A new home for the Anchor NOC

November 19, 2008 Technical, General


This story’s been around for a little bit, but it popped up in the geeky media a few days ago. Seeing it, we were inspired to share our own little piece of home with you.

Rent prices for inner-city office space have been rising steadily over the last few years, and smaller businesses in particular are starting to feel the squeeze. Rather than sitting around hoping for the real estate economy to cool down a bit, we made the decision several months ago to move. We’ve handled a few office moves since we opened up shop in 2000, most of them have come off without a hitch and (more importantly) with no impact to our support operations.

As much fun as moving is, doing it every few years is a hassle. This time around we wanted to move in somewhere that’d (hopefully!) last us for quite a while with room to grow.

Top-down schematic of The Chalet

It’s probably not fully apparent from the schematic, but what we’ve moved into is actually a converted church. The styling is very tastefully Gothic, with high ceilings and plenty of usable space. Sorry there’s no photos yet; the place is embarrassingly messy, and there’s crates everywhere! For reasons that aren’t really worth explaining, we call it The Chalet.

To save you the effort of figuring it out for yourself, the nave is roughly nine metres wide and 33 metres from end to end; this comprises our main work and rec areas. The transept measures 24 metres east-to-west across the nave, and provides useful storage and amenities. Attached just off the northwest corner is a spire, which off-duty staff can bunk in.

With its position on naturally elevated terrain, the east-facing side has a good line of sight to our datacentre. We’ve decided to take advantage of this to install our own microwave antennae for direct connectivity to our core network; giving us a very reliable, high speed service. We’ve kept our ADSL2+ connection with Internode for redundant connectivity, but we’ve not yet been hit with such nasty weather than the wireless link was unusable.

One of the nice things about the location is that it’s quiet. The thick stone walls provide very effective isolation, and being out of the CBD means you dodge the continuous traffic noise. Also, an open-plan office can easily suffer from being too cramped and noisy, like pubs where you have to shout to be heard by the person next to you. High, vaulted ceilings make that a non-issue here, lending a very soothing and peaceful atmosphere.

For the curious amongst you, we’ve decked the place out much to our liking. Something of a cyberpunk-goth aesthetic for lack of better description (everything you’ve heard about sysadmins shying away from light, it’s true). This doesn’t mean we don’t know how to have fun, of course. We’ve brought the pool table and foosball kit along, and with any luck there’s a pinball machine in the pipeline.