Yesterday, we went to NetApp in Sunnyvale. If you have not heard of NetApp, the company provides data storage for clients and some of their customers include Yahoo!, Apple, financial and international enterprises. I certainly haven’t heard of them before I was informed of the tour of their campus (which is impressive). What might be impressive as well is t is the On the way their, all of us managed to see numerous goats gnawing at the grass across the street. Unfortunately, across from NetApp is the Sunnyvale landfill and that’s probably what the goats eat from.
After parking the wrong area and walking across the campus, we met up with Chad and Travis in the NetApp University building. That’s where we saw the servers. I thought it was great to see how the servers were kept cool and the different ways that could be done. NetApp kept theirs cool using conditioned air at day and to cut costs, cool air at night. At first glance, their system wasn’t complicated and I sort of anticipated high-tech solutions. I realized then how much technology has room to evolve. We toured servers in another building that the engineers were experimenting with and that was messy. Okay, it wasn’t bad but the cabling there would make a perfectionist faint. Overall, I expected a much larger farm but it turns out that the servers we saw for the day were for NetApp’s own system. I can only imagine all of their clients’ servers.
During that time, we also toured the building housing the developers. On the way, we saw a golf hole that one could chip and putt in as well as a volleyball court. First floor offices referenced the Lord of the Rings series and the second floor the Simpsons (show which I enjoy). Not to take away from the culture at NetApp but what was disappointing for me was the cubicles on the second floor and how too quiet it was. I don’t know about you but that’s one major factor I couldn’t work for an enterprise. dIn that same large office, they had a beer rack where they named their software releases after a certain beer (you can see that in the photos).
I learned what a leading data storage provider is like and how they take care of their customers and employees. I got a great glimpse in what characteristics I seek when starting my career.