Last week’s field trip was an unequivocal success. After meeting briefly behind Weniger Hall to count heads, we took to the road as the sun rose (or at least seemed to rise) over another rainy Oregon day. Though perhaps marked by a swollen sense of competition on the part of certain passengers, the ride north went by in good humor and soon we stood at the steps of the Northwest Data Center Division of Affiliated Computer Services (ACS), a company responsible for hosting, operating, and maintaining data centers of global organizations such as Nike and Goodyear Tires. While the tour was impressive and the servers themselves quite large and fascinating, I found myself in another world of lingo and systematics quite unfamiliar and sublime. Jeremy Gragg, on the other hand, seemed right at home and had plenty of intelligent questions to ask.
Next stop, just down the road was Nike. At Nike we went from the museum-like multi-story entryway to an immense presentation room where we got our heads rocked by some rockin’ sports action and were briefed on Nike’s round robin format. Not only did they feed us, but when it came to presentations the Nike folks really got down to brass tacks. A very pleasing afternoon, all told. Next we toured some of the grounds and workout facilities on the 125-acre campus. Some might agree that the scale of things at Nike was grand, perhaps even swollen.