Tim Arnold is our Six Degrees Colocation Technology Director, based at our Birmingham Data Centre. Tim looks after key elements of our core Data Centre infrastructure; this includes the design, build and maintenance of our new Power Generators.

This is Tim…

…let’s journey through a day in the life as a Technology Director

Waking up to an elbow in the face

Most mornings I am awoken by my seven-month-old son’s arm hitting my face. Sleep is definitely overrated in my household. My day begins by checking my phone for maintenance updates. There are normally scheduled works which take place in the early hours; I ensure that all went well, which it routinely does. I don’t expect anything less as we inspect and test everything on a regular month in-month out basis. Thankfully I don’t often have to get up at 04:30 for the generator maintenance!

First things first… coffee

First thing I do when I get into the office is check emails like everyone else in the world! Although I would have already checked at 7:00, 7:15, 7:30… but I always like to make sure I’m on top of things. Second most important thing to do; get my coffee fix! I have a walk around the data centre for general checks and get a quick update from my team.

Wearing my salesman hat

My days are sometimes back to back with meetings, ranging from customer catch-ups to suppliers reviews. I always find service reviews provide a great opportunity to talk and get to know our suppliers, even when everything is going well, ensuring our expectations are always met. I also enjoy meeting directly with customers, they may initially be looking for Colocation and a single point-to-point connection, though it’s always great to see what their wider plans are and to understand how we can assist them both now and in the future. They could be looking at a replacement phone system next year, so I’d mention we supply voice services too? ☺

Maintenance, maintenance, maintenance…

If you didn’t know already we take maintenance very seriously at Six Degrees. As we audit the records for our London data centre, it’s important to make certain checks are regular and all archives are up-to-date. We are also reviewing the generator upgrade project at our Birmingham data centre. I like to ensure everything is in order – right down to the detail of procurement and use of every single bolt, nut and circuit required.

Journey through Middle-earth

With a team split across our geographically diverse data centre locations, many mornings are spent travelling to our London office and data centre. The train journey down is a great opportunity to catch up on emails. If only the Chiltern Wi-Fi would be reasonable, it’s like going through middle earth sometimes! At our London data centre I will make time to meet with the CTO from one of our customers for a quick update on an existing project.

It’s all in the detail

Whilst catching up with the team I might have a walk around the data centre, keeping an eye out for any issues. On a visit I noticed three floor gates facing the wrong direction; I flagged this for an immediate fix, as it’s all about attention to detail in our job.

After a long day grafting with the team I’ll check in at a hotel and usually enjoy a Bodeans BBQ for dinner – a man has got to eat right?

The best thing about my job…

Is the variation my role entails; there are always lots of different projects going on, so no one day is ever the same.

If I wasn’t a Technology Director…

I would love to work on the pit lane for McLaren or Mercedes. They are similar in a way as they build and maintain mission critical cars and we build and maintain mission critical data centres. Attention to detail is of upmost importance in both roles.