should they get a private MySQL instance from their current host to try and accommodate the traffic or should...
Startup Series: SPEEDILICIOUS
Jan 24, 2013
Research from the Aberdeen Group shows the average website is losing 9% of its business because? the speed of the site frustrates visitors into leaving. 9% of your traffic might be leaving your site because they feel like it’s too slow. That thought is staggering, and any site owner would be foolish not to fix...
Startup Series: Moqups
Jan 15, 2013
Every member on the Catalyst team is given one simple goal: Find the most innovative and creative startups on the planet and get them on the SoftLayer network. We meet entrepreneurs at conferences and events around the world, we team up with the most influential startup accelerators and incubators, and we hunt for businesses who...
Web Development – JavaScript Packaging
Jan 10, 2013
If you think of JavaScript as the ugly duckling of programming languages, think again! It got a bad rap in the earlier days of the web because developers knew enough just to get by but didn’t really respect it like they did Java, PHP or .Net. Like other well-known and heavily used languages, JavaScript contains...
Startup Series: Bright Funds
Jan 08, 2013
Did you ever see The Beach with Leonardo DiCaprio? You know … The one with a community of world-shunners that live in a paradisaical community on a beautiful white-sand beach. The people in that community were purists — altruistic types who believed in the possibilities of living a simple life based on community support of...
Risk Management: Event Logging to Protect Your Systems
Dec 30, 2012
The calls start rolling in at 2am on Sunday morning. Alerts start firing off. Your livelihood is in grave danger. It doesn’t come with the fanfare of a blockbuster Hollywood thriller, but if a server hosting your critical business infrastructure is attacked, becomes compromised or fails, it might feel like the end of the world....
Using SoftLayer Object Storage to Back Up Your Server
Dec 27, 2012
Before I came to my senses and moved my personal servers to SoftLayer, I was one of many victims of a SolusVM exploit that resulted in the wide-scale attack of many nodes in my previous host’s Chicago data center. While I’m a firm believer in backing up my data, I could not have foreseen the...
Giving From (and For) the Heart
Dec 24, 2012
This time of year is often referred to as “The Season of Giving,” and we thought we’d share two SLayers’ stories about their involvement in the American Heart Association Heart Walk. Like last year, we split up into fundraising teams for the AHA with a goal of raising $100,000. In addition to those fundraising efforts,...
MongoDB Performance Analysis: Bare Metal v. Virtual
Dec 20, 2012
Developers can be cynical. When “the next great thing in technology” is announced, I usually wait to see how it performs before I get too excited about it … Show me how that “next great thing” compares apples-to-apples with the competition, and you’ll get my attention. With the launch of MongoDB at SoftLayer, I’d guess...
SoftLayer API: Streamline. Simplify.
Dec 19, 2012
Building an API is a bit of a balancing act. You want your API to be simple and easy to use, and you want it to be feature-rich and completely customizable. Because those two desires happen to live on opposite ends of the spectrum, every API finds a different stasis in terms of how complex...
2012 at SoftLayer: A Year-End Review
Dec 18, 2012
It’s already December 18, so you’ve probably read a few dozen “Best of 2012? and “Looking Back on 2012? articles around the web by now. I hope that you indulge me as I add one more tally to that list … I can’t suppress the urge to take a nostalgic look back on all of...
Big Data at SoftLayer: The Importance of IOPS
Dec 17, 2012
The jet flow gates in the Hoover Dam can release up to 73,000 cubic feet — the equivalent of 546,040 gallons — of water per second at 120 miles per hour. Imagine replacing those jet flow gates with a single garden hose that pushes 25 gallons per minute (or 0.42 gallons per second). Things would...
Startup Series: GiveToBenefit
Dec 10, 2012
People often ask me why I enjoy working at SoftLayer, and that’s a tough question to answer fully. I ALWAYS say that great people and great products (in that order) are some of the biggest reasons, and I explain how refreshing it is to work for a company that operates prioritizes “solving problems” over “selling.”...
MongoDB: Architectural Best Practices
Dec 06, 2012
With the launch of our MongoDB solutions, developers can provision powerful, optimized, horizontally scaling NoSQL database clusters in real-time on bare metal infrastructure in SoftLayer data centers around the world. We worked tirelessly with our friends at 10gen — the creators of MongoDB — to build and tweak hardware and software configurations that enable peak...
Breaking Down ‘Big Data’ – Database Models
Dec 05, 2012
Forester defines big data as “techniques and technologies that make capturing value from data at an extreme scale economical.” Gartner says, “Big data is the term adopted by the market to describe extreme information management and processing issues which exceed the capability of traditional information technology along one or multiple dimensions to support the use...
Big Data at SoftLayer: MongoDB
Dec 04, 2012
In one day, Facebook’s databases ingest more than 500 terabytes of data, Twitter processes 500 million Tweets and Tumblr users publish more than 75 million posts. With such an unprecedented volume of information, developers face significant challenges when it comes to building an application’s architecture and choosing its infrastructure. As a result, demand has exploded...
Tips and Tricks: Building a jQuery Plugin (Part 1)
Nov 27, 2012
I’ve written several blogs detailing the use of different jQuery plugins (like Select2, LazyLoad and equalHeights), and in the process, I’ve noticed an increasing frustration among the development community when it comes to building jQuery plugins. The resources and documentation I’ve found online have not as clear and easy as they could be, so in...
Risk Management: The Importance of Redundant Backups
Nov 21, 2012
You (should) know the importance of having regular backups of your important data, but to what extent does data need to be backed up to be safe? With a crowbar and shove, thieves broke into my apartment and stole the backups I’ve used for hundreds of gigabytes of home videos, photo files and archives of...
Community Development: Catalysing European Startups
Nov 20, 2012
SoftLayer works hard and plays hard. A few weeks ago, I traveled to Dallas for the first “Global Catalyst Summit”* where the community development teams in Europe, Asia and the United States all came together under one roof to learn, strategize and bond. What that really means is that we all experienced a week of...
How It’s Made (and Won): The Server Challenge II
Nov 19, 2012
Every year, we attend more than fifty trade shows and conferences around the world. We want to spread the word about SoftLayer and connect with each conference’s technical audience (also known as future SoftLayer customers). That goal is pretty straightforward on paper, but when it comes to executing on it, we’re faced with the same...
Going Global: Doumo Arigatou, Japan
Nov 16, 2012
I’m SoftLayer’s director of international operations, so I have the unique pleasure of spending a lot of time on airplanes and in hotels as I travel between Dallas, Amsterdam, Singapore and wherever else our event schedule dictates. In the past six months, I’ve spent most of my time in Asia, and I’ve tried to take...
FatCloud: Tech Partner Spotlight
Nov 15, 2012
We invite each of our featured SoftLayer Tech Marketplace Partners to contribute a guest post to the SoftLayer Blog, and this week, we’re happy to welcome Ian Miller, CEO of FatCloud. FatCloud is a cloud-enabled application platform that allows enterprises to build, deploy and manage next-generation .NET applications. Company Website: http://www.fatcloud.com/ Tech Partners Marketplace: http://www.softlayer.com/marketplace/fatcloud...
Risk Management: Securing Your Servers
Nov 14, 2012
How do you secure your home when you leave? If you’re like most people, you make sure to lock the door you leave from, and you head off to your destination. If Phil is right about “locks keeping honest people honest,” simply locking your front door may not be enough. When my family moved into...
Celebrating the First Anniversary of SoftLayer Going Global
Nov 08, 2012
In October, SoftLayer’s data center in Singapore (SNG01) celebrated its first birthday, and our data center in Amsterdam (AMS01) turned one year old this week as well. In twelve short months, SoftLayer has completely transformed into a truly global operation with data centers and staff around the world. Our customer base has always had an...
Tips and Tricks – Pure CSS Sticky Footers
Nov 06, 2012
By now, if you’ve seen my other blog posts, you know that I’m fascinated with how much Javascript has evolved and how much you can do with jQuery these days. I’m an advocate of working smarter, not harder, and that maxim knows no coding language limits. In this post, I want to share a pure...
O Canada! – Catalyst, Startups and “Coming Home”
Nov 05, 2012
I was born and raised in Brockville, Ontario, and I’ve always been a proud Canadian. In 2000, I decided to leave my homeland to pursue career options south of the 49th parallel, so I became an active participant in Canada’s so-called “brain drain.” It’s never easy starting over, but I felt that my options were...
The Trouble with Open DNS Resolvers
Nov 02, 2012
In the last couple of days, there’s been a bit of buzz about “open DNS resolvers” and DNS amplification DDoS attacks, and SoftLayer’s name has been brought up a few times. In a blog post on October 30, CloudFlare explained DNS Amplification DDoS attacks and reported the geographic and network sources of open DNS resolvers...
Startup Series: YouNoodle
Oct 30, 2012
In the startup world, the resources you have are almost as important as your vision and your ability to execute. That simple idea fueled the creation of Catalyst, and it’s a big component of our incredible success. We’re taking the complexity (and cost) out of the hosting decision for the coolest startups we meet, and...
Tips from the Abuse Department: Save Your Sinking Ship
Oct 25, 2012
I often find that the easiest way to present a complex process is with a relatable analogy. By replacing esoteric technical details with a less intimidating real-world illustration, smart people don’t have to be technically savvy to understand what’s going on. When it comes to explaining abuse-related topics, I find analogies especially helpful. One that...
Tips from the Abuse Department: Know Spam. Stop Spam.
Oct 23, 2012
As an abuse administrator, I’m surrounded by spam on a daily basis. When someone sends an abuse-related complaint to our abuse@softlayer.com contact address, it gets added to our ticket queue, and our Abuse SLayers take time to investigate and follow up with the customers whose servers violate our acceptable use policy. The majority of those...
Tips and Tricks – jQuery Select2 Plugin
Oct 17, 2012
Web developers have the unique challenge of marrying coding logic and visual presentation to create an amazing user experience. Trying to find a balance between those two is pretty difficult, and it’s easy to follow one or the other down the rabbit hole. What’s a web developer to do? I’ve always tried to go the...
An Introduction to Risk Management
Oct 16, 2012
Whether you’re managing a SaaS solution for thousands of large clients around the world or you’re running a small mail server for a few mom-and-pop businesses in your neighborhood, you’re providing IT service for a fee — and your customers expect you to deliver. It’s easy to get caught up in focusing your attention and...
On-Call for Dev Support AND a New Baby
Oct 10, 2012
I began working at SoftLayer in May of 2010 as a customer support administrator. When I signed on, I was issued a BlackBerry to help me follow tickets and answer questions from my coworkers when I was out of the office. In August of 2011, that sparingly used BlackBerry started getting a lot more use....
Server Challenge II – The Retro Upgrade of a Fan Favorite
Oct 09, 2012
Wakka wakka wakka wakka. All your base are belong to us. I’m sorry Mario, but our princess is in another castle. It’s dangerous to go alone. Do a barrel roll. If you can place any of those quotes from the video games of yore, you’ll probably love the Server Challenge II. Taking cues from classic...
Don’t Let Your Success Bring You Down
Oct 08, 2012
Last week, I got an email from a huge technology conference about their new website, exciting new speaker line up and the availability of early-bird tickets. I clicked on a link from that email, and I find that their fancy new website was down. After giving up on getting my early-bird discount, I surfed over...
Spark::red: Tech Partner Spotlight
Oct 05, 2012
This guest blog comes to us from Spark::red, a featured member of the SoftLayer Technology Partners Marketplace. Spark::red is a global PCI Level 1 compliant hosting provider specializing in Oracle ATG Commerce. With full-redundancy at every layer, powerful servers, and knowledgeable architects, Spark::red delivers exceptional environments in weeks, instead of months. In this video we...
A Catalyst for Success: MODX Cloud
Oct 02, 2012
SoftLayer has a passion for social media, online gaming and mobile application developers. We were in “startup mode” just a few years ago, so we know how much work it takes to transform ideas into a commercially viable enterprise, and we want to be the platform on which all of those passionate people build their...
Tips and Tricks – jQuery Lazy Load Plugin
Sep 26, 2012
In the late 90?s, web pages presented their information in a relatively structured fashion, with little concern on how “pretty” the content looked. To a certain extent, that was a result of available technology and resources being a little more limited, but much of the reason was probably because we had no idea what was...
Cloud Computing is not a ‘Thing’ … It’s a way of Doing Things.
Sep 24, 2012
I like to think that we are beyond ‘defining’ cloud, but what I find in reality is that we still argue over basics. I have conversations in which people still delineate things like “hosting” from “cloud computing” based degrees of single-tenancy. Now I’m a stickler for definitions just like the next pedantic software-religious guy, but...
Conferences, Culture and the SoftLayer Server Challenge
Sep 20, 2012
I can’t begin to tell you how much fun I have when I get to represent SoftLayer at conferences. The days may be long, and my feet may go numb by the end of the day from so much standing, but the time seems to fly as I get to meet new people, give out...
Joining the Internet Infrastructure Coalition
Sep 17, 2012
In January, we posted a series of blogs about legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate that would have had a serious impact on the hosting industry. We talked about SOPA and PIPA, and how those proposed laws would “break the Internet” as we know it. The hosting industry rallied together to oppose...
How Can I Use SoftLayer Message Queue?
Sep 12, 2012
One of the biggest challenges developers run into when coding large, scalable systems is automating batch processes and distributing workloads to optimize compute resource usage. More simply, intra-application and inter-system communications tend to become a bottleneck that affect the user experience, and there is no easy way to get around it. Well … There *was*...
Creating a Usable, Memorable and Secure Password
Sep 10, 2012
When I was young, I vividly remember a wise man sharing a proverb with me: “Locks are for honest people.” The memory is so vivid because it completely confused me … “If everyone was honest, there would be no need for locks,” I thought, naively. As it turns out, everyone isn’t honest, and if “locks...
Tips and Tricks – jQuery equalHeights Plugin
Sep 06, 2012
Last month, I posted a blog about dynamically resizing divs with jQuery, and we received a lot of positive feedback about it. My quest to avoid iframes proved to be helpful, so I thought I’d share a few more esoteric jQuery tips and tricks that may be of use to the developers and designers in...
The Dragon SLayers
Aug 31, 2012
It’s been a couple weeks since we last posted blog post featuring what SLayers are doing outside the office, so I thought I’d share a my experience from a couple months ago when SoftLayer competed in the 2012 Annual DFW Dragon Boat Festival. As you may remember, Cassandra posted about SoftLayer’s participation in the Houston-area...
Demystifying Social Media: Get Involved
Aug 29, 2012
A few weeks back, Kevin handed me The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk and said we should give it a read. I’m only halfway through it, but I thought I should share some of Vaynerchuk’s insights on social media with the SoftLayer blog audience while they are still fresh in my mind. The best...
IPv4 v. IPv6 – What’s the Difference?
Aug 27, 2012
About a year ago, Phil Jackson and I recorded a podcast-esque click-through of a presentation that explained the difference between IPv4 and IPv6 address space, and as a testament to the long-tail nature of blog posts, Internet Society’s Deploy360 Blog shared the video. With a hint of nostalgia, I clicked “play” on the video. I...
High Performance Computing – GPU v. CPU
Aug 21, 2012
Sometimes, technical conversations can sound like people are just making up tech-sounding words and acronyms: “If you want HPC to handle Gigaflops of computational operations, you probably need to supplement your server’s CPU and RAM with a GPU or two.” It’s like hearing a shady auto mechanic talk about replacing gaskets on double overhead flange...
SoftLayer Private Clouds – Provisioning Speed
Aug 17, 2012
SoftLayer Private Clouds are officially live after a successful public beta, and that means you can now order and provision your very own private cloud infrastructure on Citrix CloudPlatform quickly and easily. Chief Scientist Nathan Day introduced private clouds on the blog when it was announced at Cloud Expo East, and CTO Duke Skarda followed...
Managing Support Tickets: Email Subscriptions
Aug 15, 2012
This week, the development team rolled out some behind-the-scenes support functionality that I think a lot of our customers will want to take advantage of, so I put together this quick blog post to spread the word about it. With the new release, the support department is able to create “Ticket Email Subscriptions” for different...
Startup Series: Dudepins
Aug 09, 2012
The Catalyst startup incubator has been running at full-throttle for a while now, and I’ve been blown away by the killer startups that have joined the program. The best part of my job is meeting entrepreneurs who see a need in the marketplace and have a vision for how to meet that need in a...
No iFrames! Dynamically Resize Divs with jQuery.
Aug 08, 2012
It’s no secret that iframes are one of the most hated methods of web page layouts in the web development world — they are horrible for SEO, user experience and (usually) design. I was recently charged with creating a page that needed functionality similar to what iframes would normally provide, and I thought I’d share...
SoftLayer in the Community – Tour de Pink 2012
Aug 06, 2012
Every year, SoftLayer commits to raising money and giving support to a number of charities, and SLayers are all encouraged to submit the organizations and causes that are important to them. Not long after coming to work here, I found myself in a position to pitch one of my favorite charities — Tour de Pink...
Work Hard, Prank Hard.
Aug 03, 2012
Hard work is nothing new to the SoftLayer staff — we strive for perfection in everything we do. We give ourselves strict deadlines, we always push ourselves to give the best support possible, and we make every effort to go above and beyond. Every now and then, we make sure to go above and beyond...
Meet Memcached: A Developer’s Best Friend
Aug 02, 2012
Whether you’re new to software development or you’ve been a coder since the punchcard days, at some point, you’ve probably come across horrendous performance problems with your website or scripts. From the most advanced users — creating scripts so complex that their databases flooded with complex JOINs — to the novice users — putting SQL...
SoftLayer + Open Source + OSCON
Aug 01, 2012
While a handful of SoftLayer employees made their way to Boston for HostingCon, another ragtag group of SLayers journeyed to Portland to attend OSCON &mdash: the Open Source CONvention. OSCON attracts 2,500+ passionate members of the open source community, so the conference sessions and expo hall are filled with the most creative and innovative people...
Don’t Stop Believing (in Hosting)
Jul 30, 2012
If 80?s movies have taught me anything, it’s that any good story needs to have a video montage with Journey playing in the background. With that in mind, I’ll start this blog post with a glimpse of HostingCon 2012: HostingCon brings the hosting industry together every year, and the conference winds up being surprisingly similar...
SoftLayer ‘Cribs’ ? DAL05 Data Center Tour
Jul 27, 2012
The highlight of any customer visit to a SoftLayer office is always the data center tour. The infrastructure in our data centers is the hardware platform on which many of our customers build and run their entire businesses, so it’s not surprising that they’d want a first-hand look at what’s happening inside the DC. Without...
Global IP Addresses – What Are They and How Do They Work?
Jul 26, 2012
SoftLayer recently released “Global IPs” to a good amount of internal fanfare, and I thought I’d share a little about it with the blog audience in case customers have questions about what Global IPs are and how they work. Simply put, Global IP addresses can be provisioned in any data center on the SoftLayer network...
ServerDensity: Tech Partner Spotlight
Jul 25, 2012
We invite each of our featured SoftLayer Tech Marketplace Partners to contribute a guest post to the SoftLayer Blog, and this week, we’re happy to welcome David Mytton, Founder of ServerDensity. Server Density is a hosted server and website monitoring service that alerts you when your website is slow, down or back up. Company Website:...
The Human Element of SoftLayer – DAL05 DC Operations
Jul 19, 2012
One of the founding principles of SoftLayer is automation. Automation has enabled this company to provide our customers with a world class experience, and it enables employees to provide excellent service. It allows us to quickly deploy a variety of solutions at the click of a button, and it guarantees consistency in the products that...
When Opportunity Knocks
Jul 13, 2012
I’ve been working in the web hosting industry for nearly five years now, and as is the case with many of the professionals of my generation, I grew up side by side with the capital-I Internet. Over those five years, the World Wide Web has evolved significantly, and it’s become a need. People need the...
An Insider’s Look at SoftLayer’s International Growth
Jul 12, 2012
Last week, SoftLayer was featured on the NOS national news here in the Netherlands in a segment that allowed us to tell our story and share how we’re settling into our new Amsterdam home. I’ve only been a SLayer for about nine months now, and as I watched the video, I started to reflect on...
Mandrill: Tech Partner Spotlight
Jul 11, 2012
This is a guest blog with Chad Morris from our partner Mandrill. Mandrill is an email delivery platform built on and managed by MailChimp. Created for developers to set up and manage with minimal coding effort, Mandrill offers advanced tracking, easy-to-understand reports and hundreds of template options. In this video interview, Chad goes into detail...
My Advice to Myself (A New Server Build Technician)
Jul 06, 2012
When I started at SoftLayer, I had no idea what to expect. As I walked from the parking lot to the front doors at SJC01, I started to get nervous … I felt was like I was stepping onto a stage, and I was worried about making a mistake. I took a deep breath and...
Bandwidth Utilization: Managing a Global Network
Jul 05, 2012
SoftLayer has over 1,750 Gbit/s of network capacity. In each of our data centers and points of presence, we have an extensive library of peering relationships and multiple 10 Gbit/s connections to independent Tier 1 carriers. We operate one of the fastest, most reliable networks on the planet, and our customers love it: Wow these...
Cedexis: Tech Partner Spotlight
Jul 04, 2012
This guest blog features Cedexis, a featured member of the SoftLayer Technology Partners Marketplace. Cedexis a content and application delivery system that offers strategies and solutions for multi-platform content and application delivery to companies focused on maximizing web performance. In this video we talk to Cedexis Co-Founder Julien Coulon. Company Website: www.cedexis.com Tech Partners Marketplace:...
SoftLayer Asia – A Technology Market Full of Opportunity
Jul 03, 2012
The last few months have been extremely busy for SoftLayer Asia. SLayers from our Singapore office have been participating in all kinds of events — from small developer group meetups to massive conferences like CommunicAsia 2012 that brought in 35,000+ attendees from the APAC region’s major markets, and our goal has been the same throughout:...
We’re Shipping Up to Boston – HostingCon 2012
Jun 29, 2012
It’s that time of year again … HostingCon is upon us, and we’re faced with an interesting challenge: Go even bigger and badder in Boston than we did at HostingCon 2011 in San Diego. And that’s a tall order. Given the fact that we’ve already sponsored and participated in dozens of conferences around the world...
Never Break Up with Your Data Again
Jun 28, 2012
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could keep the parts of a relationship that you like and “move on” from the parts you don’t? You’d never have to go through the awkward “getting to know each other” phase where you accidentally order food the other person is allergic to, and you’d never have to experience...
Cloudability: Tech Partner Spotlight
Jun 27, 2012
This guest blog comes to us from Cloudability, a featured member of the SoftLayer Technology Partners Marketplace. Cloudability is a cloud budget management service that helps companies manage their cloud spending, prevent overages, reduce waste and save money. In this video we talk to Cloudability Founder and CEO Mat Ellis about how the company developed,...
Tips from the Abuse Department: Part 2 – Responding to Abuse Reports
Jun 25, 2012
If you’re a SoftLayer customer, you don’t want to hear from the Abuse department. We know that. The unfortunate reality when it comes to hosting a server is that compromises can happen, mistakes can be made, and even the most scrupulous reseller can fall victim to a fraudulent sign-up or sly spammer. If someone reports...
Building the SoftLayer Team – Inside and Outside the Office
Jun 22, 2012
Almost a year ago, I walked into SoftLayer for the first time as an employee, but it wasn’t my first encounter with the business. I knew quite a bit about SoftLayer (and what it would be like to work for SoftLayer) because a family member and more than a handful of friends were already SLayers....
New Swag, New Booth, New Product Announcement: SoftLayer at Cloud Expo East 2012
Jun 21, 2012
When a SLayers pack their bags and heads to the ‘Big Apple,’ we go BIG. Our most recent trip to NYC for Cloud Expo East proved that statement over and over again. When I heard I’d be one of the employees representing SoftLayer at the Javits Convention Center, I did a little dance … Cloud...
How Do You Build a Private Cloud?
Jun 20, 2012
If you read Nathan’s “A Cloud to Call Your Own” blog, and you wanted to learn a little more about private clouds in general or SoftLayer Private Clouds specifically, this post is for you. We’re going take a little time to dive deeper into the technology behind SoftLayer Private Clouds, and in the process, I’ll...
Proud to be a SLayer
Jun 19, 2012
Changing a career can be a challenge, especially when it feels like you are starting from scratch. I know that feeling well. I’d always been interested in networking, IT and cloud computing, but it wasn’t until I joined SoftLayer that had an opportunity to start building a career on top of those interests. I know...
Tips from the Abuse Department: Part 1 – Reporting Abuse
Jun 18, 2012
SoftLayer has a dedicated team working around the clock to address complaints of abuse on our network. We receive these complaints via feedback loops from other providers, spam blacklisting services such as Spamcop and Spamhaus, various industry contacts and mailing lists. Some of the most valuable complaints we receive are from our users, though. We...
My First Week as a SLayer in San Jose
Jun 14, 2012
As I write this post, I’m finishing my first week as an employee with SoftLayer. It might seem premature, but I think it’s safe to say that it’s the best job I’ve ever had. My friend Marcos gave me a great reference to get my foot in the door at SoftLayer in San Jose (SJC01)...
SoftLayer Private Clouds – A Cloud to Call Your Own
Jun 13, 2012
Those of us who’ve been in this industry for years have seen computing evolve pretty significantly, especially recently. We started with dedicated servers running a single operating system, and we were floored by innovations that allowed dedicated servers to run a hypervisor with many operating systems. The next big leap brought virtual machine “cloud” instances...
“World IPv6 Launch Day” and What it Means for You
Jun 11, 2012
June 6, 2012, marked a milestone in the further advancement of the Internet: World IPv6 Launch Day. It was by no means an Earth-shattering event or a “flag day” where everyone switched over to IPv6 completely … What actually happened was that content providers enabled AAAA DNS records for their websites and other applications, and...
Fundraising Success = Pink Hair
Jun 08, 2012
Last Saturday, June 2, SoftLayer participated in the Pink Soles in Motion BBQ Cook-Off. The infamous 3Bars BBQ crew loaded up the grills and set out for Harley Davison of North Texas in Carrollton to raise money and support for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Because SoftLayer was the BBQ cook-off’s presenting sponsor, the...
Meet Catalyst, SoftLayer’s Startup Incubator Program
Jun 07, 2012
catalyst [kat-l-ist] noun – A person or thing that precipitates an event or change. also SoftLayer’s killer startup incubator program. It’s official, Catalyst has launched on the SoftLayer website: You’ve heard us talk about SoftLayer’s ongoing involvement with entrepreneurs, incubators, accelerators and startup events, but for the most part, we’ve been flying “under the radar”...
Today’s Technology “Game Changers”: IPv6 and Cloud
Jun 06, 2012
“Game Changers” in technology force a decision: Adapt or die. When repeating rifles gained popularity in the late 1800s, a business of manufacturing muzzle-loading or breech-loading rifles would have needed to find a way to produce a repeating rifle or it would have lost most (if not all) of it’s business to Winchester. If a...
New SoftLayer.com Design: Build the Future
Jun 05, 2012
If you’ve been reading the SoftLayer Blog via an RSS feed or if you find yourself navigating directly to the portal to manage your SoftLayer account, you might not have noticed that the our main website has been updated again — and in dramatic fashion. Last fall we gave the site a slight refresh …...
The Few. The Proud. The Red Herring Top 100.
May 31, 2012
Last week, I had the privilege of attending Red Herring‘s Top 100 North America Tech Award ceremony in Santa Monica. If you’re not familiar with Red Herring, it harkens back to the headier days of the of the dot-com era in the late 90?s and early 00?s. While the markets have fluctuated quite a bit...
What Does Automation Look Like?
May 30, 2012
Innovation. Automation. Innovation. Automation. Innovation. Automation. That’s been our heartbeat since SoftLayer was born on May 5, 2005. The “Innovation” piece is usually the most visible component of that heartbeat while “Automation” usually hangs out behind the scenes (enabling the “Innovation”). When we launch a new product line like Object Storage, add new functionality to...
Tear Down the (Immigration) Wall … Or at Least Install a Door
May 25, 2012
A few years ago, I went through a nightmare trying to get to permanent resident status in the United States. My file sat in a box for over a year, was lost, re-submitted and FINALLY rushed through by Ted Kennedy’s office. And I was on a “fast track” due to a long record of published...
Web Development – Javascript – Creating a Sticky Menu
May 23, 2012
When designing websites, I like to focus on ease of use and accessibility for the end user. While creating your site to be friendly to screen readers and text-based browsers is a must, the accessibility I’m referring to is making it easy for your audience to navigate your site and perform certain common actions. By...
Real Men Wear Pink … In Their Hair
May 22, 2012
Susan G. Komen for the Cure is a Dallas-based charitable foundation that raises millions of dollars for breast cancer education, research, treatment and awareness every year, and given SoftLayer’s commitment to charitable giving, it was a no-brainer for us to get involved. Events in cities around the country are hosted throughout the year, the most...
The Weekly Breakdown – Behind the Scenes at SoftLayer
May 18, 2012
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a renowned scholar in the field of psychology, said, “In large organizations the dilution of information as it passes up and down the hierarchy, and horizontally across departments, can undermine the effort to focus on common goals.” That’s one of the biggest reasons SoftLayer shares a weekly internal newsletter with SLayers in all...
Distil: Tech Partners Marketplace
May 16, 2012
This guest blog comes to us from Distil.it, a featured member of the SoftLayer Technology Partners Marketplace. Distil is the first content protection network that helps companies identify and block malicious content scraping and data theft. In this video we talk to Distil CEO Rami Essaid about how the company developed, their participation in the...
Addicted to SoftLayer … And SoftLayer Customers
May 15, 2012
Chris Gardner (of The Pursuit of Happyness fame) said, “Find something that you love. Something that gets you so excited you can’t wait to get out of bed in the morning. Forget about money. Be happy.” Now I can’t honestly tell you I’m able to “forget about money” or that I’m much of a morning...
Synergy and Cloud – Going Beyond the Buzzwords
May 14, 2012
Citrix Synergy 2012 took over San Francisco this week. Because Citrix is one of SoftLayer’s technology partners, you know we were in the house, and I thought I’d share a few SoftLayer-specific highlights from the conference. Before I get too far, I should probably back up give you a little context for what the show...
The SoftLayer API and its ‘Star Wars’ Sibling
May 10, 2012
When I present about the SoftLayer API at conferences and meetups, I often use an image that shows how many of the different services in the API are interrelated and connected. As I started building the visual piece of my presentation, I noticed a curious “coincidence” about the layout of the visualization: What does that...
Nexmo: Tech Partners Marketplace
May 09, 2012
This guest blog comes to us from Nexmo, a featured member of the SoftLayer Technology Partners Marketplace. Nexmo is the wholesale messaging API that lets you send and receive high volumes of SMS at a global level. In this video we talk to Nexmo CEO Tony Jamous about the benefits of Nexmo, how it came...
Syncing (Not Sinking) with SoftLayer
May 07, 2012
I’ve been with SoftLayer for two months now, but somehow I still find myself in the “honeymoon phase” of company pride and spirit. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to compete in the 12th Annual Texas Dragon Boat Race with many of my coworkers, and I learned that teamwork is more than just “working well together.”...
From “Computer Guy” to SoftLayer Server Build Technician
May 04, 2012
As I sat down to brainstorm ideas for this blog, I began to think about where I was when I started a few years ago and where I am now. When I was hired, I knew next to nothing about the inner-workings of data center IT. I was just your average computer nerd, or “the...
Social Media and the SoftLayer Server Challenge
May 02, 2012
I’ve been working at SoftLayer for almost ten months now, in my relatively short tenure, I’ve written hundreds (if not thousands) of tweets covering a broad range of topics and events … As a Social Media Coordinator, it’s an integral part of my job. Given what I’ve learned about hosting in the past year, I’m...
SoftLayer, Entrepreneurship and the White House
May 01, 2012
The past two weeks have been HUGE for the SoftLayer community development team and our Catalyst Program. In addition to the typical insanity of crisscrossing the country to attend startup events and scheduled “office hours” in Boulder, San Francisco, Boston and New York City, I was invited to visit a pretty noteworthy address in Washington,...
RightScale + SoftLayer: The Power of Cloud Automation
Apr 24, 2012
SoftLayer’s goal is to provide unparalleled value to the customers who entrust their business-critical computing to us — whether via dedicated hosting, managed hosting, cloud computing or a hybrid environment of all three. We provide the best platform on the market, delivering convenience, ease of use, compelling return on investment (ROI), significant competitive advantage, and...
Choosing a Cloud: Which Cloud Chooses You?
Apr 23, 2012
It’s not easy to choose a cloud hosting provider. In the first post of this series, we talked about the three key deciding factors every cloud customer has to consider, and we set up a Venn diagram to distinguish the surprisingly broad range of unique priorities customers can have: Because every customer will prioritize a...
Choosing a Cloud: Cost v. Technology v. Hosting Provider
Apr 20, 2012
If you had to order a new cloud server right now, how would choose it? I’ve worked in the hosting industry for the better part of a decade, and I can safely say that I’ve either observed or been a part of the buying decision for a few thousand hosting customers — from small business...
Dome9: Tech Partners Marketplace
Apr 18, 2012
This guest blog comes to us from Dave Meizlik, Dome9 VP of marketing and business development. Dome9 is a featured member of the SoftLayer Technology Partners Marketplace. With Dome9, you get secure, on-demand access to all your servers by automating and centralizing firewall management and making your servers virtually invisible to hackers. Company Website: http://www.dome9.com/...
High Performance Computing for Everyone
Apr 17, 2012
This guest blog was submitted by Sumit Gupta, senior director of NVIDIA’s Tesla High Performance Computing business. The demand for greater levels of computational performance remains insatiable in the high performance computing (HPC) and technical computing industries, as researchers, geophysicists, biochemists, and financial quants continue to seek out and solve the world’s most challenging computational...
TechStars Cloud @ SoftLayer – DAL05 Data Center Tour
Apr 16, 2012
Last week was HUGE for the inaugural class of companies in the TechStars Cloud accelerator in San Antonio. The program’s three-month term concluded with “Demo Day” on Wednesday where all of the participating companies presented to more than 300 venture capitalists and investors, and given our relationship with TechStars, SoftLayer was well represented … We...
Looking at the Big Picture
Apr 13, 2012
Last week, the SoftLayer team attended ad:tech San Francisco. It’s pretty unbelievable to think that it’s only April, and this show was the seventh I’ve attended this year. 2012 has already been a HUGE year for SoftLayer in terms of growth, and our trade show and conference schedule has provided a fantastic outlet to share...
HTML5 – Compatibility for All?
Apr 12, 2012
Many of us remember when Flash was the “only” way to enhance user experience and create rich media interactivity. It was a bittersweet integration, though … Many users didn’t have the browser compatibility to use it, so some portion of your visitors were left in the dark. Until recently, that user base was relatively small...
Scaling SoftLayer
Apr 09, 2012
SoftLayer is in the business of helping businesses scale. You need 1,000 cloud computing instances? We’ll make sure our system can get them online in 10 minutes. You need to spin up some beefy dedicated servers loaded with dual 8-core Intel Xeon E5-2670 processors and high-capacity SSDs for a new application’s I/O-intensive database? We’ll get...
Of Cage Nuts and Customer Service
Apr 06, 2012
Sometimes it’s the little hardships and annoyances that really mold you. How do you react? Do you manage to work through them, or do you let them eat away at you to the point that you’re more paralyzed by them than you are a bigger problem? As a new hire, I was required to take...
Sharing a Heavy Load – New Load Balancer Options
Apr 04, 2012
I always think of Ford, Chevy and Toyota pick-up truck commercials when I think of load balancers. The selling points for trucks invariably boil down to performance, towing capacity and torque, and I’ve noticed that users evaluating IT network load balancers have a similar simplified focus. The focus is always about high performance, scalability, failover...
Tips and Tricks – How to Use SFTP
Apr 03, 2012
Too often, new customers can get overwhelmed by a small administrative task on a Linux server. One of the more common questions I see in technical support is when a drive partition runs out of space. The website appears offline, and on of my coworkers advises you to just free-up some space. “Just?! Where can...
On Cloud Nine: My First Two Months at SoftLayer
Apr 02, 2012
I’m on cloud nine at Softlayer. I know “cloud” is probably the most confusing term I can use about how happy I am to be a SLayer because I’m not talking about public cloud, private cloud, or bare metal cloud, but it seemed like the expression that best fit my mood. Beyond the “cloud” products...
Very Casual Fridays
Mar 30, 2012
One of the best things about working at SoftLayer is that we get awesome freebies. In the last year, I have seen a servers given away to authors of the best SoftLayer-themed Haikus, employees have won Apple iPads, solid state drives, extra vacation days, Napa Valley wine tasting trips and finely aged booze in fundraisers...
SoftLayer Singapore – The Impact of Automation
Mar 29, 2012
We hosted our first quarterly networking event in Singapore yesterday, and as I spoke with the partners, prospects, customers and SLayers in attendance, I heard some incredible stories about struggles with scaling infrastructure and how SoftLayer has revolutionized the way our customers look at their physical and virtual infrastructure. As we talked about our experiences,...
SoftLayer Mobile on WP7 – Live Tiles and Notifications
Mar 28, 2012
In the past couple of months we’ve added some really cool Windows Phone 7.1 (Mango) features to the Softlayer Mobile application, including Lives Tiles and Notifications. While a basic Live Tile implementation is relatively easy, there’s a fair amount of coding and architecture requirements to facilitate cooler Live Tile functionality and Notifications … And we’re...
Tips and Tricks – How to Secure WordPress
Mar 27, 2012
As a hobby, I dabble in WordPress, so I thought I’d share a few security features I use to secure my WordPress blogs as soon as they’re installed. Nothing in this blog will be earth-shattering, but because security is such a priority, I have no doubt that it will be useful to many of our...
Planning Your Server Infrastructure = Buying a House
Mar 26, 2012
With a little one on the way, I’ve been spending a good amount of my free time starting to search for a new home for my growing family. While the search continues, I’ve learned a thing or two about what to look for and what should be done before taking the plunge, and as I’ve...
AMS01 DC Tour: Built by SoftLayer, Powered by Innovators
Mar 23, 2012
About a month ago, Kevin Hazard visited SoftLayer Amsterdam after a conference in London, and while he was here, I invited him on a data center tour. You saw a few glimpses of the data center in his “This is Different” video, but he turned the camera around on me to give a simpler “Data...
Building. Business. SoftLayer.
Mar 22, 2012
“If you build it, he will come.” I hope I’m not alone as I find myself whispering those words in my head as I read them. If you’ve seen Field of Dreams*, you know that Kevin Costner mysteriously hears and sees things no one else can see, and he seems like a lunatic when he...
Server Challenge = Global Domination?
Mar 21, 2012
The Server Challenge has become an all-out attraction. What started out as a little game we brought to SxSW last year has evolved into a competition attendees anxiously await. In the past month, we’ve had two phenomenal Server Challenge competitions — one at the Technology for Marketing and Advertising (TFM&A) conference in London and the...
SLayer 101: A Whirlwind First Week
Mar 16, 2012
Having been client in the past, I already had some idea of how amazing the SoftLayer team was. Every interaction I had with the company was fantastic, and though I’ve worked with hundreds of service providers in different industries, I can wholeheartedly say that the service I received at Softlayer was better than any I’d...
Game On: SoftLayer + Game Developers + GDC
Mar 14, 2012
Last week, I spent a few days at GDC in San Francisco, getting a glimpse into the latest games hitting the market. Game developers are a unique bunch, and that uniqueness goes beyond the unbelievable volume of NOS Energy Drinks they consume … They like to test and push the IT envelope, making games more...
Web Development – CSS – Highlight Selection
Mar 13, 2012
I immediately fell in love with CSS when we were introduced in late 2000. The ability to style a whole site outside the HTML was a fantastic concept and probably my first true introduction to separation of style and content. Put your words over here, and put how you display those words over there. So...
Quantifying Culture: From Intern to Full-Time SLayer
Mar 12, 2012
I’ve worked two months as a full-time employee at SoftLayer, but if you were to ask anyone here, they’d say I’ve been a SLayer for much longer. They’re half right. I’ve been around, but not as a full-time employee. I started my SoftLayer journey as an intern in the summer before what was supposed to...
“That Cloudamajigger Thing”
Mar 07, 2012
At my house, we share a single iTunes account because as much as I hate to admit it … I listen to the same music as my 11-year-old on occasion, so why buy the same music twice? I have my iPhone setup to automatically sync via any wireless connection, so I occasionally get new apps...
iptables Tips and Tricks – Not Locking Yourself Out
Mar 05, 2012
The iptables tool is one of the simplest, most powerful tools you can use to protect your server. We’ve covered port redirection, rule processing and troubleshooting in previous installments to this “Tips and Tricks” series, but what happens when iptables turns against you and locks you out of your own system? Getting locked out of...
MassChallenge = Massive Opportunity
Mar 01, 2012
What would you do if your business received $50,000-$100,000 with no strings attached and no equity given up? Spend it to market to new customers? Invest in your infrastructure to scale your application? Use it lease office space that doesn’t sit above a bowling alley? Buy all of your employees puppies? It’s a dilemma that...
Fruition: Tech Partners Marketplace
Feb 29, 2012
This guest blog features Fruition, a featured member of the SoftLayer Technology Partners Marketplace. Fruition’s SEO and SEM reporting web app provides highly accurate reports on search engine rankings and onsite signals that impact your Google and Bing rankings. In the video below, learn a little more about Fruition (and a few key SEO/SEM tips...
14 Questions Every Business Should Ask About Backups
Feb 28, 2012
Unfortunately, having “book knowledge” (or in this case “blog knowledge”) about backups and applying that knowledge faithfully and regularly are not necessarily one and the same. Regardless of how many times you hear it or read it, if you aren’t actively protecting your data, YOU SHOULD BE. Here are a few questions to help you...
Kontagent: Tech Partner Spotlight
Feb 24, 2012
This is a guest blog featuring Kontagent, one of this month’s addition to the SoftLayer Technology Partners Marketplace. Kontagent’s kSuite Analytics Platform is a leading enterprise analytics solution for social and mobile application developers. Its powerful dashboard and data science expertise provide organization-wide insights into how customers interact within applications and how to act on...
How to Get the Best Customer Service (Anywhere)
Feb 23, 2012
Shelves of books have been written about providing great customer support, but I haven’t seen many written about how to get great customer support. Lance wrote a quick guide called “The 8 Keys to Successful Tickets” in May 2007, but because there have been over 730 blog posts between that post and this post, I...
An Insider’s Look at SoftLayer’s International Success
Feb 22, 2012
It’s been a long time since I put fingers to keyboard to write a blog, so I reckoned it was about time that I resurfaced on the interwebs. While this post won’t announce any huge news like my last post about SoftLayer going live in Amsterdam, it might provide an interesting insight into what it’s...
Startup Series: Distil
Feb 21, 2012
As you may have read in one of my previous posts, SoftLayer partners with various startup accelerator programs around the world. This gives us the incredible opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the brightest entrepreneurs in the tech industry. Because SoftLayer grew out of a classic startup environment, we have a...
Tips and Tricks – Remote Audio Over RDP in Windows 2008
Feb 20, 2012
I was working on my server the other night, and I found myself needing to get sound from my Windows 2008 box through an RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) connection. Because we have a huge customer base with Windows 2008 installed now, I figured there may be someone else out there that would like to be...
Cloudant: Tech Partner Spotlight
Feb 16, 2012
This is a guest blog from our featured Technology Partners Marketplace company, Cloudant. Cloudant enables you to build next-generation data-driven applications without having to worry about developing, managing, and scaling your data layer. Company Website: https://cloudant.com/ Tech Partners Marketplace: http://www.softlayer.com/marketplace/cloudant Cloudant: Data Layer for the Big Data Era The recipe for big data app success:...
SoftLayer + OpenStack Swift = SoftLayer Object Storage
Feb 15, 2012
Since our inception in 2005, SoftLayer’s goal has been to provide an array of on-demand data center and hosting services that combine exceptional access, control, scalability and security with unparalleled network robustness and ease of use … That’s why we’re so excited to unveil SoftLayer Object Storage to our customers. Based on OpenStack Object Storage...
Open Source, OpenStack and SoftLayer
Feb 14, 2012
The open-source model has significantly revolutionized not only the IT industry but the business world as well. In fact, it was one of the key “flatteners” Thomas Friedman covered in his tour de force on globalization — The World is Flat. The trend toward collaborating on online projects — including open-source software, blogs, and Wikipedia...
Logic Challenge: SoftLayer Server Rack Riddle
Feb 13, 2012
After I spent a little time weaving together a story in response to SKinman’s “Choose Your Own Adventure” puzzle (which you can read in the comments section), I was reminded of another famous logic puzzle that I came across a few years ago. Because it was begging to be SoftLayer-ized, I freshened it up to...
Amsterdam Data Center (AMS01): Does it Measure Up?
Feb 10, 2012
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...
Choose Your Own Adventure
Feb 09, 2012
I was unbelievably busy last week, and surprisingly, the busyness I’m referencing did not even involve my official responsibilities in compliance. I was planning on writing a blog to share some of the fun/insane/ridiculous things that happened, and I thought of a way to mix it up a little and make a challenge out of...
Alertia: Tech Partner Spotlight
Feb 08, 2012
This is a guest blog from our featured Technology Partners Marketplace company, Alertia. Alertia is a SaaS tool that provides a monitoring and alerting service that checks availability and response of servers, websites, and public cloud resources. Its distributed cloud-based network gives easy to understand data about server response and availability from different locations. Company...
Social Media Exclusive: Bobblehead Bonus
Feb 07, 2012
SoftLayer has a unique culture. As SLayers, we get company-inspired tattoos, we outfit ourselves (and our families) in SoftLayer gear, we take part in goofy videos, and every now and then, someone gets a shower of 10,000 bouncy balls. Our company culture is no accident; it has grown organically from the day SoftLayer was born,...
Server Hardware “Show and Tell” at Cloud Expo Europe
Feb 03, 2012
Bringing server hardware to a “Cloud Expo” is like bringing a knife to a gun fight. Why would anyone care about hardware? Isn’t “the cloud” a magical land where servers and data centers cease to exist and all that matters is that your hardware-abstracted hypervisor can scale elastically on demand? You might be surprised how...
Avoiding Apocalypses Like SOPA and PIPA
Feb 02, 2012
I’ve always enjoyed SNL’s satirization of those infomercials where a guy is slightly inconvenienced by a product that just doesn’t seem to work to his satisfaction. As a result, it shows him getting frustrated and pulling his hair out … But it doesn’t stop there. He then gets into his vehicle, drives recklessly down the...
Flex Images: Blur the Line Between Cloud and Dedicated
Feb 01, 2012
Our customers are not concerned with technology for technology’s sake. Information technology should serve a purpose; it should function as an integral means to a desired end. Understandably, our customers are focused, first and foremost, on their application architecture and infrastructure. They want, and need, the freedom and flexibility to design their applications to their...
Three Bars for Life
Jan 30, 2012
Working at SoftLayer has its perks, and one of my favorite perks to enjoy over the last three years is the ability to use a week and a half of my vacation time to travel over to Hawaii. I normally visit the Lahaina area on Maui, as I have family over there that operate Lahaina...
Deciphering SoftLayer Acronyms
Jan 27, 2012
As a bit of an introduction, I began my career as a GSP and hosted LAMP sites with WHM for SMBs … NBD. If you’re not fluent in “Tech Geek Acronym,” that sentence may as well be written in Greek. If I were to de-acronym it, I’d say, “I began my career as a Game...
Up Close and Personal: Intel Xeon E7-4850
Jan 26, 2012
Last year, we announced that we would be the first provider to offer the Intel E7-4800 series server. This bad boy has record-breaking compute power, tons of room for RAM and some pretty amazing performance numbers, and as of right now, it’s one of the most powerful servers on the market. Reading about the server...
SOPA + PIPA: “Stopped” Now. What’s Next?
Jan 24, 2012
The Internet community’s rallying cry has been heard by the United States Congress and Senate. Last week, we reported that SOPA was temporarily being put on the shelf, but now Congressman Lamar Smith has pulled the bill altogether, stating that “until there is wider agreement on a solution,” the bill will not be reintroduced. On...
ClothingLayer – SoftLayer Gear
Jan 23, 2012
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...
Librato Silverline: Tech Partner Spotlight
Jan 20, 2012
This is a guest blog from Librato about Silverline. Silverline gives detailed information, presented in graphical form, on the actual usage of processor, memory and storage and network bandwidth at the application level. It also provides reliable estimates of application resource “demand,” which allows you to identify resource constraints as a potential source of performance...
IPv6 Milestone: “World IPv6 Launch Day”
Jan 19, 2012
On Tuesday, the Internet Society announced “World IPv6 Launch Day”, a huge step in the transition from IPv4 to IPv6. Scheduled for June 6, 2012, this “launch day” comes almost one year after the similarly noteworthy World IPv6 Day, during which many prominent Internet businesses enabled IPv6 AAAA record resolution for their primary websites for...
Keep Fighting: SOPA on the Ropes. PIPA Lurking.
Jan 18, 2012
The Internet is unnervingly quiet today. In response to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House of Representatives and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate, some of the most popular sites on the web have gone dark today – demonstrating the danger (and the potential unchecked power) of these two bills....
Web Development – HTML5 – Web Fonts
Jan 17, 2012
All but gone are the days of plain, static webpages flowered with horrible repeating neon backgrounds and covered with nauseating animated GIFs created by amateur designers that would make your mother cry and induce seizures in your grandpa. Needless to say, we have come a long way since Al Gore first “created the intarwebs” in...
What I’ve Learned About Leading
Jan 16, 2012
What does it take to be a good leader? What kind of leader do you want to follow? Throughout my life, I’ve gravitated toward leadership positions. Even when I was young, I tended to take charge of a group to achieve a goal or accomplish a mission … though most of the “missions” in my...
The Challenge of Conveying Culture
Jan 13, 2012
Last week, Cracked.com ran an article about “9 Quirky Things Every ‘Cool’ Workplace Is Required to Have.” The post points out several seemingly trite characteristics of “trendy” and “fun” companies, and SoftLayer was one of the companies the author used to illustrate her point about quirky conference room names. The “obscure inside jokes” we chose...
How the Internet Works (And How SOPA Would Break It)
Jan 12, 2012
Last week, I explained SoftLayer’s stance against SOPA and mentioned that SOPA would essentially require service providers like SoftLayer to “break the Internet” in response to reports of “infringing sites.” The technical readers in our audience probably acknowledged the point and moved on, but our non-technical readers (and some representatives in Congress) might have gotten...
blue dog NETWORK: Tech Partner Spotlight
Jan 11, 2012
This is a guest blog from blue dog NETWORK about Hosted Sharepoint. blue dog NETWORK customers are realizing the results that every business wants from their information technology: intelligence, simplicity, and security. They get peace of mind and the agility to add or subtract users or services with just a click 24/7 at a cost...
Web Development – HTML5 – Custom Data Attributes
Jan 10, 2012
I recently worked on a project that involved creating promotion codes for our clients. I wanted to make this tool as simple as possible to use and because this involved dealing with thousands of our products in dozens of categories with custom pricing for each of these products, I had to find a generic way...
iptables Tips and Tricks – Troubleshooting Rulesets
Jan 09, 2012
One of the most time consuming tasks with iptables is troubleshooting a problematic ruleset. That will not change no matter how much experience you have with it. However, with the right mindset, this task becomes considerably easier. If you missed my last installment about iptables rule processing, here’s a crash course: The rules start at...
SOPA: Bad for Hosting
Jan 06, 2012
SoftLayer manages more than 100,000 servers in thirteen data centers around the world. We have more than 23,000 customers, and those customers are responsible for millions of websites (which get billions of pageviews every month). We’re one of the largest hosting providers in the world, and we want to talk a little about the Stop...
iptables Tips and Tricks – Rule Processing
Jan 05, 2012
As I mentioned in “iptables Tips and Tricks – Port Redirection,” iptables is probably a complete mystery to a lot of users, and one the biggest hurdles is understanding the method by which it filters traffic … Once you understand this, you’ll be able to tame the beast. When I think of iptables, the best...
Librato Metrics: Tech Partner Spotlight
Jan 04, 2012
This is a guest blog from Librato about Metrics. Metrics brings all of your monitoring data together in a unified hosted environment, enabling you to detect signs of problems early, minimize their impact through automated actions, and quickly find and fix their root cause. Company Website: https://metrics.librato.com/ Tech Partners Marketplace: http://www.softlayer.com/marketplace/metrics Measure Everything! If you’re...
Hosting Resolutions for the New Year
Jan 03, 2012
It’s a new year, and though only real change between on January 1 is the last digit in the year, that change presents a blank canvas for the year. In the past, I haven’t really made New Year’s resolutions, but because some old Mayan calendar says this is my last chance, I thought I’d take...
The Pros and Cons of Two-Factor Authentication
Dec 30, 2011
The government (FISMA), banks (PCI) and the healthcare industry are huge proponents of two-factor authentication, a security measure that requires two different kinds of evidence that you are who you say you are … or that you should have access to what you’re trying to access. In many cases, it involves using a combination of...
Using iPerf to Troubleshoot Speed/Throughput Issues
Dec 29, 2011
Two of the most common network characteristics we look at when investigating network-related concerns in the NOC are speed and throughput. You may have experienced the following scenario yourself: You just provisioned a new bad-boy server with a gigabit connection in a data center on the opposite side of the globe. You begin to upload...
186,282.4 Miles Per Second
Dec 27, 2011
Let’s say there are 2495 miles separating me and the world’s foremost authority on orthopedics who lives in Vancouver, Canada. If I needed some medical advice for how to remove a screwdriver from the palm of my hand that was the result of a a Christmas toy with “some assembly required,” I’d be pretty happy...
iptables Tips and Tricks – Port Redirection
Dec 26, 2011
One of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of Linux administration is the iptables firewall. To the unenlightened, this can be a confusing black box that breaks your web server and blocks your favorite visitors from viewing your content at the most inconvenient times. This blog is the first in a series aimed at clarifying...
SoftLayer’s 12 Days of Christmas
Dec 25, 2011
If you’re just joining us, you may have missed our remixes of “SoftLayer is Coming to Town” and “Go Tell it on the Mountain” … Both of which would be flying off the shelves these days (if our blog had shelves). In an effort to fill up some more space on a SoftLayer-only Christmas CD...
Back up Your Life: In the Clouds, On the Go
Dec 23, 2011
The value of our cloud options here at SoftLayer have never been more noticeable than during the holiday seasons. Such a hectic time of the year can cause a lot of stress … Stress that can lead to human error on some of your most important projects, data and memories. Such a loss could result...
Serving and Supporting – Outside the Data Center
Dec 22, 2011
On Tuesday, Summer posted “Giving: Better Than Receiving,” a blog about all of the organizations SoftLayer has supported in 2011, and I’m one of the lucky SLayers on the new Charity Committee. We recently began this initiative to oversee charitable donations at SoftLayer and (more importantly) to encourage all employees to step-up and make a...
Spot Influence: Tech Partner Spotlight
Dec 21, 2011
This is a guest blog from Spot Influence. Spot Influence provides businesses with detailed information on who’s influential in the world of social media and what those influencers actually care about. This data, accessed via an API, enables companies to react faster with more information and, more importantly, to be proactive and execute a strategic...
Giving: Better Than Receiving
Dec 20, 2011
The holiday season for many of us is a time for giving and reflecting back on what we are thankful for, and this year has been an awesome one for SoftLayer. As a result of that awesomeness, we’ve been able to help several organizations raise money and awareness … So many that we recently created...
SoftLayer Shopping List
Dec 19, 2011
With the holidays upon us, this can be a very hectic time of year. Whether you are the type to brave the shopping mall for your holiday purchases or you do all your shopping from your easy chair over the Internet, gift giving has become one of the more traditional activities during the Christmas season....
A Melting Pot of Techies
Dec 16, 2011
Now that I’ve had about twelve years of work experience, I’m at a point in my life where I can’t really claim to be “young” or “inexperienced” anymore. Throughout my professional career, I’ve been exposed to many different types of work environments, and I must say that never have I encountered as diverse a work...
Fighting SPAM and Abuse on a Global Network
Dec 15, 2011
For better or worse, one of the most engaging posts on the SoftLayer Blog is “We are a No-Spam Network,” written by Jacob Linscott in June 2007. When it was posted, it celebrated a completely clear Spamhaus listing page – quite an accomplishment for a large hosting provider (for reasons I’ll illustrate below). Since the...
Startup Series: Tech Wildcatters
Dec 14, 2011
Tech Wildcatters is a mentor-driven technology startup accelerator led by entrepreneurs in the Dallas area. The 12-week “boot camp” runs every spring and fall, providing experience and exposure to the 8-10 companies selected to participate in each class. Dennis Dayman, a Tech Wildcatters partner and mentor, explains what Tech Wildcatters is all about and why...
Do Your Homework!
Dec 13, 2011
As far back as I can remember, I hated homework. Homework was cutting into MY time as a kid, then teenager, then young adult … and since I am still a “young adult,” that’s where I have to stop my list. One of the unfortunate realizations that I’ve come to in my “young adult” life...
HTML5, Javascript & Web Development – Part I
Dec 12, 2011
So you have a fast website. You’ve optimized your database queries and you’re using the most efficient page caching mechanisms. The users of your site are pretty satisfied, but you want just a little bit more. How can you push your site to the next level by making sure you’ve included all the optimizations you...
Earn Your Bars
Dec 09, 2011
In less than six years, SoftLayer has grown pretty drastically. We started as a small company with ten people crammed into a living room, brainstorming how to build one innovative data center in Dallas. Now we have more than six hundred employees managing thirteen data centers on three different continents. It’s insane to see how...
UNIX Sysadmin Boot Camp: bash – Keyboard Shortcuts
Dec 08, 2011
On the support team, we’re jumping in and out of shells constantly. At any time during my work day, I’ll see at least four instances of PuTTY in my task bar, so one thing I learned quickly was that efficiency and accuracy in accessing ultimately make life easier for our customers and for us as...
CopperEgg: Tech Partner Spotlight
Dec 07, 2011
This is a guest blog from CopperEgg VP of Business Development Mike Raab. CopperEgg provides real-time insight into the speed and availability of applications and services on cloud, virtual and physical server. Company Website: http://www.copperegg.com/ Tech Partners Marketplace: http://www.softlayer.com/marketplace/copperegg Knowing Your Apps Are Up and Running = Peace of Mind Whether you are building or...
Go, Tell it on the Mountain
Dec 06, 2011
Because SoftLayer is now a global hosting company and the holidays are upon us, I thought I’d tweak another Christmas classic with some SoftLayer-specific content … We’re going to need a few more tracks to add to SoftLayer is Coming to Town if we hope to compile an album that’ll compete with Justin Bieber. Go,...
Quick Tip: Copy and Paste from the DOS Prompt
Dec 05, 2011
Having worked in SoftLayer’s technical support department for a few years now, I can tell you that the more information you provide us, the faster we can get you to a resolution. If you can show us exactly the problem you’re seeing with details from when you see it, it’s much easier for us to...
Global Network: The Proof is in the Traceroute
Dec 02, 2011
You’ve probably heard a lot about SoftLayer’s global expansion into Asia and Europe, and while the idea of geographically diversifying is impressive in itself, one of the most significant implications of our international expansion is what it’s done for the SoftLayer Network. As George explained in “Globalization and Hosting: The World Wide Web is Flat,”...
UNIX Sysadmin Boot Camp: Permissions
Dec 01, 2011
I hope you brought your sweat band … Today’s Boot Camp workout is going to be pretty intense. We’re focusing on our permissions muscles. Permissions in a UNIX environment cause a lot of customer issues … While everyone understands the value of secure systems and limited access, any time an “access denied” message pops up,...
Kred: Tech Partner Spotlight
Nov 30, 2011
This is a guest blog from the PeopleBrowsr team about Kred. Kred is the first social scoring system to provide people with a comprehensive, contextual score for their Influence and Outreach within interest-based communities. Company Website: http://kred.ly/ Tech Partners Marketplace: http://www.softlayer.com/marketplace/Kred We All Have Influence Somewhere The social networking revolution provides the unprecedented opportunity to...
SoftLayer Mobile v. 1.1 on Windows Phone: New Features
Nov 29, 2011
I was on a Caribbean cruise during the second week of November, and I kept telling myself that the first thing I needed to taste was a delicious mango. Even though I knew it’s out of season, I still had hopes. I had a chance to indulge in that tropical fruit, and I couldn’t help...
Brisket and BYOC
Nov 28, 2011
With all of the cooking and eating going on around Thanksgiving, Summer’s Truffle Mac and Cheese blog inspired me to think back on any of the “expertise” I can provide for SoftLayer customers in the kitchen. One of the first things my mother taught me to cook was brisket. While it might not be as...
Change is Good
Nov 27, 2011
We are closing down 2011 and beginning to prepare for a new year that is bound to be full of exciting changes and growth for our company, and in the midst of the calendar change, I’m reminded that my two-year anniversary of becoming a SLayer will be here soon too. Has time flown?! So many...
Online in Amsterdam: Innovators Wanted
Nov 25, 2011
Since I started with SoftLayer a couple of months ago, I have been asked by industry analysts, customers, interviewees and my drinking friends … ahem, I mean networking event associates, “Why did SoftLayer choose Amsterdam for its European headquarters?” My answer has always been consistent: It’s all about the products and the people. On the...
Summer’s Specialty: Truffle Mac and Cheese
Nov 24, 2011
Over half my time this year has been spent traveling around the US, Canada and Europe where I’ve shared the SoftLayer story with hundreds (if not thousands) of people. Since most of our trade shows are outside of the Dallas area, I frequently call a hotel room “home,” so I really cherish my actual home....
SoftLayer: My Kind of Work Atmosphere
Nov 23, 2011
When I tell friends and family that I work for a fun and diverse company where I get hands-on experience and am surrounded by knowledgeable and savvy coworkers, some stare at me in disbelief. In most minds, a job normally doesn’t have all of those characteristics at the same time. From 1999–2009, I worked as...
Semper Fi + Innovate or Die
Nov 22, 2011
How can I emphasize how cool my job is and how much I like it? I can’t believe SoftLayer pays me to do what I love. I should really be paying tuition for the experience I’m gaining here (Note to the CFO: Let’s forget the “I should be paying to work here” part when we...
SLaying at Cloud Expo West 2011
Nov 21, 2011
A month ago, Summer talked about how SoftLayer defies the laws of physics by being in several different places at the same time. With a worldwide network and data center footprint, that’s always going to be the case, but when we have several events going on in a given week, we’re even more dispersed. As...
The SoftLayer Server Challenge – ad:tech Expertise
Nov 21, 2011
If you’ve visited SoftLayer at a large conference this year, you probably came face-to-rack with our Server Challenge. Your task: Reassemble our miniature rack of SuperMicro servers in the fastest time at the conference. To do this, you need to install twenty drive trays in five servers and connect network cables in the correct switches...
Four Years of SLaying in Seattle
Nov 18, 2011
How are we already in mid-November? Did 2011 just fly by us or what? As we approach 2012, I will be celebrating my fourth anniversary with SoftLayer in our Seattle data center. Seattle was SoftLayer’s first data center outside of the Dallas area when it opened four years ago, and since then, I’ve seen the...
#Winning – Celebrating SoftLayer’s Awards
Nov 17, 2011
To quote Marva Collins, “Success doesn’t come to you, you go to it.” Since 2005, SoftLayer has consistently grown from $0 annual revenue to $350 million annual revenue, and that success hasn’t gone unnoticed. This year, we’ve been honored to win several awards based on our revenue growth percentage, how great the company is to...
RankAbove: Tech Partner Spotlight
Nov 16, 2011
Welcome to the next installment in our blog series highlighting the companies in SoftLayer’s new Technology Partners Marketplace. These Partners have built their businesses on the SoftLayer Platform, and we’re excited for them to tell their stories. New Partners will be added to the Marketplace each month, so stay tuned for many more come. We...
UNIX Sysadmin Boot Camp: User Management
Nov 15, 2011
Now that you’re an expert when it comes to bash, logs, SSH, and passwords, you’re probably foaming at the mouth to learn some new skills. While I can’t equip you with the “nunchuck skills” or “bowhunting skills” Napoleon Dynamite reveres, I can help you learn some more important — though admittedly less exotic — user...
My Road to LPIC-1 Certification
Nov 14, 2011
I’ve been a Linux user for many years, but for various reasons I never bothered to get a certification even though it’s a fantastic validation of Linux skills. When I moved up in the world by joining SoftLayer, my attitude quickly changed. As a new Systems Administrator at SoftLayer, one of the first challenges I...
UNIX Sysadmin Boot Camp: Passwords
Nov 11, 2011
It’s been a while since our last UNIX Sysadmin Boot Camp … Are you still with me? Have you kept up with your sysadmin exercises? Are you starting to get comfortable with SSH, bash and your logs? Good. Now I have an important message for you: Your password isn’t good enough. Yeah, that’s a pretty...
Being True to Your Roots: SoftLayer Loves Startups
Nov 10, 2011
Not too long ago, SoftLayer was just 10 guys with a great idea to re-invent the hosting industry. The “Original 10? as we call them, took a huge chance by leaving the comfort and safety of their collective worlds to do something truly special. Those ten people pooled personal resources, mortgages, “Pay ya’ back (someday...
NodeFly: Tech Partner Spotlight
Nov 09, 2011
Welcome to the next installment in our blog series highlighting the companies in SoftLayer’s new Technology Partners Marketplace. These Partners have built their businesses on the SoftLayer Platform, and we’re excited for them to tell their stories. New Partners will be added to the Marketplace each month, so stay tuned for many more come. -...
PHIL’s DC: SoftLayer Data Center Tour
Nov 08, 2011
When I was chosen by Lance to manage a “special project,” I knew I had my work cut out for me. My mission is to redefine how data centers are built, so before I get too far in the creation of my data center facility, I thought it would be a good idea to get...
Global Expansion: Amsterdam is LIVE!
Nov 07, 2011
At times, the meticulous planning, logistics and execution around the SoftLayer Amsterdam data center launch has felt like a clandestine military operation. Today, the wait is over! We’re finally ready to go “LIVE” with our new state-of-the-art facility, along with network Points of Presence (PoPs) in Amsterdam, London and Frankfurt. Having a European presence not...
Top 10 SoftLayer Facts
Nov 04, 2011
At conferences and tradeshows, I have the opportunity to meet hundreds of people. While a good number of attendees at technical conferences will come up to our booth and tell me they’re already customers, we still come across a few people who glance at our collateral and our graphics with a puzzled look on their...
Global Expansion: Floating Like a Butterfly
Nov 03, 2011
Growing up, one of my heroes was Mohammad Ali. While I admired his athletic ability, with my scrappy build I was never going to be a boxer. What I liked the most about Ali was that he said whatever he wanted and backed up his words with action. That is what distinguished Ali from the...
ethProxy: Tech Partner Spotlight
Nov 02, 2011
Welcome to the next installment in our blog series highlighting the companies in SoftLayer’s new Technology Partners Marketplace. These Partners have built their businesses on the SoftLayer Platform, and we’re excited for them to tell their stories. New Partners will be added to the Marketplace each month, so stay tuned for many more come.- Paul...
SoftLayer on the iPad
Nov 01, 2011
Shortly after we began implementing the SoftLayer Mobile application for the iPhone and Android, Apple released the iPad. With our development resources limited, we focused on adding the functionality our customers required to the iPhone application with only a few small features added to support the new device. As we became more familiar with the...
3 Bars | 3 Questions: Amsterdam
Oct 31, 2011
Within days of signing on to join the SoftLayer team in Amsterdam, I was on a plane to Dallas. With our facility coming online November 7, the onboarding process had to be accelerated, and the trip to our global headquarters provided an excellent crash course in SoftLayer’s strategy and vision for the future. The trip...
Celebrating and Looking Forward
Oct 30, 2011
Inspired by Robert’s NFL rival blog, I thought I’d contribute my own football-related post. Before I go any further, I should probably say, “PONY UP!” As a proud alumna of Southern Methodist University (SMU), I’m always happy to share where I sent to college, but when the SMU Mustangs take down our biggest rivals in...
Coworkers and Divisional Rivals: Football at SoftLayer
Oct 29, 2011
Cheering for the hometown team has always been interesting at SoftLayer. With U.S. data centers in Dallas, Houston, Washington DC, Seattle and San Jose, the “home team” varies throughout the organization. It’s always fun to talk about games with fans when I’m not invested in the outcome of a game outside my favorite team’s division...
3 Bars | 3 Questions: Singapore
Oct 28, 2011
It’s been a few months since the last 3 Bars 3 Questions with “The Mitch,” and between then and now, a lot has changed in the SoftLayer world. The biggest difference: Our technicians have traveled around the world to build out data centers in Singapore and Amsterdam. I joined SoftLayer as general manager of the...
SoftLayer Features and Benefits – Data Centers
Oct 27, 2011
When we last talked, I broke down the differences between features and benefits. To recap: a feature is something prominent about a person, place or thing, while a benefit is a feature that is useful to you. In that blog, I discussed our customer portal and the automation within, so with this next installment, let’s...
MODX: Tech Partner Spotlight
Oct 26, 2011
Welcome to the next installment in our blog series highlighting the companies in SoftLayer’s new Technology Partners Marketplace. These Partners have built their businesses on the SoftLayer Platform, and we’re excited for them to tell their stories. New Partners will be added to the Marketplace each month, so stay tuned for many more come.- Paul...
Global Expansion: Amsterdam Ready to Launch
Oct 25, 2011
Where has the time gone? We still have confetti in our hair from the party celebrating the Singapore data center going online, and all of a sudden, we’re announcing that SoftLayer servers are available in Amsterdam for presale. If you saw the epic “SoftLayer is Coming to Town”, you may have noticed a clip of...
NOT Lost in Translation
Oct 24, 2011
When I attend conferences, I always try to make sure that I communicate what we do the best way I can. With our new data centers opening up in Singapore and Amsterdam, I was curious to see what a SoftLayer message would look like in the two countries’ most prominent languages. With the gracious help...
The Importance of a First Impression
Oct 23, 2011
How many times have you heard that making a good first impression is everything? This is so true in many circumstances – from a blind date to a job interview to meeting the future in-laws. The first few moments are critical. There are a few things that help when making that first contact: Smile Present...
Content Streaming = Living Like Kings
Oct 22, 2011
As a video gaming and movie addict, I’ve always followed the latest trends and news in these two areas. Because there always seems to be some “breaking news” every day due to technology advancing so rapidly, sometimes it’s tough to keep up. In gaming, I remember it all started for me back when my parents...
SoftLayer, The Texas Rangers & The World Series
Oct 21, 2011
At the beginning of the baseball season, we gave away tickets for a lucky customer to see a Texas Rangers game, and as a result of that generosity, the Rangers thought it fitting to make it to the World Series. Well … our little giveaway may not have had anything to do with their success,...
Why Don’t You Work Here Yet?
Oct 21, 2011
I started my career with SoftLayer in March 2011 as a Server Build Technician, and after a few short months, I can safely say that coming here was one of the best moves I have ever made in my life. I have worked in a number of different jobs ranging from retail to shipping, but...
Taking Multitasking to a New Level
Oct 20, 2011
Is it possible to be in 3 places at once?? For SoftLayer it is! Last week was an extremely busy one for the SoftLayer team. SLayers from the marketing and sales teams were dispersed to cover three different trade shows in two separate cities where we’d meet a few thousand soon-to-be SoftLayer customers. I attended...
Native Rank: Tech Partner Spotlight
Oct 19, 2011
Welcome to the next installment in our blog series highlighting the companies in SoftLayer’s new Technology Partners Marketplace. These Partners have built their businesses on the SoftLayer Platform, and we’re excited for them to tell their stories. New Partners will be added to the Marketplace each month, so stay tuned for many more come.- Paul...
Adding ‘Moore’ Storage Solutions
Oct 18, 2011
In 1965, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore observed an interesting trend:”The complexity for minimum component costs has increased at a rate of roughly a factor of two per year … Certainly over the short term this rate can be expected to continue, if not to increase.” Moore was initially noting the number of transistors that can...
New Data Centers, Barbara Streisand & “Da Bobby G”
Oct 17, 2011
Dealing with jet lag, unfamiliar surroundings, foreign currencies and different languages just begins to describe my hectic life over the past two months. We’ve been in overdrive, building out SoftLayer’s Singapore and Amsterdam data centers in weeks (rather than months). Our “Go Live Crew” of 16 dedicated SLayers has been working ’round the clock to...
Advice for the Non-Experienced Tradeshow Traveler
Oct 16, 2011
SoftLayer attends 60+ tradeshows a year. That may not sound like much too some people, but when it means you’re only home for six days in a given month, it’s pretty daunting. Some think that going to a tradeshow is a “free” min-vacation, but in reality it’s exhausting work. You’ll get lucky at a few...
Lower Latency: Neutrino Network?
Oct 15, 2011
SoftLayer is on the “bleeding edge” of technology, and that’s right where I’m comfortable. I love being a part of something new and relevant. I also love science fiction and find that it’s mixing together with reality more and more these days. Yay for me and my nerdyness! Beam me up Luke Skywalker! (I wonder...
Incubators – Beyond Middle School Science Class
Oct 14, 2011
The first thing that comes to my mind when I hear the word “incubator” is my middle school science class. I can’t remember if we did a project or just read about it, but I am positive it was a point of focus for way too long. We learn about incubators as containers in which...
Fueling Startups with TechStars
Oct 13, 2011
One of the coolest things that we get to do as a company is support the growing and thriving community of technology entrepreneurs. Programs like TechStars provide us with the perfect opportunity to directly plug into some of the best and brightest tech talent anywhere in the world. As the number one startup accelerator in...
ICC Global Hosting: Tech Partner Spotlight
Oct 12, 2011
Welcome to the next installment in our blog series highlighting the companies in SoftLayer’s new Technology Partners Marketplace. These Partners have built their businesses on the SoftLayer Platform, and we’re excited for them to tell their stories. New Partners will be added to the Marketplace each month, so stay tuned for many more come.- Paul...
Building a True Real-Time Multiplayer Gaming Platform
Oct 12, 2011
Some of the most innovative developments on the Internet are coming from online game developers looking to push the boundaries of realism and interactivity. Developing an online gaming platform that can support a wide range of applications, including private chat, avatar chats, turn-based multiplayer games, first-person shooters, and MMORPGs, is no small feat. Our high...
What It’s Like to be on the SoftLayer Dev Team
Oct 11, 2011
This post is somewhat of a continuation of a post I made here a little over three years ago: What It’s Like to be a Data Center Technician. My career at SoftLayer has been a great journey. We have gone from four thousand customers at the time of my last post to over twenty five...
A Manifesto: Cloud, Dedicated and Hosting Computing
Oct 10, 2011
We are witnessing a fundamental shift in the IT industry. It is forever changing the way technology is delivered and consumed. The pay-as-you-go model for everything you need in IT is shattering the old computing paradigms, from software licensing models and hardware refresh cycles to budgeting operating costs. This change is bringing about more control...
Getting Started as a Server Build Technician
Oct 10, 2011
When I was interviewed for a job as Server Build Technician (SBT) in Dallas, I was a little concerned that I was getting in over my head. I let my potential manager know that I had very little experience with Linux but that I was willing to learn. I tried to show that I’d be...
Smart Phones: Technology Replacing Contact?
Oct 08, 2011
So much of our life has been moved to digital devices these days. Smart phones are one of many devices that have made an impression on our lives. Smart phones these days have become a must for most, whether it is for business or personal use, almost everyone has one. On the plus side, smart...
Global Expansion: On to Amsterdam
Oct 07, 2011
Over the course of about a month, you were able to follow the build-out progress of SoftLayer’s Singapore data center facility. Todd book-ended his coverage of the process with an early look on September 2 and the official “LIVE” announcement on October 3, and given the fantastic response from customers to those updates, we’re going...
On the Passing of a Giant
Oct 07, 2011
In March of 2000, Apple was set to launch the first version of Mac OS X. At the time, I was working for a company called Macromedia (creators of Flash, subsequently purchased by Adobe) on a professional illustration program called FreeHand. Part of the Mac OS X transition was a system that reimplemented the programming...
Raising Funds and Awareness – American Heart
Oct 06, 2011
SoftLayer is having a contest between all departments to see who can raise the most money for the American Heart Association. Each department (some departments were combined depending on the amount of employees in the group) was asked to think of a fundraiser, event or just some way the team could raise money for a...
Citrusleaf: Technology Partner Spotlight
Oct 05, 2011
Welcome to the next installment in our blog series highlighting the companies in SoftLayer’s new Technology Partners Marketplace. These Partners have built their businesses on the SoftLayer Platform, and we’re excited for them to tell their stories. New Partners will be added to the Marketplace each month, so stay tuned for many more come.- Paul...
The Sun Never Sets on SoftLayer
Oct 04, 2011
We’ve always set our sights globally at SoftLayer and this week we’ve certainly achieved some key milestones. With our data center in Singapore going LIVE, we now have a “digital gateway” for providing our unique cloud, dedicated, and managed hosting solutions to the Asia-Pacific region. What is even more remarkable is the speed at which...
An Introduction to Redis
Oct 04, 2011
I recently had the opportunity to get re-acquainted with Redis while evaluating solutions for a project on the Product Innovation team here at SoftLayer. I’d actually played with it a couple of times before, but this time it “clicked.” Or my brain broke. Either way, I see a lot of potential for Redis now. No...
Global Expansion: Singapore is LIVE!
Oct 03, 2011
I write this message while overlooking the International Business Park in Singapore. The desk I sit at faces east; the sun is now on the opposite side of the building and our new Singapore office is starting to cool off, but it’s eerily quiet here on the 6th floor. Our new Singapore General Manager Michael...
SoftLayer is Coming to Town
Oct 02, 2011
As many of you know SoftLayer is going global. Our Singapore DC goes live TOMORROW, and Amsterdam will follow suit shortly, so we put together a little “jingle” that I think you might know. It might be September, but if the stores are already putting out holiday items, Christmas songs should be fair game in...
Spam All Day, Bacon All Night
Oct 01, 2011
As the “abuse guy,” I deal with all kinds of abuse issues, and as you would imagine, SPAM is the primary point of concern. You’d probably think that dealing with spam ALLLLLL day every day would make most meat products sound unappealing, but there’s one that’ll never get on my bad side. Bacon … wrapped...
What’s Your KRED?
Sep 30, 2011
SoftLayer loves startups. The culture, the energy, the potential … It’s all good stuff. As you may remember from my 3 Bars 3 Questions interview and our Teens in Tech profile, one of the ways we support startups is through an incubator program that provides a phenomenal hosting credit and a lot of technology know-how...
Global Expansion: Singapore Ready for Launch
Sep 29, 2011
Are you familiar with the “slow clap” phenomenon? It’s basically a crescendo of applause in a crowd that starts with a single hand clap. A few seconds after that first clap, you hear the second. A slow rhythm takes shape. A few people join in. The rhythm is contagious, and it starts to spread through...
A Whole New World: SoftLayer on Windows Phone 7
Sep 28, 2011
As SLayers, our goal is always to bring creativity in every aspect of work we do at SoftLayer. It was not too long ago when the Interface Development team was presented with a new and exciting challenge: To develop a Windows Phone 7 Series app. Like me, many questioned whether we should tap into the...
The Challenges of Cloud Security Below 10,000 Feet
Sep 27, 2011
This guest blog was contributed by Wendy Nather, Research Director, Enterprise Security Practice at The 451 Group. Her post comes on the heels of the highly anticipated launch of StillSecure’s Cloud SMS, and it provides some great context for the importance of security in the cloud. For more information about Cloud SMS, visit www.stillsecure.com and...
StillSecure: Technology Partner Spotlight
Sep 26, 2011
Welcome to the next installment in our blog series highlighting the companies in SoftLayer’s new Technology Partners Marketplace. These Partners have built their businesses on the SoftLayer Platform, and we’re excited for them to tell their stories. New Partners will be added to the Marketplace each month, so stay tuned for many more come.- Paul...
Learning the Language of Hosting
Sep 25, 2011
It’s been a little over a month since I started at SoftLayer … And what a difference a month makes. In the course of applying for the Social Media Coordinator position I now hold, I was asked to write a few sample blogs. One was supposed to be about what SoftLayer does, and I answered...
The NEW New Facebook Layout
Sep 24, 2011
There are so many different types of Social Networks nowadays: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube Channels, the faded MySpace and recently popular Google+. They all have different features but are essentially used for the same purpose. Facebook is the largest player in the market, and every time it makes a change, the world collectively gasps … And...
Parallels APAC Summit: Lance Crosby Keynote
Sep 23, 2011
SoftLayer absolutely loves attending and participating in technology trade shows and conferences. This year we expect to be at 70 – 80 shows around the globe and chances are that if you’re at a technology show, you’ll see SoftLayer shirts in the crowd. This year we’re lucky enough to be apart of the Parallels APAC...
Global Expansion: Singapore is nearing completion
Sep 21, 2011
In early September I shared with you a progress report on our first international data center in Singapore. It should be no surprise that our build out has been moving at breakneck speeds.
UserVoice: Technology Partner Spotlight
Sep 21, 2011
Welcome to the next installment in our blog series highlighting the companies in SoftLayer’s new Technology Partners Marketplace. These Partners have built their businesses on the SoftLayer Platform, and we’re excited for them to tell their stories. New Partners will be added to the Marketplace each month, so stay tuned for many more come.- Paul...
SoftLayer.com Website Refresh
Sep 20, 2011
Recently, the SoftLayer Marketing team refreshed our corporate website. You may have already seen one of the most obvious changes: an updated homepage. While minor updates to the look and feel of the site have been made over the last two years (adding solid colors to the main tabs, increasing the use of text inside...
Tips for the Unseasoned Traveler
Sep 19, 2011
This year has been exciting for me at SoftLayer. I took on a new role here as a member of our marketing team, and in that role, I’ve played a big role in our trade shows. We participate in a huge number of trade shows each year, and I’ve been lucky enough to meet thousands...
Social Marketing v. Social Media – And Them Cowboys?
Sep 16, 2011
Once again the Dallas Cowboys let a game they weren’t supposed to win slip away from them in the 4th quarter. Again it was Tony “oops” Romo that had a hand (or “didn’t have hands”) in the loss. I can’t blame it all on him as I saw many problems that led up to the...
PHIL’s DC: HostingCon
Sep 15, 2011
HostingCon 2011 in San Diego may have been a huge success for SoftLayer, but I walked away with a different experience following my intense pursuit of building the PHIL’s DC brand. Apparently, the hosting industry wants to see my data center succeed before they believe it, and I think it’s really just fear rearing its...
FaxLogic: Technology Partner Spotlight
Sep 14, 2011
Welcome to the next installment in our blog series highlighting the companies in SoftLayer’s new Technology Partners Marketplace. These Partners have built their businesses on the SoftLayer Platform, and we’re excited for them to tell their stories. New Partners will be added to the Marketplace each month, so stay tuned for many more come.- Paul...
SoftLayer Features and Benefits – Automation
Sep 13, 2011
Features and benefits … They’re like husband and wife, horse and carriage, hammer and nails! They are inseparable and will always complement each other. I wanted to jump right into a key “features and benefits” analysis of one of the value propositions of the SoftLayer platform, but before I did, I want to make sure...
Global Expansion: More Singapore!
Sep 09, 2011
Last week, I shared an early glimpse of our Singapore data center pods and office space. What a difference a week makes. A week after the first batch of pictures were taken, I made my way back through the facility to document some of the progress, and you’ll be amazed by how quickly everything is...
Boston Startup Scene – WebInnovatorsGroup
Sep 08, 2011
We love startups and entrepreneurship communities that help startups become successful. Startups are usually all about innovation and approaching existing problems in a new way … And if you’re familiar with SoftLayer’s “Innovate or Die” motto, you know that we’re cut from the same cloth. We’ve partnered with incubators like Tech Wildcatters to provide up-and-coming...
3DCart: Technology Partner Spotlight
Sep 07, 2011
Welcome to the next installment in our blog series highlighting the companies in SoftLayer’s new Technology Partners Marketplace. These Partners have built their businesses on the SoftLayer Platform, and we’re excited for them to tell their stories. New Partners will be added to the Marketplace each month, so stay tuned for many more come.- Paul...
Emergency Response Services
Sep 06, 2011
When people ask me what I do for a living these days, I tell them I provide emergency response services. With this answer, I usually get very surprised and intrigued looks as they probe for more details about the excitement of saving lives. For those that have known me for a while, they are especially...
How Scalable Are You?
Sep 05, 2011
The Northeastern part of the United States saw two natural disasters within the span of five days of each other. The first was in the Washington, D.C. area: A 5.8 earthquake on August 23, 2011. On August 28, Hurricane Irene made her way up the east coast, leaving nearly 5.5 million people without power. We...
Global Expansion: An Early Look at Singapore
Sep 02, 2011
Based on the blog’s traffic analytics, customers are very interested in SoftLayer’s global expansion, and in my update from Tokyo, I promised a few sneak peeks into the progress of building out the Singapore data center. We’ve been talking about our move into Asia for a while now, but we haven’t showed much of the...
The Importance of Network Security
Sep 01, 2011
On Friday, April 27, 2011, I powered on my Sony Playstaton 3 and prepared to sit down for an enjoyable gaming session. As a Sony customer and a PlayStation Network (PSN) user, I expected my system to be able to connect to a service that I was told would be available. Because I had to...
Verecloud: Tech Partner Spotlight
Aug 31, 2011
Welcome to the next installment in our blog series highlighting the companies in SoftLayer’s new Technology Partners Marketplace. These Partners have built their businesses on the SoftLayer Platform, and we’re excited for them to tell their stories. New Partners will be added to the Marketplace each month, so stay tuned for many more come.- Paul...
Global Expansion: PoP into Asia – Japan
Aug 30, 2011
By the end of the year, SoftLayer’s global network will include points of presence (PoPs) and data centers throughout Europe and Asia. As George explained in Globalization and Hosting: The World Wide Web is Flat, the goal is to bring SoftLayer’s network within 40ms of everyone on the planet. One of the first steps in...
UNIX Sysadmin Boot Camp: Your Logs and You
Aug 29, 2011
We’re a few exercises into UNIX Sysadmin Boot Camp, and if you’re keeping up, you’ve learned about SSH and bash. In those sessions, our focus was to tell the server what we wanted it to do. In this session, we’re going to look at the logs of what the server has done. Logs are like...
The Beauty of IPMI
Aug 25, 2011
Nowadays, it would be extremely difficult to find a household that does not store some form of media – whether it be movies, music, photos or documents – on their home computer. Understanding that, I can say with confidence that many of you have been away from home and suddenly had the desire (or need)...
Virtual-Q: Tech Partner Spotlight
Aug 24, 2011
Welcome to the next installment in our blog series highlighting the companies in SoftLayer’s new Technology Partners Marketplace. These Partners have built their businesses on the SoftLayer Platform, and we’re excited for them to tell their stories. New Partners will be added to the Marketplace each month, so stay tuned for many more come.- Paul...
SOAP API Application Development 101
Aug 23, 2011
Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) is built on server-to-server remote procedure calls over HTTP. The data is formatted as XML; this means secure, well formatted data will be sent and received from SoftLayer’s API. This may take a little more time to set up than the REST API but it can be more scalable as...
Changing the (YouTube) Channel
Aug 22, 2011
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...
SoftLayer at HostingCon 2011
Aug 19, 2011
In my “HostingCon, Here We Come!” blog post, I promised that SoftLayer would be Bigger, Better and Badder at HostingCon 2011, and we made some pretty ambitious plans to be sure that was the case: Six conference panels and speaking sessions, SoftLayer’s biggest expo hall presence ever, in-booth presentations about everything from Portal 4 to...
Subtract Server. Add Humor.
Aug 18, 2011
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...
SendGrid: Technology Partner Spotlight
Aug 17, 2011
Welcome to the next installment in our blog series highlighting the companies in SoftLayer’s new Technology Partners Marketplace. These Partners have built their businesses on the SoftLayer Platform, and we’re excited for them to tell their stories. New Partners will be added to the Marketplace each month, so stay tuned for many more come.- Paul...
SLDN 2.0 – The Development Network Evolved
Aug 16, 2011
SoftLayer is in a constant state of change … It’s not that bad change we all fear; it’s the type of change that allows you to stretch the boundaries of your normal experience and run like a penguin … Because I got some strange looks when coworkers read “run like a penguin,” I should explain...
UNIX Sysadmin Boot Camp: bash
Aug 15, 2011
Welcome back to UNIX Sysadmin Boot Camp. You’ve had a few days to get some reps in accessing your server via SSH, so it’s about time we add some weight to your exercise by teaching you some of the tools you will be using regularly to manage your server. As we mentioned earlier in this...
UNIX Sysadmin Boot Camp: An Intro to SSH
Aug 12, 2011
You’ve got a ‘nix box set up. For some reason, you feel completely lost and powerless. It happens. Many a UNIX-related sob has been cried by confused and frustrated sysadmins, and it needs to stop. As a techie on the front lines of support, I’ve seen firsthand the issues that new and curious sysadmins seem...
Blood, Sweat and Tears: The Server Challenge
Aug 04, 2011
When you’re walking down the aisles of an expo hall at a technical conference, what do you expect to see? Stacks of collateral? Maybe a few giveaway T-shirts? A fancy switch-ball or two? How about a crowd of people watching as a fellow attendee slams hard drive trays into a server enclosure and frantically plugs...
Technology Partner Spotlight: CyberlinkASP
Aug 03, 2011
Welcome to the next installment in our blog series highlighting the companies in SoftLayer’s new Technology Partners Marketplace. These Partners have built their businesses on the SoftLayer Platform, and we’re excited for them to tell their stories. New Partners will be added to the Marketplace each month, so stay tuned for many more come.- Paul...
Technology Partner Spotlight: ClickTale
Jul 27, 2011
Welcome to the next installment in our blog series highlighting the companies in SoftLayer’s new Technology Partners Marketplace. These Partners have built their businesses on the SoftLayer Platform, and we’re excited for them to tell their stories. New Partners will be added to the Marketplace each month, so stay tuned for many more come.- Paul...
Globalization and Hosting: The World Wide Web is Flat
Jul 26, 2011
Christopher Columbus set sail from Palos, Spain, on August 3, 1492, with the goal of reaching the East Indies by traveling West. He fortuitously failed by stumbling across the New World and the discovery that the world was round – a globe. In The World is Flat, Thomas Friedman calls this discovery “Globalization 1.0,” or...
Under the Hood of ‘The Cloud’
Jul 25, 2011
When we designed the CloudLayer Computing platform, our goal was to create an offering where customers would be able to customize and build cloud computing instances that specifically meet their needs: If you go to our site, you’re even presented with an opportunity to “Build Your Own Cloud.” The idea was to let users choose...
Don’t Let IPv4 Exhaustion Sneak Up on You
Jul 22, 2011
A few month ago, IANA exhausted its unallocated IPv4 address pool when it gave the last /8‘s to regional registries around the world. That news got a fair amount of buzz. Last month, some of the biggest sites in the world participated in World IPv6 Day to a little fanfare as well. Following those larger...
Technology Partner Spotlight: Papertrail
Jul 20, 2011
Welcome to the next installment in our blog series highlighting the companies in SoftLayer’s new Technology Partners Marketplace. These Partners have built their businesses on the SoftLayer Platform, and we’re excited for them to tell their stories. New Partners will be added to the Marketplace each month, so stay tuned for many more come.- Paul...
PHIL’s DC: A Tour of the Facility
Jul 19, 2011
In the second episode of my self-made documentary series about the birth of a revolution in hosting, I explained how Lance and I mutually decided that a better course of action would be to build a data center for the future’s future, and I sketched out the basics of effective data centering. Lance sent the...
Skinson 1634AR15 Compliance
Jul 14, 2011
Skinson’s 1634AR15 Competency Controlled Certification of Compliance New Compliance structure makes a compliance officer’s life much easier. Dallas — In a world where auditor to auditor reports are out of control and we have a mountain of complex compliances to worry about, one competent compliancy controlled certification of compliance finally comes forth (and not a...
Technology Partner Spotlight: The Server Monitor
Jul 13, 2011
Welcome to the next installment in our blog series highlighting the companies in SoftLayer’s new Technology Partners Marketplace. These Partners have built their businesses on the SoftLayer Platform, and we’re excited for them to tell their stories. New Partners will be added to the Marketplace each month, so stay tuned for many more come.- Paul...
Texas House Bill 1841: Hosting and Taxes
Jul 11, 2011
Okay, so you’ve read the title and passed out already … but wait – this is good stuff! Well, maybe not “good,” but at least it’s relevant. The esteemed governor of Texas with the big Texas hair (and aspirations of taking his big hair out of Texas) recently signed House Bill 1841 (HB1841) into law,...
HostingCon, Here We Come!
Jul 09, 2011
On August 8, the hosting world will converge on the San Diego Convention Center for HostingCon 2011. I’d say that SoftLayer will “be there with bells on,” but a better way to put it would be that we’ll “be there with megaphones.” There are times to blend in and participate, and there are times when...
Me and My Android
Jul 07, 2011
Last weekend I went to an outdoor concert where I saw a pretty decent Beatles tribute band that hails from the great state of Texas and goes by the name Me and My Monkey. The entire excursion from home to the venue and back again lasted just about six hours. I was pulling into my...
Technology Partner Spotlight: Push IO
Jul 06, 2011
Welcome to the next installment in our blog series highlighting the companies in SoftLayer’s new Technology Partners Marketplace. These Partners have built their businesses on the SoftLayer Platform, and we’re excited for them to tell their stories. New Partners will be added to the Marketplace each month, so stay tuned for many more come.- Paul...
PHIL’s DC: Fine-Tuning the Idea
Jul 01, 2011
When Lance opened the floor for SoftLayer employees to present their ideas for “innovative” approaches to the Internet, I put together a pretty ambitious proposal. As it turns out, the idea wasn’t as fully baked as I may have wanted it to be, but I came to the decision to change gears a little and...
Having a Computer Guy in the House
Jun 30, 2011
This SoftLayer Blog entry actually comes to us from Kate Moseley (Age 10), daughter of VP of Network Engineering Ric Moseley. I think it is cool that my dad is a computer guy that works for SoftLayer because he is always able to fix our computers, TVs, and anything electronic. His job is to order...
Technology Partner Spotlight: Visualize ROI
Jun 29, 2011
Welcome to the next installment in our blog series highlighting the companies in SoftLayer’s new Technology Partners Marketplace. These Partners have built their businesses on the SoftLayer Platform, and we’re excited for them to tell their stories. New Partners will be added to the Marketplace each month, so stay tuned for many more come.- Paul...
Modern Website Design: Layout
Jun 28, 2011
There have been many books written about website design, and I am not about to take on the challenge of disputing any of them or trying to explain every facet of design. In this short blog, I want to explain what I have come to understand as the modern layout of websites. The term “layout”...
IPv6 – Blocks, Slashes and Big Numbers
Jun 23, 2011
IPv4 addresses are 32-bit while IPv6 addresses are 128-bit. Customers can get a /64 allocation of IPv6 addresses provisioned to every one of their SoftLayer servers. A /64 block of IPv6 addresses contains 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 distinct addresses. The entire IPv4 address space is 4,294,967,296 distinct addresses. It’s easy to get lost in a sea of numbers...
Technology Partner Spotlight: Mailgun
Jun 22, 2011
Welcome to the next installment in our blog series highlighting the companies in SoftLayer’s new Technology Partners Marketplace. These Partners have built their businesses on the SoftLayer Platform, and we’re excited for them to tell their stories. New Partners will be added to the Marketplace each month, so stay tuned for many more come.- Paul...
Ghostin’ the Machine – SoftLayer Customer Portal
Jun 21, 2011
The hosting business is a really great place to be these days. It may morph rapidly, but some things ring consistently clear. The dedicated server is one of those things. In the brief 10 years or so of my Internet hosting career, the way dedicated servers are delivered to customers and the way they are...
An Exercise in Innovation
Jun 16, 2011
Some of the best ideas come from people who think “outside of the box.” SoftLayer was born in a living room six years ago when we decided to look at the staid hosting industry from a new perspective. We said, “We don’t want to build a company to meet customers’ current needs. We want to...
Technology Partner Spotlight: Relenta
Jun 15, 2011
Welcome to the next installment in our blog series highlighting the companies in SoftLayer’s new Technology Partners Marketplace. These Partners have built their businesses on the SoftLayer Platform, and we’re excited for them to tell their stories. We invite each of our featured SoftLayer Tech Marketplace Partners to contribute a guest post to the SoftLayer...
Do You Have This in My Size?
Jun 13, 2011
For many people (including myself), finding a job this summer was a challenge. Looking back, my classmates and I asked so many questions: Will I find an internship? Will it be paid? Will I have to move? Will they hire me after graduation? You know … those little details. When I’m faced with uncertainty, I...
Technology Partner Spotlight: Postling
Jun 09, 2011
Welcome to the next installment in our blog series highlighting the companies in SoftLayer’s new Technology Partners Marketplace. These Partners have built their businesses on the SoftLayer Platform, and we’re excited for them to tell their stories. New Partners will be added to the Marketplace each month, so stay tuned for many more come.- Paul...
MySQL Slow? Check for Fragmentation.
Jun 08, 2011
Let’s say you have a website and you notice that any calls to your MySQL database take longer to render. If you don’t have a Database Administrator (DBA), this can be pretty frustrating. SoftLayer’s Managed Hosting line of business employs some of the best DBAs in the country and is one of the only managed...
What I Know: Hosting & BBQ
Jun 06, 2011
Last week, Thomas talked about his summertime passion, and it immediately got me thinking of mine. There are two things I know in this world: Hosting and Barbeque. They may be on the opposite ends of the spectrum, but both integral parts of the SoftLayer culture. Being Texas born and bred, I hear stories that...
3 Bars | 3 Questions: SoftLayer Culture
Jun 02, 2011
In the first 7 episodes of the 3 Bars | 3 Questions series, you’ve had the chance to meet some interesting people who work for SoftLayer. In the last installment, Paul Ford chose “The Mitch” as the next participant, and that’s a bit of a curve ball. “The Mitch” isn’t exactly a SoftLayer employee, but...
Startup Series: Teens in Tech Labs
Jun 01, 2011
In my 3 Bars 3 Questions interview with Kevin a few weeks ago, I touched on the Community Development groups goals as we work with startups, incubators and customers in our Technology Partners Marketplace, and last week I had the chance to visit a young, up-and-coming incubator in the Bay Area: Teens in Tech Labs....
Bringing Home Data Center Security
May 31, 2011
Look at any time period in mankind’s history, and you’ll come to the undeniable conclusion that technology changes the daily lives people in any society. With the evolution of technology, our lives have gotten so much easier. Consider all the little luxuries and conveniences available now to get tasks done in the workplace and home....
Summer Tips to Clean Your Ride
May 30, 2011
Remember this? Your car does. Now that Memorial Day officially marks the beginning of summer and the temperature is creeping back up, it’s time to take care of that neglected car that battled the cold winter and the spring rains. Outside of work, a lot of fellow SLayers are into cars … Some show them...
SoftLayer Mobile – Coming of Age
May 27, 2011
The SoftLayer Mobile application allows customers to work with support tickets, examine and control servers, monitor bandwidth information and more. The application is available on two platform: Apple iOS – supporting iPhones and iPads, and the Google Android operating system – supporting mobile phones and devices from a variety of vendors. The SoftLayer Mobile application...
IPv4 Justification Changes in IMS
May 26, 2011
When IANA ran out of IPv4 blocks in February, the belts tightened yet another notch in the IPv4 world. Regional registries such as ARIN have changed how they are allocating additional IPv4 blocks to ISPs, including performing more stringent reviews to ensure efficient utilization of current allocations and reducing future allocation sizes to more fairly...
“The Cloud” via Tools and Bridges
May 25, 2011
As Chief Scientist (or Chief Boffin, if you like), I spend a significant amount of time participating in industry, partner and customer events alike. This week is a great example, as I will be speaking at both All About the Cloud and the Citrix Synergy event in San Francisco. I will be covering similar ground...
Bringing Servers (and Koozies) to Europe!
May 24, 2011
A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to get to travel to Internet World in London for SoftLayer’s first exposition at a tradeshow in the UK. With a new data center opening soon in Amsterdam, I was really excited to get to share our story and our vision for the future with a...
Behind SoftLayer’s Growth
May 23, 2011
SoftLayer isn’t a publicly traded company, but in the interest of transparency, we do our best to share as much information about the business as we can with our customers. Earlier this week, we released our revenue and operations growth for the first quarter of 2011, and while we’re happy to reach so many amazing...
Technology Partner Spotlight: Panopta
May 18, 2011
Welcome to the next installment in our blog series highlighting the companies in SoftLayer’s new Technology Partners Marketplace. These Partners have built their businesses on the SoftLayer Platform, and we’re excited for them to tell their stories. New Partners will be added to the Marketplace each month, so stay tuned for many more come.- Paul...
Row, Row, Row Your Dragon Boat
May 17, 2011
Following a long-time tradition inherited from The Planet, SoftLayer proudly participated this past weekend in the 2011 Dragon Boat, Kite and Lantern Festival in Irving, Texas. The festival, filled with colorful lanterns and kites, cultural performances, and great food, is centered on a water sport that originated in China over 2,000 years ago: Dragon boat...
A Well-Deserved Retirement
May 16, 2011
On a normal day at home, the hum inside a personal computer would seem very inaudible. In contrast, if you find yourself inside a data center, you’re constantly surrounded by the inescapable whir of workhorse machines. This whir is the sound of thousands and thousands of fans pushing cold air and keeping everything in top...
Follow 750 Servers from Truck to DC Rack
May 12, 2011
What do you call the day after you finish building a new data center server room and cabling the server racks in it? If you’re an employee at SoftLayer, you call it Truck Day. Last week, a few of the folks from marketing were invited to celebrate in the Truck Day festivities for Pod 2...
Technology Partner Spotlight: Acunote
May 11, 2011
Welcome to the next installment in our blog series highlighting the companies in SoftLayer’s new Technology Partners Marketplace. These Partners have built their businesses on the SoftLayer Platform, and we’re excited for them to tell their stories. New Partners will be added to the Marketplace each month, so stay tuned for many more come.- Paul...
SoftLayer’s Core Values
May 10, 2011
On my first day on the job at SoftLayer, I was taught the core values of the company: Innovation, empowerment, automation and integration. Initially, I wasn’t sure if this was “marketing talk” or actually the actual driving force behind SoftLayer. Now, almost a year and a half later, I see how these core values really...
Will Write Poetry for Servers
May 09, 2011
Two weeks ago, I inadvertently opened the floodgates to a wave of creativity from the SoftLayer Development/Technology organization. Lance came by my office and dropped off a server he was given, and while I would have taken it home, souped it up and done something cool with it in previous years (or decades) in my...
Cabling a SoftLayer Server Rack
May 06, 2011
A few weeks ago, SamF posted “Before They Were SoftLayer Data Centers,” a virtual scrapbook from the San Jose data center construction process, and based on the surge of traffic we saw to the post, our customers loved it. It’s incredible to see an open warehouse-looking space transformed into an enterprise data center environment, and...
Giving Customers More Than They Expect
May 05, 2011
Giving a customer the ability to do something that they didn’t know they could (or even know was possible) can make for an exceptional customer experience. I’ve had a season mini-pack of Dallas Mavericks tickets for a handful of years now and have always gotten the exact experience that I expected: The same seats every...
3 Bars | 3 Questions: Community Development
May 04, 2011
I’ve been on the hook for a 3 Bars | 3 Questions interview for a few weeks now, and I finally found a few minutes to chat with Kevin about what’s going on in the world of SoftLayer Community Development. In the past two months, we’ve cranked everything up to 11 with the unveiling of...
SoftLayer’s Android Client Gets an Extreme Makeover
May 03, 2011
One of the things you expect when you merge two organizations in the same vertical space is for your talent pool to get deeper. SoftLayer had a seriously talented bunch of developers before the merger – I should know, I consider myself one of them – and as I was promised would be the case,...
Technology Partner Spotlight: AppFirst
Apr 27, 2011
Welcome to the next installment in our blog series highlighting the companies in SoftLayer’s new Technology Partners Marketplace. These Partners have built their businesses on the SoftLayer Platform, and we’re excited for them to tell their stories. New Partners will be added to the Marketplace each month, so stay tuned for many more come.- Paul...
Hybrid Hosting – What Does it Really Mean?
Apr 26, 2011
In our first 3 Bars ? 3 Questions video interview, SoftLayer CTO Duke Skarda talked about Hybrid Hosting with Kevin, and last week, I tackled the topic in a session the Texas Technology Summit in Houston. If you have a few minutes and want to learn a little more about SoftLayer’s take on hybrid computing...
Technology Partner Spotlight: Standing Cloud
Apr 21, 2011
Welcome to the next installment in a our blog series highlighting the companies in SoftLayer’s new Technology Partners Marketplace. These Partners have built their businesses on the SoftLayer Platform, and we’re excited for them to tell their stories. New Partners will be added to the Marketplace each month, so stay tuned for many more come.-...
An Innovative Approach to Managed Hosting
Apr 20, 2011
One of SoftLayer’s driving principles is innovation — Our mantra is ‘Innovate or Die.’ We don’t focus on offering the lowest cost solutions; we strive to offer the most innovative solutions, which in turn brings customers the greatest value. Take as an example SoftLayer Managed Hosting, a new service we’re launching this week. A quick...
3 Bars | 3 Questions: SoftLayer Managed Hosting
Apr 20, 2011
I know you expected to see a video interview with Paul Ford the next time a 3 Bars | 3 Questions episode rolled across your desk, but I snuck past him for a chance in the spotlight this week. Kevin and I jumped on a quick video chat to talk about the Sales Engineering team,...
Before They Were SoftLayer Data Centers
Apr 18, 2011
Ever wonder what a SoftLayer data center looked like before it became a SoftLayer data center? Each one of our facilities is built from a “pod” concept: You can walk into any of our server rooms in any of our facilities around the country (soon to be “around the world”), and you’ll see same basic...
Lone Star Uke Fest 2011
Apr 14, 2011
When spring is in the air, and the first breath of April showers blows across the plains, the mind turns to simple passions. Luckily, for the past three years, the first week in April has wrapped lovingly around the Lone Star Ukulele Festival in Dallas ? happily just down the street from SoftLayer’s main office....
Technology Partner Spotlight: MigrationBox.com
Apr 12, 2011
Welcome to the first installment in a new blog series highlighting the companies in SoftLayer’s new Technology Partners Marketplace. These Partners have built their businesses on the SoftLayer Platform, and we’re excited for them to them tell their stories. New Partners will be added to the Marketplace each month, so stay tuned for many more...
7 Keys to Startup Success
Apr 09, 2011
We recently announced a partnership with the Tech Wildcatters Incubator Program, a Dallas-based “microseed” fund and startup accelerator, and we couldn’t be happier with the results we’ve seen thus far. Much of the press coverage of the sponsorship focused on the $1,000/mo of cloud, dedicated or hybrid hosting solutions we offered the program’s startup companies,...
Thou Shalt Transcode
Apr 07, 2011
Deep in the depths of an ancient tomb of the great Abswalli, you and your team accidentally awaken the Terbshianaki ghost army. You’re disconnected from the supply caravan with the valuable resources that could not only sustain your journey but also save your team. As Zeliagh the Protesiann hunter fires his last arrow, you come...
Take Me Out to the Ball Game
Apr 06, 2011
If you didn’t read the title to this post in the singsong seventh-inning stretch tune, the rest of this post probably won’t be for you. For those of you who just got to “Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack,” as the song kept playing in your head, you’re going to love the news we...
So … What Does SoftLayer Do?
Apr 02, 2011
In the first quarter of 2011, SoftLayer presented in, exhibited at or sponsored at least thirty different conferences and events. We’ve globe-trotted to places like Orlando, San Francisco, New York, Las Vegas and Europa Park, Germany, to spread the word about who SoftLayer is and what we do. We’ve talked about data center pods over...
The Path to Hosting 19+ Million Domain Names
Mar 31, 2011
If you own a business, your goal is to be wildly successful. You might look at financial growth, operational efficiencies or customer satisfaction, but at the end of the day, you want to execute on your vision to continue it. With SoftLayer’s management team, company culture, innovative platform and focus on the customer experience, we’ve...
The Rise of the Geek
Mar 29, 2011
Whether fact or fiction, in business, sports, politics or the arts, everyone loves a triumphant underdog story, and who could be more of an underdog than a bookish, socially awkward geek? You know … the ones that were overlooked and under-appreciated (until they made their first million dollars). The history of the Internet is littered...
WorldHostingDays 2011
Mar 25, 2011
This week, Lance and I hopped over the pond to attend WorldHostingDays 2011 at Europa-Park in Rust, Germany. If you haven’t heard of WorldHostingDays, you may be a little more familiar with WebhostingDays, its more narrowly focused predecessor. Because many of the sessions and discussions at the event have evolved and grown significantly from the...
3 Bars | 3 Questions: SoftLayer Channel Sales
Mar 24, 2011
In this week’s “3 Bars | 3 Questions” episode, I was nominated by Tom Blair to talk about SoftLayer’s Channel Sales team and the competitive advantages our three partner programs (strategic, referral and reseller) have over our competition. As you’ll see in the video, we actually covered seven or eight questions, but the basic framework...
SoftLayer Rocked SxSW 2011
Mar 23, 2011
South by Southwest 2011 is over. Phew. The chaotic buzz of sessions, trade show booths, concerts, happy hours and parties has subsided, so we can finally take a little time to look back at our experience in Austin last week. Our most talked about contributions to the 2011 SxSW community were our SxSL (South by...
7 Steps to Server Migration Success
Mar 21, 2011
It’s been a long journey: Four years ago you paid a premium for your humble domain, and things have changed a lot since then. You want to move to a newer, cheaper, nicer place, but you dread the process of collecting all of your stuff and moving it somewhere else. What’s the best way to...
Parallels on SoftLayer: Webinar Series
Mar 18, 2011
We recently started a webinar series with our friends over at Parallels to help customers in different markets understand how they can use SoftLayer and Parallels to power their businesses. A shared hoster and a web designer are going to have different needs and priorities when it comes to infrastructure architecture and control panel management,...
Joining the SoftLayer Family
Mar 17, 2011
About a month ago, I joined SoftLayer, and I feel like I’ve been welcomed into a big new family. I live in the Dallas area, and when I saw a listing from SoftLayer for server build technicians on craigslist, I sent in my résumé and anxiously awaited a response. Two weeks later, I got that...
Everything Counts – Social Media Measurement
Mar 16, 2011
Here I sit on another flight back to Dallas, and I just finished my movie. What’s the best way to spend the rest of the “air time?” Viola – another blog! Your heart is likely aflutter as you wonder what on earth I’ve come up with to post this time. After rummaging through the topics...
SoftLayer SxSW Server Challenge
Mar 15, 2011
As the doors open to the trade show at South by Southwest (SxSW) Interactive 2011, SoftLayer is poised and ready to greet attendees with a brand new “Server Challenge” in booth 400. In previous iterations, the Server Challenge involved reassembling a single server with about a dozen components. In this challenge, we’re going bigger. Literally....
3 Bars | 3 Questions: SoftLayer Sales
Mar 11, 2011
Will Charnock put me in the hot seat at the end of his 3 Bars | 3 Questions interview last week, so I welcomed Kevin into my office virtually to have a quick chat. He came equipped with three good questions about my experience with SoftLayer SLales, and I did my best to give three...
Building a Data Center | Part 2: The Absence of Heat
Mar 09, 2011
As you walk down the cold aisle in a data center, you might be curious about how all that cold air gets there. Like the electrical system, data center cooling travels a path through the data center that relies on many integrated systems working together to achieve the desired result. To start, I should give...
March Madness – Customer Experience Style
Mar 07, 2011
If you are a SoftLayer customer you probably noticed a maintenance window early Sunday morning. If you aren’t a SoftLayer customer, (you should be, and) you may have even noticed on quite a few social media outlets that we were trying to provide real-time updates about the maintenance progress, and our customers were doing so...
3 Bars | 3 Questions: “IPv6”
Mar 05, 2011
Thanks to Marc’s vote, I had the distinct honor of being the third guest on our “3 Bars | 3 Questions” series. The topic of conversation: IPv6. Are we in a “The sky is falling!” situation yet? How can customers put pressure on their ISPs and software providers to add IPv6 support? How long with...
Hosting != Glamorous
Mar 03, 2011
Infrastructure. Administration. Interface. Connectivity. Computer Room Air Conditioner. Data Center. Generator. Router. I know what you’re saying to yourself right now: “Hold onto your hat, self … After that start, this post is going to be wild and crazy!” Actually, you might have literally yawned while reading those words. Why? Hosting isn’t very glamorous. Go...
Motivation to Rock the Boat
Mar 02, 2011
Have you seen The Social Network? I don’t know about you, but it’s hard for me to see a movie before it comes out on iTunes or pay-per–view these days, so I’m a little late to the game on this one. I watched most of it on my flight back from Parallels Summit in Orlando...
API Basics: REST API – “Hello World”
Mar 01, 2011
Learning SoftLayer’s API When I first started to look at SoftLayer’s API, I favored the SOAP programming interface because I liked the strictly formatted XML responses, the good separation of concerns (using the server as proxy for data retrieval) and the increased security. All of these are great reasons to use the SOAP interface, but...
Hosting is Dead. Long Live Hosting!
Feb 25, 2011
If you weren’t able to join us in Orlando for Parallels Summit 2011, you missed out on a great conference. More than 1,500 peers, partners and industry influencers shared a wealth of knowledge, some great recommendations and a drink or two. SoftLayer got to share in some of the spotlight when we announced Parallels Automation...
A Crash Course in CRAC Units – Data Center Cooling
Feb 24, 2011
In the past few weeks, we’ve fielded a few questions from our Twitter followers about temperatures in our data center and how CRAC units work. John mentioned in the “Building a Data Center” series that his next post would be about keeping the data center cool, so I’ll try not to steal too much thunder...
A Journey into the SoftLayer Billing Portal
Feb 23, 2011
Since SoftLayer’s merger with The Planet in November, we have been working tirelessly to combine our legacy Orbit and SoftLayer customer portals, and we’ve got some great news: We’re ready to move all of our billing information and functionality onto the SoftLayer platform! The changes are designed to make managing your account quicker and easier....
Building a Data Center | Part 1: Follow the Flow
Feb 21, 2011
The electrical distribution system in a data center is an important concept that many IT professionals overlook. Understanding the basics of your electrical distribution system can save downtime and aid in troubleshooting power problems in your cabinets. It’s easy to understand if you follow the flow. As with many introductory lessons in electricity, I will...
Is Your Business Ready for World IPv6 Day?
Feb 18, 2011
As you may have seen earlier in the week, SoftLayer is joining ISOC‘s 24-hour IPv6 “test flight” as a part of World IPv6 Day on June 8, 2011. As I alluded in ISOC’s press release, SoftLayer is a hosting provider, but we aren’t going to be an effective resource for our customers if we don’t...
API Basics: REST
Feb 17, 2011
What is REST? “Representational State Transfer,” or REST, is a style of software architecture designed to relate different types of hypermedia to each other for distribution. The basic concept of REST is that a client application can request information from a server in the form of a representation of a resource without actually downloading an...
3 Bars | 3 Questions: “Big Data and Search”
Feb 16, 2011
Last week, Duke chose SoftLayer Director of Product Innovation Marc Jones as this week’s “3 Bars | 3 Questions” participant, so Marc’s desk chair became the hot seat this afternoon. The topic of discussion: “Big Data and Search.” Have you started working with big data? What’s the best method you’ve found to keep it organized...
Five Ways to Use Your VPN
Feb 15, 2011
One of the many perks of being a SoftLayer customer is having access to your own private network. Perhaps you started out with a server in Dallas, later expanded to Seattle, and are now considering a new box in Washington, D.C. for complete geographic diversity. No matter the distance or how many servers you have,...
The Black Cat
Feb 14, 2011
“Dogma.” “Religion.” What comes to mind when you hear these words? In the real world, you might think of Christianity, Islam, or Judaism. In the political world, you might think of Communism vs. Freedom. Closer to home, you might think of “red state” and “blue state.” Computers are deterministic, logical machines, yet they too have...
Naming Rights
Feb 11, 2011
Anyone out there have a cool billion in cash lying around? If so, call Jerry Jones and you can have the naming rights to Cowboy Stadium. You know the one where they just played the Super Bowl and where they tried to break the all-time attendance record by putting in 20,000 temporary seats? Too bad...
3 Bars | 3 Questions: “Hybrid Hosting” Video Interview
Feb 09, 2011
? Who would you like to see in the hot seat, and what hot topics do you want to hear about? -Duke
CEO Lance Crosby to Keynote Parallels Summit
Feb 08, 2011
The Super Bowl is over, so now we can all focus our attention on Parallels Summit which is coming up in two weeks. We are very excited to have SoftLayer CEO Lance Crosby, one of the industry’s most successful entrepreneurs, deliver a keynote address this year. I look forward to hearing Lance’s views on the...
That Which We Call a Conference Room …
Feb 07, 2011
As I was walking through the halls of our Dallas office, I happened to pass an door that seemed like an open portal into another dimension. Where you’d expect to finding boxes of cables and keyboards on metal racks, there were a few old wooden trunks lining the walls of the dimly lit space. Naturally,...
Access Logs: A Look at Egypt’s Current Usage
Feb 03, 2011
Social unrest can affect our ability to serve our customers. In Egypt, the government recently cut off nearly all access to the Internet, so customers trying to access our servers from Egyptian IP space have been largely unsuccessful. How unsuccessful? I gathered all the netblocks assigned to Egypt (currently around 5.8 million unique IPv4 IP...
API Basics: What is SOAP?
Feb 02, 2011
What is SOAP? “Simple Object Access Protocol” – SOAP is a method and format for sending XML from one server to another via HTTP. SOAP allows you to have remote database servers which supply information to power your website. The best part about SOAP is that it is universal and secure. This means that big...
Even Vampires Need a Healthy Diet
Feb 01, 2011
It’s often said that people lose their health when they’re younger in pursuit of money only to spend that money to restore their health in old age. Regardless of whether you fit into this category or not, it’s undeniable that health is more important than anything else. Many of us take our good health for...
Welcome to SoftLayer 2011
Jan 31, 2011
Wow, I can’t believe it’s already 2011. I vividly remember what a big deal Y2K was and what I was doing that night. Note to self: It might seem like it was just yesterday, but it wasn’t, so you should probably stop telling people you’re still 29 years old. Speaking of time flying, I’ve been...
What Does it Cost (Part 3)
Jan 27, 2011
Determining the value of “On-Demand” It’s 2011, and as we bookend the tail part of 2010 and the beginning of 2011 in effort to close strong and get a good jump on the year, it can be easy to lose sight of the big picture. As it turns out, this distracted me, so it’s been...
Time for an Oil Change?
Jan 26, 2011
Man driving into Jiffy Lube, car sputtering and smoking. Attendant: “Looks like you need an oil change buddy.” Buddy: “Yep, I think so. I was here last week and I think they used the wrong oil!” Attendant: “Nah, we wouldn’t do that. In fact we only have one kind of oil here and...
Free Sodas: A Perk of Becoming a SLayer
Jan 25, 2011
Unless you’ve taken up residence under a proverbial rock, you know that we have had some changes over the last few months. The dust is beginning to settle after the merger, and the future has never looked brighter. When we said, “Bigger, Better, Badder” … We meant it! We’ve hit the ground running and we...
5 Steps to Start Using IPv6 (not IPv5)
Jan 24, 2011
As Kevin mentioned on Friday, we are less than 45 days from “doomsday.” The IANA only has about 3% of the resources required to sustain our current way of life. 6.8 billion people with only 4.3 billion addresses in existence. It’s the 2012 saga in 2011: The exhaustion of the Internet’s available IP version 4...
What Does IPv4 Exhaustion Mean for You?
Jan 21, 2011
THE SKY IS FALLING! EVERYBODY MOOOOOOVVVVEEEE! WWWHHHYYY??!! OH THE HUMANITY!!! Are those your reactions to the depletion of IPv4 space? Probably not. If you haven’t seen the IPv4 Exhaustion Rate countdown in the sidebar of SoftLayer.com, head over there and check it out … At the current rate, there will be ZERO unallocated IPv4 blocks...
Blurring the Line Between Dedicated and Cloud Service
Jan 20, 2011
What does “the cloud” mean to you right now? Does it mean “the Internet?” Is it how you think of outsourced IT? Does the nephologist in you immediately think of the large cumulonimubus creeping up the sky from the South? We read about how businesses are adopting cloud-this and cloud-that, but under many definitions we...
AJAX Without XML HTTP Requests
Jan 19, 2011
What is AJAX? Asynchronous JavaScript and XML – AJAX – is what you use to create truly dynamic websites. Ajax is the bridge between application and presentation layers, facilitating lightning fast, instant application of data from the end user to the host and back to the end user. It dynamically changes the data displayed on...
API Basics: What is the API?
Jan 13, 2011
Over the past few years, there has been a dramatic increase in the use of APIs, or Application Programming Interfaces. An API allows a developer to create software that directly interfaces with another system. A simple example would be an online retail site that drop ships products from a distributor. Without an API, the retail...
‘What\’s with These “Quote” Things?’
Jan 12, 2011
‘We\’ve’ . “all $een” . ‘this’ . $problem . ‘before’ . $and->it . ((1==1) ? ‘seems’ : ‘dosen\’t seem’) . sprintf(‘about time to %s things’, ‘clarify’); PHP string handling can be a tough concept to wrangle. Developers have many options: single / double quotes, concatenation and various string manipulation functions. The choices you make have...
Jurassic Park, Uptime, And You!
Jan 11, 2011
Some of you may remember in the movie Jurassic Park where the park founder’s granddaughter Lex, played by Ariana Richards, sits down at a computer terminal, gasps, and says “This is Unix. I know this!” That particular film moment has always resonated with me as a victory for realistic depiction of computer systems – the...
#SoftLayerMysteryEvent: For Those About to Rock
Jan 10, 2011
If you’ve been watching @softlayer and @softlayer_news for the past week, you’ve probably seen a few mentions of a SoftLayer Mystery Event. In the words of Winston Churchill, “It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.” The hints got more and more revealing as the week progressed, and any geek worth his/her...
All New Everything
Jan 06, 2011
Just about 4 months ago we (former Planeteers) received word that we would soon be moving to a new, shiny and bright office located in North Dallas. Most responses were mixed: What does it look like? Where will I sit? Will the drinks still be cheap? What kind of coffee do they have? You know...
I’m Dreaming of TV Commercials
Jan 03, 2011
With GI Partners’ investment into SoftLayer last August and the subsequent merger with The Planet in November, I haven’t had a spare moment to write a blog. As I write this, it’s just before year end 2010, and now that we are the largest privately held pure-play hosting company in the world, I sort of...
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
Dec 24, 2010
‘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 Art of Giving
Dec 23, 2010
The holiday season is around and we are all busy buying gifts at malls/online for our family members, friends, colleagues, bosses, teachers, business partners and to everyone that makes a difference in our life. This holiday season also try a little different way of gift giving that wouldn’t cost you a penny. To give this...
SoftLayer Market Positioning: Bang v. Buck
Dec 20, 2010
SoftLayer’s goal is to compete on performance and control, not price. The hosting industry is crowded with competitors undercutting each other on prices, and we don’t want run in the race to the bottom. A few weeks ago, about 18,000 customers officially became SoftLayer customers. Over the past decade, they joined the fold under the banners...
Capacity Planning and the Cloud
Dec 17, 2010
Cloud computing is changing the landscape for Technology projects and initiatives in many ways, but today I wanted to take a look at how cloud computing can help reduce risks when doing server capacity planning for a project. Traditionally, server capacity planning has consisted of gathering application / database / processing specs, talking to the business...
SoftLayer Social Media Adventure
Dec 14, 2010
If you’ve been watching @SoftLayer and following our posts on Facebook, you know that we’ve been spreading the holiday spirit by giving away “swag bags” to our social networks. At this point, we’ve shipped packages full of SoftLayer goodies to exotic locations like Germany, New York City, India, Southern California, Ireland, Brazil and Flower Mound,...
Kevin Smith Gets It
Dec 13, 2010
I am a Kevin Smith fan. I admire him on a number of levels – his movies entertain, his podcasts with Scott Mosier (Smodcasts) are a funny, albeit twisted, trip into the unknown and his on stage performances / monologues / Q&A sessions never fail to please. Kevin is also a prodigious Twitterer (11,994 tweets...
Records Are Made to be Broken
Dec 09, 2010
You know how it works – a casual conversation leads to a Google search the next day. This in turn leads to enlightenment. Or something along those lines. Last Tuesday morning, a PDF version of the January 30, 1983(!) issue of ‘Arcade Express – The Bi-weekly Electronic Games Newsletter’ arrived in my inbox. It made...
Cultural Leanings
Dec 08, 2010
Culture is important. It is important to individuals, to countries and to companies. Sometimes a culture is nuanced and difficult to get your arms around; sometimes it is in your face leaving you no doubt. Think of Joni Mitchell and Slayer. Nuance versus a ball peen hammer to the forebrain. Over the past 18 years, I...
I, the undersigned, certify under penalty of perjury…
Dec 06, 2010
“I, the undersigned, certify under penalty of perjury”, “We believe the following host has recently been compromised”, “I received the below unsolicited commercial e-mail”, are a few statements that we as The Softlayer Abuse Department receive on a routine basis. The responsibility of responding to these quite serious matters in of itself is what gives...
AutoMySQLBackup
Dec 03, 2010
When you think about backing up your system, it usually involves one of the two choices: 1) Painstakingly backing up files by hand 2) Painstakingly scripting and testing the backup There are some masochists who enjoy both of these activities. Granted, I like a finely tuned Linux system as much as the next system administrator, but given the...
Once a Bug Killer, Now a Killer Setup
Dec 02, 2010
Not everyone enjoys or has the benefit of taking what they learn at work to apply at home in personal situations, but I consider myself lucky because the things I learn from work can often be very useful for hobbies in my own time. As an electronics and pc gaming fanatic, I always enjoy...
Every Cloud has a silver lining
Dec 01, 2010
Last week, Netflix made headlines when the company announced that it was moving most of its operations to Amazon Web Services? Elastic Compute Cloud. The news was greeted with enthusiasm and was seen as further justification of the public cloud. Rightly so ?the fact that Netflix generates up to 20% of US traffic...
Fun with Lists!
Nov 29, 2010
Back when I was doing research for my interview with SoftLayer, one of the things I looked for was financial data. Since SoftLayer isn’t a public company, I couldn’t get financial statements. However, I did find some nice round numbers in a press releases that said they did about $110 million in annual...
The End is Near!
Nov 26, 2010
On February 4th, 2009, I told you that IPv4 address space is running out and that IPv6 is here to replace it. As of this writing, there are about 218 days worth of IPv4 address space remaining, and the usage rate is still accelerating. Before you know it, there won’t be any more new IP...
Introducing B3
Nov 25, 2010
The last 2 months have been full of surprises and a little stressful for all employees involved. The Planet and Softlayer have been merged into a giant, yet powerful organization. SoftLayer’s CEO Lance Crosby has taken control and he has been very clear on his vision. Yesterday in Houston was “Introduction to Softlayer” and Lance...
Bigger, Better, Badder!
Nov 24, 2010
Bigger, Better, Badder Part of the branding exercise that we are going through post-merger revolves around the tag line “Bigger, Better, Badder”. And it is true. Every word of it. Bigger: We will have 75,000 servers under our control. That is more than Rackspace (63,996). We are the largest dedicated hosting provider in the world, possibly...
Merger Anxiety
Nov 23, 2010
It seems like just yesterday I was writing a blog about my confessions of being a new Planeteer. After being laid off after 13 years with the same company, rumors of a merger were feeding my anxiety. I know change is inevitable, just like taxes and picking the slowest line wherever I go,...
Free is Just a Word for Nothing Left to Lose
Nov 22, 2010
Last week, Amazon Web Services unveiled the “AWS Free Usage Tier”. The idea is to encourage customers to experiment with the cloud, hopefully leading to a fee-based relationship sometime in the future. You can read about it here. Free is always an interesting concept. Everybody loves free – free beer, free music, free love and...