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December 3, 2018   •   Paul Drew

Traveling the World to Take it to the Edge

 
 

There's no place like home. Unless you're traveling the world building out a new edge computing network.

We've been busy here at StackPath, and with all the announcements about our EdgeEngine platform and serverless computing, you can see why. This didn’t happen overnight. In fact, it took nearly a year of planning and seven months of execution. To roll out our new capacity and capabilities, we had to touch every server, in every market around the world. The work required us to visit every market three to four times.

The first visit was to build out the new cage and get the network infrastructure online. All our spaces are dedicated and secured cages with both bio-metric hand scan access controls and security cameras. Then the capacity was brought online over the next few weeks as circuits were landed. After that, as our new servers came off the assembly line they were deployed into the new space. Once enough capacity and compute was online following the provisioning, traffic was cut over. Then we visited again and performed a migration of all the other cages in the market to the new bigger space. A final trip was made once the last circuits were cut over and we decommissioned all the remaining network gear.

Here are some highlights and numbers to help illustrate the effort.

4: Number of rally beards grown on the road
5: Continents we worked in
10: People who lived on the road from April until the end of October
16: Countries that stamped our passports
26: Cities visited (more than once)
29: Weeks the main installation work required (decom work not included)
77: Total trips to all the markets
221: Unique items in our BoM (Bill of Materials)
89,366: Items ordered across all sites
433,739: Feet of cable we deployed and installed (more than 82 miles)
800,000+: Miles flown in airplanes (this would have been even more without an international team)

In all of this traveling, we also had to do a number of things such as ordering food, in 14 different languages.

Comida? Voedsel? Mat? Aliments? Lebensmittel? 餐饮? Pagkain? Храна? Cibo? フード? Makanan? Jedzenie? 식품? Food?

This is no small feat in itself when you have team members, like many people, who have food allergies. We had people with allergies to dairy, eggs, gluten, and one with all three. That's very hard to order for in Hong Kong and Tokyo, as I learned personally.

It's easy to take the cloud for granted, or assume that this is someone else's servers, but the StackPath platform is our own down to the cabinets and custom equipment. There was a lot of sacrifice by our families who had to deal with kids, events, and being alone for stretches of three to five weeks in order for us to keep our schedule. So thank you. In the end, this post is to celebrate the hard work that everyone put in to make it a reality.

   
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