How to hire the perfect data centre employee


Wednesday 11 November 2015

Hiring a new data centre employee isnt about the person or their experience its about their demonstrable skills. Can they work under pressure? Can they solve problems on the fly? Are they reliable? Do they show up day in, day out?

We came across this transcript of the perfect job interview for a key data centre role that might give you some tips. Meet Lenny.

Interviewer: So tell me a little bit about yourself…

Lenny: Well, I come from a pretty high pedigree. I’m an IBM alumnus, having joined Lenovo in the acquisition last year. Aside from that, I’m a 2U dual-socket rack server, using up to two Intel Xeon E5-2600 v3 processors and TruDDR4 Memory. I’m also really into customisation. Aside from some sweet flame stickers to represent my speed, I also have up to 12 drive bays allowing for multiple storage configurations.

Um, okay. Where do you see yourself in five or 10 years?

Still working hard. I’m not looking for a corner office, a six-figure salary, a house with a white picket fence and a dog – you know, the dream. I want to be relied on and I want to be thought of as dependable. I also rarely take vacations. I hate getting sand in my drive bays. It’s just not for me. It’s why I only ever have 5.25 minutes of unplanned downtime a year. So don’t expect me to take sick days or any annual leave!

Sounds like you might have workaholism?

I grew up around it, so…

What’s your best achievement to date?

Being voted number one among my peers! The ITIC 2015-2016 Global Server Hardware, Server OS Reliability Report voted me the most reliable x86 server* in the industry three years running. Just to be nominated is such an honour.

How do you respond to working under pressure?

I pride myself on withstanding kitchen heat, so to speak. I have extended operating temperature ranges, so I can perform reliably under extreme conditions. You could say I’m a temperamental operator… But no, I take my work very seriously.

How would you handle a situation with tight deadlines, low employee morale and inadequate resources?

Well, first of all I’d pull up a bunch of cat videos to raise morale, then I’d point people to my XClarity Administrator server software. XClarity has a simple user interface, facilitating centralised resource management and offsetting human error. With a little bit of training, anyone can use XClarity, but even if the company couldn’t spare the resources, XClarity can automate workload balancing during server reboots, firmware updates or unpredicted hardware failures.

Well, this is all sounding too good. What’s the most embarrassing moment of your career? How did you overcome it? 

The embarrassing thing is that I’ve hardly ever been embarrassed. Does being a perfectionist count? Security is a personal passion of mine, which is why I developed several features as part of my Trusted Platform Assurance, such as self-encrypting drives, enterprise-level security, TPM 2.0 chips and heightened firmware security.

And what would you say is your greatest weakness?

That I’m mortal. One day – and this is tough to say – I’ll eventually fail. As a server, you humans could never comprehend or relate to something as complex and daunting as system failure. As a coping mechanism, I equipped myself with enhanced predictive failure analysis, which pre-empts failures and downtime, allowing you to act before they occur. I have light-path diagnostics to prompt humans that something bad is about to happen. In fact, I’m a little over-prepared for failure, with all these redundant fans, power supplies and drives in case any component goes haywire.

The Lenovo System x3650 M5 rack server always gets the job done. Are you thinking about getting Mr Reliability on your team? Head on over to where you can download our guide to server reliability.  

* ITIC 2015/16 survey, July 2015. Results based on System x servers


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