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The building at 401 N. Broad St. has a storied history of innovation.
It was first built as the Terminal Commerce Building in 1930 and at the time was the largest steel girder construction, which made it perfect as a multi-use commercial building. At one point, freight lines moved through its halls. It has its own ZIP code — 19108 — thanks to a cool connection to the city’s old-school mail system.
And today, it’s home to not only growing esports company Nerd Street Gamers, but one of the largest internet hubs in the Northeast: Netrality Data Center is responsible for managing fiber optic data routes between Manhattan, New York and Virginia.
To help manage the data center’s array of towers, Netrality is hiring a data center technician.
Frank Kenny, Netrality people operations specialist, told Technical.ly that Netrality is looking for candidates who have a solid foundation in data center work and know how to work with rack and stack, cages and cabling fiber. Customer service experience is also a plus.
“A prospective data center technician would play an instrumental role in the expansion and maintenance of the most strategically located core interconnection data center in the Philadelphia market,” he said. “More broadly, joining Netrality Data Centers would open the door for a technician to join the largest owner and operator of these strategically located data centers in the country. We are the premier hub for interconnection in each of our markets, and our growth has been and will continue to be meteoric.”
Per CBRE, data center inventory is expected to see a 13% increase in 2021. To support that growth, Netrality needs to hire talent who can work with what Kenny called a “close-knit team of A players.” The six technicians on that team already work well together and the newest technician would need to have a similar creative and entrepreneurial spirit, he said.
How does someone get the training needed to succeed in such a role? Kenny pointed to a few different routes, including a college degree in engineering, or adjacent telecoms experience with fiber and server stacks:
“While many may opt for an undergraduate degree in engineering or some of the back-end elements of the field like software engineering, that is not the only trajectory to take. Many data center techs start with adjacent experience in more traditional telecoms infrastructure, advance through different types of cat ethernet cabling, and develop solid background on server cages. Much of the troubleshooting done with cabling and telecoms installation transposes well into a data center tech’s role; much of the job is preventative maintenance and systems testing.
“Additionally, data center technicians can develop their skills through two-year programs or specialized vocational programs after obtaining their high school degree or GED equivalent. While IT and computer engineering are beneficial for the network maintenance and security systems side, a data center technician will spend much more time on their feet than sitting behind a desk. Because uninterrupted service to customers in a data center is a paramount, a data center technician on shift will be keeping constant vigilance of all systems ensuring seamless continuity.”
P.S. Netrality is also hiring for a content marketing manager.
Michael Butler is a 2020-2021 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Lenfest Institute for Journalism.-30-