There are twenty buildings
Five oncall shifts
And four point eight terabits
On the local dark fiber ring.
Last week, John wrapped his motorcycle around a tree. He was drunk: whiskey after a twenty hour shift.
Now there are nine of us, twenty buildings, eighty-thousand servers and all the downstream routers for our local dark fiber ring.
We do it all: swap hard drives,
run fiber. Fix the broken machines, install new ones.
Write code, to run the fleet.
I'm the nighttime - for all twenty buildings,
four point eight terabits
and our entire production network.
They told me in the beginning that
they might give me a flamethrower
send me to the roof to send tar. They haven't:
but they have sent me into flames. They have sent me
with ten million dollars in my truck
to repair the dark fiber ring.
And each day, while I am sleeping, in each
of the twenty buildings, ten trucks roll in, with two hundred more servers each. There are
eight of us now. Kay was caught with pot: and is on parole.
He drops acid, continuously, and writes:
automation. Ten thousand lines of Perl and Python, curling
out over eighty-thousand servers in the night as Scott hangs
a noose of CAT-5 in the breakroom and screams.
Scott is alone, when they come for him.
The RAID controllers scream all night: something is broken inside. Eighty thousand servers. Four point eight terabits. Twenty buildings. And now there are six of us - Jack lost his driving privileges in his last psychotic episode.
And we work for a hundred, hundred-twenty hours a week:
we sleep in the embrace of whiskey, wake up and go fix the Internet.
And the next day, ten-thousand of our servers are dead.
And I, I am alone, I am the night shift, one shaking truck in the night between Manassas and the Maryland border as my pager sings to me in the Virginia night. I am on the raised white floor of windowless buildings, and the air handlers howl.
I am bleeding from a thousand cuts. I am shaking with caffeine psychosis as I hold together this fragile ring of fiber, as I keep my company alive, as I stem the hemorrhaging light of the network.
I am alone, in the night, and I sleep with the sun, and I dream of a thousand forests that run riot over white floors, blinking routers, screaming controllers, I dream of my hands bleeding into motherboards, line cards broken under fungal mass, I hear the roar of the big machine, and I turn my face to a wind that's real.
Ten years later, there are two hundred buildings, ten technicians. Five oncall shifts - and eight zettabits on the local dark fiber ring.