The Datacenter

After the recent power issues, Bill Stephenson has been lobbying the council for a “proper [redacted] diesel [redacted x2] generator.”

“It’s embarrassing. Leverite spends so much on IT infrastructure then either can’t or won’t do what it takes to make sure the lights stay on.” He wanted it to be known, for the record, that he gets paid by the hour. “…if you really want to keep having me come in after hours… on a holiday… on my day off and pay the overtime plus shift differential plus holiday rate, [redacted] knock yourselves out. But seriously, at this rate a UPS and a 1200 horsepower generator would be a metric [redacted] cheaper.”

Bill’s frustration is well founded. Initially provisioned in 1998, the town datacenter has been a source of income, not only for residents who host their businesses online, but for groups looking to lease processing power for large projects. It has been involved in everything from cosmological simulations to protein folding experimental RNA sequences. However, from the get go, the site has had issues ranging from power to plumbing to “Acts of God” that have disrupted service. The regular trickle of issues has kept many potential clients away and disrupted the lives of locals looking for lolcats.

When this happens, those locals call Bill. Bill gets things done.

Bill is friendly, prompt and professional.

Bill charges a monthly retainer fee and all hours to the City Council. The City Council pays via wire transfer, and never comments, even when the fee seems large by Bill’s standards.

“Back when I worked in San Jose, you sometimes charged a penalty, a ‘poor planning tax’ if you will, when you had a client that just couldn’t get their act together. I live here. I would not do that here. I couldn’t. It would be counter productive. All I can do is drink my tea, smile, and submit my fees. I keep my phone charged and my gas tank filled, as none of my suggestions over the last ten years have been implemented in any meaningful way.”

“Don’t get me wrong, at least folks on the council are technologically literate enough to understand packets, security, and services. But it is clear that improving the facilities is not a priority of theirs. Maintaining, yes, but improving, no.”

He sipped his tea and grinned rather viciously. Affecting a cartoony villain’s voice he exclaimed “NaaHaaa! But at least we don’t have potholes in the parking lot, Do-Right!”

We asked the City Council about the potential for infrastructure improvements, but they indicated it was on the agenda for the August fiscal meeting and they really couldn’t go into presently. “We’re talking about carefully balancing competing needs here,” said Ombudsman Murray Barnum. “You can’t just through money down every gaping hole that opens up. A great deal of strategy is involved. If you are interested in discussing this further, then I recommend you attend to city council meeting. I recommend everybody with an interest is keeping this town running attend council meetings. It’s good for you. Exercises mental muscles you didn’t know you had. Keeps you young and feisty. Best tonic ever.”

We came away from that interview knowing far more than we ever wanted, but still no further insights into upcoming improvements.

It is The Editor’s recommendation that concerned citizens take up the ombudsman’s advice and attend meeting to voice opinions and concerns. Remember that a council meeting in a civic exercise, so try to exercise civility. This is not the time for politics.

Be polite.

Be professional.

In fact, be like Bill (but without all the [redacted]).