Chris Zonneveld

Meet Chris: Senior Technical Operations at i3D.net

Meet Chris Zonneveld (26), Senior Technical Operations Engineer at i3D.net

How did you end up at i3D.net? 
I studied Technical Information Science at the Hague University of Applied Sciences. In the final year of my studies, I had to do an internship. I found an internship at i3D.net. My final project was about virtualization platforms. After I finished the project and officially graduated, i3D.net offered me a job.  

How does an average workday look like? 
No two days are the same. Each day, we start with a Daily Stand-up. We discuss the open tasks from the projects we are currently working on. After this, we dive into the ticket system, to see if there are customers with urgent problems. For example, servers that are down. After that we continue working on the ongoing projects. We have large game publishers in our customer base. When they launch a new game, there is a lot of work to do. This ranges from ordering the hardware, the coordination of shipments, and of course flying out Tech-Ops to the locations to install the servers. To ensure everything runs smoothly, we have to start planning these projects months in advance. If we have a launch coming up, we closely work together with other departments, especially with Project Management and the Network Team.  

Can you tell something about a large project? What does it entail? 
In March we worked on a huge project; we had to set up global hosting for a new triple A game from a major publisher. That was a project where we installed 650 game servers in 10 data centers around the world; Rotterdam, Warsaw, Dubai, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Sydney, Los Angeles, Ashburn, Dallas and São Paulo. For projects like these, we look for custom solutions, tailored on the needs of the game publisher. We start mapping out by re-allocating existing servers and ordering new servers. In this particular case, we ordered 330 new servers, 2000 RAM modules, 155 RAID controllers and we added 14 new racks. For every location we had to install a specific set-up. For this project we had to meet hard deadlines for the closed beta, open beta and official launch of the game. The time management was very challenging because we had to fly team members to every location, install servers and ship equipment all over the world. For this launch, 75% of the team was abroad. At one point, we had colleagues in 4 or 5 different time zones! 

Did you travel a lot for i3D.net? 
Right after I graduated, I traveled to Japan, which is one of my favorite countries. While I was waiting in line at the customs in Japan, I remember thinking; I would like to have more stamps in my passport. 

Well, I got them! Work related I have traveled to about 9 different countries. I worked in data centers in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Dubai, Sydney, Virginia, LA, Dallas, NY and Frankfurt. Some of these destinations are not the usual holiday destinations, so I am really glad I got the opportunity to see these places! However, it is not all fun and games. While you are setting up a project in another country, you are still working. In fact, during the day, you only see the walls of a data center. But after work you have time to explore the city! Sometimes we fly out for just a few days, working and traveling can be quite exhausting. But most people take some vacation days when they fly out to a distant destination. I mean, you are already there, so you can take a mini-vacation as well!  

What is your most memorable story? 
Most of the time when we go abroad it is for bigger projects. For example, setting up the hardware for the launch of a new game or when we move to a new data center location. However, this one time I flew out to Tokyo, only for three days, just to meet with a customer. I had to show him the data center location. The funny thing, this customer was also European, he was from Sweden! 

Do you think you got what it takes to become a Tech-Ops Engineer at i3D.net?

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