Press Release: Liquid Web Celebrates Nine Years On The Inc. 5000 List!

Liquid Web Celebrates Nine Years on Inc 5000 List
We look forward to this announcement every year, and here it is again: We are officially on the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing, privately-owned U.S. companies for the ninth year in a row! We owe this honor to a 64% growth rate and an addition of 141 new employees to our workforce over the last three years. Of all 5,000 companies on the list, only 22 companies have been on the list longer than Liquid Web.
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Top Three Things Liquid Web Loves About March Madness

NCAA March Madness 2015
It’s that time of year again: basketball season! It’s hard to escape the constant stream of chatter around the office water coolers about the upcoming March Madness tournament. At Liquid Web, we love March Madness for a few reasons, not the least of which is an appreciation for the sport itself. Further enforcing our love for March Madness, there are also numerous ways that the tournament relates back to the web hosting industry. March Madness makes us think of databases full of statistics, streams of traffic being expertly balanced, and gives us even more opportunities to collaborate with our fellow Heroes.

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Happy Heroes Mean Happy Customers

In order to provide our famous Heroic Support® to customers, we make sure to give our employees a little Heroic love as well, something that is especially important as we continue our current hiring trend of about ten new employees a month. We shared the Heroic love last week at the Common Ground Music Festival, a week-long music festival featuring national artists on three different stages in a downtown Lansing, Michigan park. It’s events like Common Ground that make working for Liquid Web such a fun and unique experience. Not only did employees enjoy free tickets, but they also had access to VIP seating right next to the stage on our Cloud Platform.

Liquid Web Heroes at Common Ground

Your Liquid Web Heroes found themselves surrounded by friends, coworkers, and even a few local customers each night of the festival. Some guests were even able to go backstage to meet with artists such as Big Sean, Brand New, 311, the Violent Femmes, Earth Wind & Fire, and country music star David Nail. With refreshments to taste, couches for lounging, and a wide variety of music, our VIP Cloud Platform (named for our Storm® Platform cloud products) never lacked for company.

Stage view from the Liquid Web Cloud Platform at Common GroundLiquid Web Hero Pose with Big Sean at Common Ground
Liquid Web Heroes Meeting David Nail at Common GroundLiquid Web Heroes enjoying Common Ground from our Cloud Platform

Company events like the Common Ground Music Festival are just a small part of the perks we offer to our employees, but they are a big part of how we ensure Heroic Support® to our customers every day. We know that the key to happy, satisfied customers is maintaining a great group of happy, satisfied support technicians. Keeping our Heroic Promise to our customers is the most important thing we do every day, so we make sure provide our hard working Heroes opportunities to let loose and have a great time. We are currently hiring, so if you think you’d like to work for an office that values their employees and shows it with amazing perks, let us know!

Liquid Web Heroes Watching Common Ground from our Cloud PlatformView from the Liquid Web Cloud Platform at Common Ground

April Fools’ Day Prank Roundup

Happy April Fools’ Day! We hope you’re celebrating with an epic, albeit harmless, prank on your coworkers, friends or family. We’re rather proud of the pranks our teams have pulled on each other in the past, from foiling an office to making an office disappear! To commemorate this wonderful holiday, we’ve gathered our favorite pranks for your enjoyment.

In this prank, our COO Chris Strandt had some fun with our Facilities team before leaving for vacation. Little did he know the chain of events this simple “Foiled” prank would unfold!

In retaliation for a foiled office, the Facilities team planned something a little more extreme. They went above and beyond planning this prank – and successfully shocked our COO speechless. This prank was so popular with our fans that it was even featured on MTV’s Pranked!

Leaving your office unattended while on vacation is a dangerous decision at Liquid Web – especially if you’ve tried to prank our Facilities team in the past. Our COO Chris Strandt may just never live that “Foiled” prank down. This prank was detailed to be sure – right down to changing his ringtone to “It’s Raining Men” by The Weather Girls. Suffice it to say he’ll be walking into his office more cautiously from now on!

These are just a few of our favorite pranks and hijinks from around the office. With a crazy, but hard-working, team like ours you never know what might happen. If this sounds like an ideal work environment to you, check out our careers page. We’re hiring and looking for more great employees who might fit in with our fun-loving atmosphere!

Did you pull an epic office prank today? Let us know how it went in the comments below!

12 Days of Christmas at Liquid Web

Celebrating the Holiday season at Liquid Web requires more than a Christmas tree and some festive lights. We gathered the best sweaters we could find, willing volunteers and tons of old hosting equipment for a hilarious series of nerdy and wacky holiday photos. To top it off, we held a caption contest for all of our Facebook fans. We posted one photo a day for each of the 12 Days of Christmas and watched the holiday spirit spread!

1st Day of Christmas – Winning Caption:
“On the first day of Christmas Liquid Web gave to me… A fast server and the hot guys come for free!!!”
1st Day of Christmas at Liquid Web

2nd Day of Christmas – Winning Caption:
“[On the second day of Christmas]….nerf guns a [flaring].”
2nd Day of Christmas at Liquid Web

3rd Day of Christmas – Winning Caption:
“On the third day of Christmas the other host gave to me a 404 and Liquidweb fixed it for me for free.”
3rd Day of Christmas at Liquid Web

4th Day of Christmas – Winning Caption:
“[On the fourth day of Christmas] … 4 minute ticket resolution!”
4th Day of Christmas at Liquid Web

5th Day of Christmas – Winning Caption:
“On the fifth day of Christmas, a server rack collapsed on me… said nobody that uses liquid web… ever…”
5th Day of Christmas at Liquid Web

6th Day of Christmas – Winning Caption:
“[On the sixth day of Christmas] My true love sent to me; 6 storm servers serving; 5 TB of bandwidth; 4 gigs of RAM; 3 ssl certificates; 2 SSDs; and the Liquid Web support that’s there for me…”
6th Day of Christmas at Liquid Web

7th Day of Christmas – Winning Caption:
“On the seventh day of Christmas my browser gave me….; 7 Popup windows; 6 Google searches; 5 4…0…4s; 4 Grumpy Cats; 3 Free trials; 2 Broken links; and great hosting from Liquid Web Inc”
7th Day of Christmas at Liquid Web

8th Day of Christmas – Winning Caption:
“On the 8th day of Christmas my facebook gave to me 8 Friends complaining; 7 stalkers stalking; 6 party invites; FIVE DRAMA QUEEEENS; 4 game requests; 3 photo tags; 2 friends-a-pokin; And a creep who won’t stop inboxing meee!”
8th Day of Christmas at Liquid Web

9th Day of Christmas – Winning Caption:
“[On the ninth day of Christmas] … 9 servers serving, 8 tb data, 7 million page views, 6 site owners happy, 5 admins dancing, 4 tickets closed, 3 turkeys eaten, 2 gifts still wrapped and a pumpkin pie ready for me.”
9th Day of Christmas at Liquid Web

10th Day of Christmas – Winning Caption:
“[On the tenth day of Christmas] My true love gave to me…10 fallen tree limbs, 9 downed power lines, 8 neighbors gawking, 7 sirens ringing, 6 bucket tree trucks, 5 iced sculpture squirrels…, 4 days no power, 3 broken shovels, 2 trucks a salting, and one hell of a LW Christmas party!”
10th Day of Christmas at Liquid Web

11th Day of Christmas – Winning Caption:
“[On the eleventh day of Christmas] Liquid Web gave to me…; 11 servers serving; 10 support calls solved; 9 Storm Private Clouds; 8 GB of Ram; 7 half price CDNs; 6 free SSDs; 5 Guardian Backups; 4 Sonar Monitoring Techs; 3 Hosting Servers with SSD; 2 Storm VPSs; And a really awesome hosting experience!”
11th Day of Christmas at Liquid Web

12th Day of Christmas – Winning Caption:
“[On the twelfth day of Christmas] … 12 processors processing, 11 hosts a hostin’, 10 minute hardware SLA, 9 admins admining, 8 gigs of RAM, 7 servers serving, 6 geeks a-building, 5 terabytes of band…width , 4 clients collocated, 3 angular apps, 2 linux boxes, and a host mirroring CentOS for Free”
12th Day of Christmas at Liquid Web

Facilities Department: Building Data Centers and Making Offices Disappear Since 1997

Liquid Web Facilities Team
Ask a member of our Facilities Department what their job entails and you will not get a simple answer. This is one busy team. They are responsible for building our data centers from the ground up, supplying power and cooling, and providing physical security. Not to mention orchestrating office pranks, such as making our COO’s office disappear! In essence it is their work every day that makes our work, and your work, possible.

According to Scott Haraburda, the Facilities Department Head, his team works together to not only run our data centers, but also manage new construction and build outs as well. One recent project the team completed more than doubled the electrical capacity of our Data Center 3 location. The project involved installing new generators, 3750 KVA transformers, automatic transfer switches, a whole variety of UPS’s and PDU’s, and excavating inside and outside the building to run our in-ground cabling system.

“We needed to increase our electrical capacity to sustain our rapid growth,” Haraburda explained. “This second electrical system has more than doubled our capabilities and will allow us to seamlessly expand our operations.”

UPS Units at Liquid WebThe most important part of our electrical system is the built in redundancy and backup power. In the event of a generator failure, our parallel generation system is able to quickly redistribute power among the other units. In addition, if power is lost due to a storm or outage, we utilize our generator system and our UPS (uninterruptible power supply) units to provide backup power. The generators are fully online a mere nine seconds or less after power is lost. For those very important nine seconds, we utilize a series of redundant UPS battery units that can sustain all of our power until the generators are operating at peak capacity. This attention to detail ensures that we are always online, even during storms or power outages outside of our control.

Thermal ImagerThe Facilities team is also responsible for continuously monitoring all aspects of the power and cooling systems to ensure they are in full working order. This part of the job often entails a number of fun tools, such as the team’s new thermal imager. The thermal imager shows any abnormal hot spots on our equipment during Facilities’ daily inspections. For example, if one of our PDU’s (Power Distribution Unit) has a loose screw, it can cause a lot of damage. With the use of the thermal imager, our Facilities team can spot such an issue by the heat it is giving off and fix the issue before problems occur.

Despite all the responsibilities of the department, they do manage to find time for fun. In fact, the Facilities staff is usually at the center of all of our office pranks. From making our COO’s office disappear, to “raining” Liquid Web heroes, they are always ready to join in on a good joke.

This team also engineered our Hero Cannon, which we used for a social media contest. When asked to develop something similar to a T-Shirt gun, Facilities went above and beyond. Instead of creating the simple device requested, they built the Hero Cannon: a tool capable of shooting a tomato through plywood.

All fun aside, the Facilities Department is the power source that keeps our data centers running. With an ever-rotating list of duties and jobs that need to get done, our Facilities Team never stops working to ensure reliability for our customers . Their dedication and hard work every day exemplify the true meaning of “Heroic” at Liquid Web.

Have a question for the Facilities Department? Post it below and we’ll share it with the team!

Data Guardians – Meet Our Reclamations Team

Reclamations Team

Have you ever wondered what happens to a server after it is decommissioned – and the data that was stored on that server? With Liquid Web, you don’t have to worry about unprotected data on a server that is no longer in use, because each server goes straight into the capable hands of our Reclamations Team. They take decommissioned servers through a careful process of review, testing, and even destruction in order to protect our customers’ data.

When a server is decommissioned, the Reclamations Team removes it from the rack and delivers it to the testing lab. The server is then completely dismantled and each individual part is put through a rigorous testing procedure. The hard drive, however, receives special treatment due to the sensitive data that is stored on many of them. In order to protect our customer’s privacy completely, we first securely wipe the data off the drive and thoroughly check it for issues. Drives that have been emptied and pass our testing procedures are often reused. However, if the drive demonstrates any problems or is near the end of its lifespan, the Reclamations Team introduces it to a very special tool called the Drive Puncher.

The Drive Puncher is self explanatory, in that it punches holes in used hard drives, effectively destroying the interior disk and other components. The drives are then sorted and shipped to a local facility where they are shredded into pieces. After the shredding, the metal is separated and recycled into a number of useful materials. Through the use of our Drive Puncher, we can guarantee that any hard drive on its way to the shredder is first destroyed, eliminating the possibility that a customer’s data could be accessed.

As for the other components in a cancelled server, their fate depends on the testing process. Any hardware that passes our testing process is recycled within our own facilities. If the hardware fails the testing process, it is either given away or shredded. Often old and outdated hardware that is not usable in our facilities can still be useful in the right hands. For this reason, we host biannual hardware giveaways for our employees and offload many of the pieces that might otherwise have been thrown away. We also donate many servers to various local entities in need of computers, such as schools or non-profits.

The life of a server isn’t necessarily over after it’s decommissioned – often the various components continue on to serve another purpose. However, Liquid Web goes to some very extreme (and sometimes messy) methods to ensure that our customer’s data is completely destroyed. Our Reclamations Team isn’t afraid to punch, shred and otherwise destroy used hard drives – all in the name of keeping our customers’ data safe. If your server is decommissioned, you can rest assured that these Heroes will have your back.

Our Quality Assurance Team Puts Us to the Test

We often talk about our customer-facing departments, such as our Sales and Support teams, and how they work around the clock to provide Heroic Support. However there is another side to Liquid Web that rarely has the opportunity to interface with customers, but is just as vital to our day to day operations. Quality Assurance, or QA, is one such department.

Our QA Team tests all of our newly developed internal or external products, such as software or infrastructure tools, prior to their launch to ensure we are creating the highest quality and most valuable products. Every product this team tests must be studied in great detail and tested thoroughly to find potential holes in logic, see how it interacts with other products and how it will affect our customers.

Their approach can be described as questioning every product – looking for all potential fallacies in order to assess its quality. In addition to executing scripted tests, which are sets of instructions that make sure each product functions as expected, our team uses context-driven testing. This method focuses on providing value in testing and first looks at the detail of a specific situation, such as the desires of the future user (i.e. another department at Liquid Web or our customers). With context-driven testing, our QA Team thinks about the customer’s needs first and provides information to our developers to make sure the products fits those needs.

“Testing is all about learning. It’s all about learning how the software does act, learning how it should act, and learning how it will be used to fill the needs of our customers,” QA Manager Wade Wachs said. “In order to test a product successfully, you need to know why the software was created.”

Quality Assurance is an important extension of our Heroic Promise. Through rigorous investigation, thorough questioning and the goal of a happy customer, they keep Liquid Web on track as we continuously strive to provide better services to our customers. The QA Team supplies information that helps us provide our customers top of the line hosting products and excellent 24/7/365 Heroic Support.