One of the best job perks I ever had…

It’s been more than 15 years since I worked for Data393 (which doesn’t actually exist anymore…) but I still miss one of the perks of that job: 2U of rack space and a network drop with an IP address.

Data393 was a hosting company in Denver and I worked in the NOC and as advanced support in 2004-2005. I mostly worked weekends, during a lull in my freelance writing. It was a great job where I learned a ton in short time about system administration and troubleshooting, the business of running a data center, customer support… and I really enjoyed the team there, too.

It also had one of my favorite perks of all time. Employees could get up to 2U of space in an employee-only rack and a network drop. Even better, the company often sold off, very cheaply) retired systems that you could refurbish and manage yourself.

Before that, I was limited to hosting a service on my DSL line at home or paying for shared hosting. A dedicated server in a proper data center was well out of my price range. (Technically it might be in my price range now, but I’d have a hard time justifying it…)

I learned a lot being able to run my own systems with root access. Mostly through trial and error. Mostly error.

The system I was using decided to die just a bit before I left Data393. It definitely underscored the importance of backups which… I did not have. At the time I was running this blog on Slackcode on Debian, if memory serves correctly.

This came to mind today as I was poking around at different options for standing up a few services. It’d be so nice to just have that 2U of space with power and a network drop once again.

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