12-20-13 | Blog Post

Highly Available: Expert Interview With Noah Wark

Blog Posts

Anyone who has walked into an Online Tech data center has had the opportunity to note the care we put into keeping our centers clean, secure, and functional. With our new data center putting us over 100 thousand square feet of space, that’s a lot of facility to tend to every day. Lucky for us, we have Noah Wark, our Facilities Guru. I had a chance to sit down with Noah and get a better idea of the breadth of his function at Online Tech, and how he finds a way to use this role to make a difference to our clients.

Noah Wark is a CDCP (Certified Data Center Professional) whose main goal is to help increase uptime in any physical way possible, as well as be an onsite liaison for clients who need help meeting the needs of their physical environment. “I support everyone in the company who is responsible for uptime. I make sure people have the physical resources to be at an optimal level of productivity at work.”

What does that look like? It varies day to day, minute to minute. With projects like the new generators put in at our mid-michigan data center, vendor management is a significant piece to the facilities puzzle. Noah helps direct our vendors to makes sure everything meets the high standards Online Tech sets for our data centers.

He is also constantly walking through the facilities, making notes and taking pictures of things that need to be replaced, that are out of place, or that simply could be better somehow. “I don’t want clients to see anything negative. They shouldn’t go into one of our centers and think about anything but their work. It’s about security and safety. I never want a client to hear an alarm, see a discoloration, or observe anything that’s wrong. Listening for servers that are overworking. Tweaking the data center floor environment to make sure that everything’s working optimally. Down to cleaning little messes. I do it all so no one has to be concerned.”

While security and availability are highest on his list of priorities, Noah also gives thought to aesthetics. “Everything we have at Online Tech is functional, but I think if it’s going to be functional, and we have the option to make it nice, we should do it. We recently repainted the mid-Michigan data center white, and people said ‘why are you doing that to yourself? People are going to scuff that.’ but that’s why. When people see that, they’ll say ‘wow, that’s so clean’.”

Noah is also available at the data center for clients that may need some help on site. He’s constantly interacting with them, and giving them a hand where they otherwise would have been on their own. “I make resources available, because I know where everything is. I can help everyone. Our whole business model is security and availability. If you truly value those things as a human being, morally, then it becomes a part of how you live. I’m highly available if someone needs me.”

It’s pretty obvious that Noah Wark takes great pride in the work he does here at Online Tech. The reason why, he explained, was that “going the extra mile makes a huge difference to people. Whether it’s coming up with some extra cables that a client forgot, to randomly offering pizza to clients who happen to be at the data center, to fixing and replacing a discolored ceiling tile or burnt light. For me, that’s client focus. I don’t ever have to walk up to a client on the floor, but I do. I want to have a relationship with people where they feel like they can call and ask me for help. That’s just how I am.”

Noah Wark received Online Tech’s most recent Exceptional Experiences award, for his unwavering client focus. The constant upkeep and improvement of so many facilities can often be a thankless job; one that requires thought, time, and energy and has the potential to go unnoticed. In this role, however, Noah has found a way to dig deeply into the details so everyone in the data center can have a flawless, exceptional experience.

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