The Story and Evolution of the Server Hugger

I was ecstatic, I finally graduated college with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and had been thinking about an idea that would revolutionize the IT world.

The year was 2000. Y2K had just passed, the world didn’t shut down or go dark, and all was well. I scraped together all of the money I could and bought my very first server, a brand new Compaq DL380 G2 running Windows NT 5.0. I loved my shiny new server, I cared for it like a child, gave it plenty of water and sunlight (metaphorically speaking, of course) and made sure it was always sparkly clean. Now satisfied with my new purchase, I spent the next few months tweaking my application until it was finally ready.

When launch day arrived the nerves started kicking in, I knew that my coding was flawless and my new application would be a smashing success. With the help of some investors, I was able to purchase a rack for my so-called “data center” (i.e. a cleaning closet in the back of my small rented office) and ordered a super-fast T1 connection with internet speeds which I had only dreamed of. After everything was configured and tested, I released the application and watched my shiny new Compaq server share my vision with the world.

As time went on, my application grew and grew, my operating system evolved to Windows 2003... then to 2008... and my once-loved Compaq server took on various shapes and sizes over the years. I devised a means of isolating my super secret sauce code onto a pair of redundant servers that fed instructions to my massive inventory of work servers which, over time, seemed to multiply like Gremlins when you throw water on them. The next thing I knew, my once small “data center” had grown into a behemoth, the world loved my creation, and the sky was the limit.

Fast forward a few years, my application has evolved into something I could never have dreamed of, and a large online bookseller had recently released this fancy new technology called “the cloud.” I didn’t really pay much attention to it at the time and was perfectly content to tend to my servers and keep them happy. Eventually, this new technology became a force to be reckoned with, and I could no longer turn a blind eye.

I really liked the idea of elastic computing, not having to buy hardware constantly, and I knew that all of the new advanced features would greatly enhance my ability to improve my application and increase overall scale. My only major concern was giving up control of my beloved servers that held the secret sauce code I had so meticulously cared for over the years. I wanted to take advantage of the cloud but did not want to give up control of my beloved servers…what was I to do?

It turns out that AWS had run into many customers over the years just like me and they needed a solution. AWS partnered with QTS to develop a first-of-its-kind colocation offering available exclusively on the AWS Marketplace. With a few simple clicks of a mouse, I can easily select a small data center footprint consisting of 1 to 5 locking cabinets in a variety of QTS data centers throughout the US. Plus, each solution includes rack space, redundant 208v/30A power circuits, redundant internet connections, and high-speed connectivity directly to AWS using AWS DirectConnect.

QTS even took it a step further and added options like smart PDU’s, KVM switches and included hardware installation/cabling to make the environments more “cloud-like” so the end customer technically never has to step foot in the data center. The terms are month to month, can be canceled at any time, all billing conveniently shows up in your AWS account, and pending inventory confirmation (usually takes 5-10 minutes), the cabinets are move-in ready.

I caught wind of this revolutionary new service. I was extremely excited and knew just what I had to do. After a quick glance at my two favorite servers, I pulled out my lucky mouse from my desk drawer, connected the USB to my laptop and logged into my AWS account. Navigating to the QTS site on AWS Marketplace, I entered the number of cabinets that I needed to house my beloved servers and clicked the “Create Contract” button. Instantly I was whisked away to the QTS landing page to enter my company and contact information.

After a mere 30 seconds of populating the fields, I clicked the "Submit" button and could barely contain my excitement! The seconds ticked by, my heart was racing, palms sweaty and finally the moment came. It was much like that scene in A Christmas Story when Ralphie finally receives his Red Rider BB Gun (minus the eye shooting injury). My confirmation that my order was now approved was the sigh of relief I needed. My beloved servers now have a new home in their climate-controlled data center with high-speed connectivity, back with all of their virtual server friends who had also been recently migrated into AWS. All was right with the world.

If you are like me and love hugging your servers, then QTS CloudRamp is the answer for you! Explore this pre-built, pre-configured colocation solution and QTS' entire portfolio of AWS solutions here.


Jeff Collins, QTS Senior Product Manager - Amazon Web Services