Interview with David Gallo and Cassius Adams from SevenL Networks, a
sponsor of Gentoo for 6 years running.
1. Introduction: Who you are, and what is your role at SevenL Networks Inc.?
I will start off by introducing myself. My name is David Gallo (@DavidGallo), and I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. I have an athletic and musical background, ranging from golfing to violin playing. My passion for technology has resided in me for as long as I can remember. I have always been intrigued with the idea of using technology to optimize the lives of people and organizations. I hold a strong belief in customer service and personal relationships. At SevenL, we have very little bureaucracy and we are not people of flash or title. At the company, I "technically" hold a position as Managing Partner, but am currently practicing a role in Business Development. In this position, I am in charge of the business side of things, as well as providing the overall vision for the organization… with the help of our team of course! =)
And I'm Cassius Adams, also born and raised in Toronto. I hold the positions of Co-Founder & Senior Account Exec at SevenL. Like David, I strongly believe in providing good customer service. I have always found that it helps me to understand customers’ needs better, build better relationships with them, negotiate win-win scenarios, and keep them happy as a customer overall. Ever since my TRS-80, computers and technology have always been a major part of my life, both for the purposes of work and play.
Cassius Adams (left), and David Gallo (right)
2.What is 7L (including founding, scale of operations, etc.)
David: SevenL was originally established as LabattRacks.Net Managing Services Inc. in 1999. The company owned the Data Center which is located at the east side of Toronto, surrounded by 100 000 sqft. of industrial/commercial office space. Daniel Gallo, the founding director, has an extensive background in the Real Estate industry and has been a tremendous help and mentor over the years. LabattRacks.Net leased the full data center floor to an ISP that was eventually bought out. In the spring of 2003, the DC floor became vacant, and SevenL was born with the help of Cassius Adams, Carey McLelland and Todd Berman. Within a few months of inception, SevenL began donating dedicated servers to Gentoo.
Cassius: SevenL provides VPS Hosting, Dedicated Servers, Managed Hosting solutions, and Server Colocation space to businesses and professionals. At the risk of sounding like a sales guy, our affordable prices, network quality, and customer support, or "Relentless Support ™", are the largest factors contributing to our continually growing worldwide customer base.
3. What services do you provide for Gentoo?
David: Currently we host condor.gentoo.org, corvid.gentoo.org, and pigeon.gentoo.org. Gentoo is widely used on our network between internal servers and client servers! Match made in heaven =)
4. How do you use Gentoo in your environment?
David: Gentoo is primarily used in a Server environment. The servers are configured as Web/mail or as EDGE routers on test networks. Maintaining our systems is primarily done by using Portage. Gentoo has been used on various machines for many purposes within our organization. It has enabled us to test several different branches of software, as well as mix software branches for development and experimentation. Gentoo servers are pretty easy to maintain. Once they are up and configured, emerge and portage can take care of a variety of issues when and if they arise.
5. Why choose Gentoo?
Cassius: Actually, the choice of using Gentoo for our production servers was initially by association. When SevenL first began we had a developer on staff that contributed significant code to Gentoo Linux. It was his relationship with the OS and the Gentoo Organization that lead us to use it internally and we haven't looked back since!
Gentoo was chosen as an alternative to Slackware Linux. We liked the fact that Gentoo had a package management system which allowed the user to update a series of system/user packages in an automated fashion which even included compiling missing dependencies. The advantage of using Gentoo over other flavors of Linux is that it allows the user to only install/compile specific packages and features specially configured for their architecture. Any issues encountered were either solved by the experience of our team or by using the various Gentoo forums and wiki’s. We find the support programs and irc channels very helpful.
6. Any concluding remarks?
David: Working with the Gentoo community has been such a positive experience for SevenL. You guys know what the heck you’re doing (clearly), and because of your allowance of our donations over the years, we have built up a strong brand recognition being a Gentoo supporter and Gentoo dedicated hosting company. We look forward to the ongoing relationship with Gentoo, and are excited for the future.
On behalf of the Gentoo Project and Foundation, we extend a huge thanks to David and Cassius for taking the time to talk with us, and for the excellent infrastructure support SevenL has provided Gentoo over the past several years.
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