Next in the series of inside scoops we profile our Provisioning department. Provisioning works really closely with sales and sales support and it is a true testament to the leadership of this department that it has managed to grow so quickly within such a short period. We strive to be transparent to our customers so I hope you enjoy reading how these scoops.
Bart Dries is a Leaseweb provisioning pioneer. As a team leader, Bart has headed up the Provisioning department since its inception at the beginning of 2009. Provisioning has a hand in the set-up of every server a customer receives, whether it is provisioned from Leaseweb’s high speed automated platform, or is one of the many customized servers Leaseweb offers.
Currently, the Leaseweb Provisioning department has 14 members: five logistic warehouse engineers and nine provisioning engineers. Basically, the Provisioning department delivers the hosting infrastructure that the Leaseweb sales department sells to customers. Provisioning makes sure the order is delivered properly. However, the Leaseweb provisioning staff is more than just people who configures a server or rack for a customer. As Bart notes, “Often a provisioning engineer adds real value for a Leaseweb customer by ensuring the customer receives a quality setup, using the latest drivers, and the most up-to-date hardware configuration. A provisioning engineer at Leaseweb is highly trained and many take continuing certification courses to ensure they stay abreast of the latest provisioning techniques.”
Logistic warehouse engineers handle the basic setup of Leaseweb tailored servers. Once it has been passed across the counter, it is up to the provisioning engineers to add the OS and rack up the servers to ensure a smooth, quick delivery to the customer.
Bart not only was employee number 1 of the Provisioning Department – over the years he also hired all the engineers as well. “Strong knowledge of Linux is a key qualification for all provisioning engineers. Engineers are also familiar with Windows; the many additional control panels that Leaseweb offers, such as cPanel, Plesk, and Directadmin, and the varied hardware options that Leaseweb offers to meet customer requirements. The provisioning team works closely together. “In the summer we all get together for BBQs and other activities, so we have gotten to know each other very well.”
Bart can still remember when some customized servers needed to be configured by loading a DVD into a playback unit. Huge numbers of DVDs had to be kept on hand for various OS, including different versions. Keeping everything organized on a daily basis was a major task, he remembers. “Now all servers are configured over the network. Even the most complex setup can be completed in less than 10 minutes,” Bart notes. The Provisioning department also fully maintains and supports the automated sever installation platform for Leaseweb’s “Express” Series.
With 5 datacenters to provision in the Amsterdam environs and Belgium, Bart and his team of engineers have a large territory to cover. Soon, however, Bart expects to be going even further afield. “With the enormous growth of Leaseweb in the past few years, part of the team soon expects to be traveling internationally to set up a provisioning systems in various countries, to meet the increasing requirements of Leaseweb customers for global hosting services.”