We’re proud to announce the opening of our newest data center: Mumbai, India. Home to more than 5 million software developers, India is one of the world’s fastest growing developer and technology regions, and our most requested international data center location.
Linode Mumbai is our 10th global data center and was built with all our latest server builds, Next Generation Network (NGN), and global fiber backbone. Customers in India and the wider developer community can now benefit from reduced latency and improved performance by running workloads close to home.
Linode Mumbai cloud services are available at the same low, flat, and transparent price as our other data centers — making it easy to migrate from any of our other locations. Core Linode features and services are now available, with plans to expand available products and NGN improvements to the Indian market in the coming months.
Ashwin Kumar is Linode’s Director of Data Centre and Cloud Operations in Mumbai, responsible for supporting the delivery of Linode’s cloud infrastructure for our regional customers.
Customers with Linodes in other data centers who want to migrate to Mumbai can find information on cloning here. Cloning lets you stage your services on a new IP address before changing your DNS records. You can also open a support ticket if you need help with the migration. For new Linodes, simply choose “Mumbai” as the location when creating your cloud instance.
The developer community is always looking for new resources to help them launch and scale their applications in the cloud. But finding those trusted resources is often a challenge. So today, we’re sharing 15 of the top developer blogs, podcasts and YouTube channels that we and our customers turn to for the insights that help us accelerate our projects.
Stay tuned, as we’ll continue to share valuable resources that you can use to take your skills to the next level.
Corey Schafer Corey’s videos focus on creating tutorials and walkthroughs for software developers, programmers, and engineers. Topics and skill levels are wide ranging so there’s really something for everyone.
Sentdex Searching for advanced Python programming tutorials? Look no further. Sentdex’s thousands of videos offer in-depth guidance on building machine learning, finance applications, data analysis, robotics, web development, game development, and more.
The Linux Experiment Nick is a self-described Linux tinkerer. His videos hit distro reviews, tutorials, and general helpful tidbits and impressions on Linux desktop environments, applications, and news.
CodeParade CodeParade videos are fun, curiosity-driven how-to’s on a crazy variety of projects. Usually experimental and always interesting, topics range from machine learning, games, algorithms, fractals, and whatever viewers suggest.
Fun Fun Function MPJ is an experienced programmer who has worked for Absolut Vodka, Blackberry, and Spotify. On Fun Fun Function he gets into some serious deep cuts on the latest dev tools and techniques. The videos are informative and, yes, doubly fun.
Planet Python The ultimate everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-Python blog.
Julia Evans Julia’s blog is one of our favorites. A reader aptly describes it as “things Julia has learned recently,” which can range from Huffman coding to how to get your work recognized.
Coding Horror An OG developer blog, Coding Horror is penned by Jeff Atwood, who co-founded Stack Overflow, Stack Exchange, and Discourse. It’s a deep dive into the developer ecosystem – and how to make impactful choices within it – from a successful pro.
A List Apart A List Apart brings together a collection of voices to share design and development tutorials, as well as everyday best practices.
DZone It’s almost impossible to capture the breadth of content on DZone. From design to AI, Big Data, cloud, dev ops, and beyond, DZone is an encyclopedic resource for every knowledge gap.
Talk Python to Me Sure, it’s a podcast about Python, but the guests and trending data science topics make it a must-listen for any programmer.
Developer On Fire Developer On Fire offers inspirational interviews with your favorite geeks to learn more about them, their process, and how they deliver value in their work.
Changelog Here’s one of the best loglines you’ll ever read: Hosts Adam Stacoviak and Jerod Santo face their imposter syndrome so you don’t have to. Changelog is full of intimate conversations with the hackers, leaders, and innovators of software development.
Podcast._init Hey, another Python podcast! Hosted by engineer Toby Macey, Podcast.__init__ adds a narrative element to tell stories about what makes the Python community great.
Developer Tea Looking for a quick sip? Developer Tea is a bite-sized podcast full of soft-skills to help driven developers connect to their ultimate purpose and excel at their work.
Of course, that’s just a taste of the thousands of open source channels available to developers. And we’re always looking for more. What are you reading, watching, and tuning into? Share with us and the Linode community in the comments.
School is not out for the summer for us Linode folk. Between beach trips and ice cream outings, we’ve got a whole bunch of events we’ll be attending. Check out the scoop below and make sure to stop by if we’ll be in your area.
**Follow us along our social media adventures at #LinodeOnTheRoad **
Support Driven Expo Americas Portland, OR | July 11-12
SD Expo Americas brings together the Support Driven community from the Americas and beyond to build lasting connections with our peers, share how we solve problems, and take our careers to the next level. Linode will be the coffee sponsor, so make sure to fuel up with us if you’ll be in attendance.
OSCON Portland, OR | July 15-18
We’ll be staying in Portland a few more days for OSCON — O’Reilly’s Open Source Software Conference. Whether you’re looking to understand where software development is headed, or want to dive into key technologies to build resilient, useful, innovative software, OSCON is where you’ll find the answers you need. See you there.
DevOps World San Francisco, CA | August 12-15
Back to the West Coast we go. DevOps World provides attendees with the opportunity to learn, explore, network face-to-face, and help shape the next evolution of Jenkins development and solutions for DevOps. Make sure to stop by our booth if you’re in the area.
PyBay San Francisco, CA | August 17-19
We remain out in sunny SF for PyBay, the largest Python Devs gathering in the Bay Area. PyBay will help you stay on top of your game in web technologies, data, devops, Python internals, and performance. We’re looking forward to it and can’t wait to see you there.
FOSSCON Philadelphia, PA | August 17
We couldn’t be more excited to have FOSSCON right in our own backyard. FOSSCON brings together users of Free and Open Source Software across fields. Attendees come from around the world to participate in talks, learn about new technologies, and visit sponsors and FOSS projects represented in our exhibit area. If you’ll be in the City of Brotherly Love this summer, please stop on by and say hi.
PyCon Latam Puerto Vallarta, Mexico | August 29-31
PyCon Latam is the first event that aims to bring together Python developers, software development communities, and other technical experts from Latin America. This exciting community will share and learn about the latest improvements in the Python development ecosystem. This is Linode’s first time exhibiting in Mexico and we’re very excited to be there.
HashiConf Seattle, WA | September 9-11
Join us in Seattle for HashiConf to embark on three days of education, collaboration, and connection. Experience 50+ sessions, 12 in-depth trainings, product releases, and access to HashiCorp experts. We’re super excited … are you?
ApacheCon Las Vegas, NV | September 9-13
We’re headed to Vegas to celebrate 20 years of Apache. Since 1998 ApacheCon has been drawing participants at all levels to explore “Tomorrow’s Technology Today” across 300+ Apache projects and their diverse communities. ApacheCon showcases the latest developments in ubiquitous Apache projects and emerging innovations through hands-on sessions, keynotes, real-world case studies, trainings, hackathons, and more.
Linode’s pilot GPU instances are here. Are you running high-compute processes? Discover the performance of industry-leading NVIDIA Quadro RTX 6000 GPU cards.
Use Cases for Linode GPU Instances: GPUs can perform concurrent computations of large data more efficiently than CPU, accelerating large calculations required by big data, video encoding, AI, and machine learning.
We are committed to providing the highest quality educational content to the developer community, but we need your help. If you have feedback or ideas for future content you’d like to see, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Linode is also launching a new developer spotlight called “Craft of Code,” where we highlight cool projects and applications from Linode customers around the world. If you have a great application story, let us know and we’ll highlight it on our website and community portals. Best of all, you get VIP swag and access to the latest product and event announcements. Email Steve from our content team at email@example.com.
Richard Myers is Vice President of Customer Support & Success at Linode. Here he shares his expertise on building a training team and why such an investment has already paid huge dividends for Linode and its customers. This post was originally published here.
In 2016, Linode had a problem. Our Support Team was growing at a rate slower than our customer base. Our ticket volume and Time to First Response metrics were creeping up. Our self-service options weren’t putting enough of a dent in our new ticket queue. At the same time, we were also struggling to find applicants with enough technical experience for our user base – which is made up of highly technical customers – no matter where we were looking. We had to do something drastic.
The only thing that made sense was to create a dedicated Training Team (increasing our onboarding time from a few weeks to a few months), take resources away from the support queue to do the training, and entirely rewrite our training curriculum and support manual.
We had to come up with a new solution and our conclusion was if we can’t find the right candidates, we have to change who we’re looking for. This short-term investment for a long-term win couldn’t have worked out better.
Here’s what we did:
Evaluate Candidate Competencies
When we began evaluating Linode’s hiring practices, our Core Values informed us where to start.
While we and our customers use and depend on Linux every day, what’s more important than command line knowledge are things that are much harder to teach: Good problem solving abilities, empathy, and a passion for helping customers.
The solution was obvious to us:
We’d change our “ideal” candidate from “Experienced Systems Administrator with Expert-Level Customer Support Skills” to “Best of the Best Customer Support Skills with Hobbyist-Level Technical Experience”
We’d build a world-class training system with this candidate profile in mind
With brand-new job requirements focused on technical and troubleshooting acumen instead of experience, we could target previously-untapped pipelines like new grads who worked help desk, career changers who ran Linux at home, and service industry employees in a technical environment. We found people through career fairs, college clubs, and user groups. Very quickly, incredibly good candidates started rolling in – but now we had to train them.
Create a Training Team
This is the really hard part.
We got lucky – we had an incredible Support Specialist, Cody, who used to train flight school instructors. His enthusiasm for training, development, epistemology, and learning styles, coupled with Linux expertise, made him the perfect candidate for our first Trainer. We spent about two months creating an MVP training curriculum and finally started training our new-hires.
Because our new hiring strategy allowed us to attract candidates with outstanding Customer Support skills – the stuff that’s harder to teach – our new training program, in turn, focused on building technical troubleshooting skills and our Core Values.
We realized, though, that training is nothing without documentation and support, so we began reorganizing and updating our support manual and knowledge base. Our team painstakingly:
Modularized our curriculum so each module could be taught by any of our Training Specialists, or even plucked out of new-hire training to do a continuing education class.
Leveraged the “Acquisition, Application, Reinforcement” learning model into each of our modules in an effort to be the most effective trainers possible, as well as provide a consistent experience throughout training.
Implemented weekly check-ins for trainees and their managers, and created a robust documentation system to keep managers and Training Specialists on the same page throughout training.
The initial new-hire training was producing incredible Junior or Level 1 Support Specialists on it’s own right… but that was only the first part of the Support Training journey.
Training Wrap-Up and Mentorship
Before a Support trainee finishes initial training, we hand them off to a Training Expert on the Support team. While the initial training is structured to the hour, a trainee’s mentorship is unstructured and for an indefinite length. A trainee is essentially doing the job of an onboarded Support Specialist, but has a single point of contact and escalation for issues and challenges.
When each box on every checklist has been checked – every skill acquired, competency met, and task accomplished, we can finally on-board a trainee. It’s a huge moment to be celebrated.
Each onboarded trainee represents an incredible investment in talent acquisition, training, people and skills development, and meticulous planning – an investment that’s immediately paid off with the phenomenal new Support Specialist helping solve problems for our customers every day.
Every single piece of our training is still being evaluated and iterated. A module is almost never exactly the same as it was in the previous class. We’re currently identifying the Lominger Competencies required for every role in the Support organization and how Managers and Training Experts can teach and develop those competencies. Our Support Manual is still undergoing a huge rewrite and reorganization in Git to introduce version control and more collaboration. Our mentorship model is always undergoing improvement. While we’ve come a long way, training is one of those things that can never be perfected.
We can always get better and our team is always better for it.
Leverage Your New Advantage
Our Training Team commits to a brand new group of recruits every two months. Their structured curriculum, mentorship and check-ins with trainees, and maintenance to our Support Manual is a lot of work, but it’s important that we leverage this team to be bigger than just new-hire training.
To accomplish that, we designed our new-hire training to be six weeks long. In the two weeks between incoming and outgoing classes, our Training Team both iterates on our training and provides continuing education classes to our existing Support Specialists – retraining rusty skills, presenting new and exciting technical edge-case training, and refreshing fundamentals.
Today, our Training Team runs at least one Lunch & Learn each month for our existing Customer Support team on an existing skill or a brand-new topic. We want to ensure that the entire team is at the same knowledge level and provides a consistent experience for all customers.
Making any team’s purpose bigger than simply fulfilling a short-term need is necessary in any do-more-with-less business. It’s about making your Training Team more than just an onboarding team, but instead a critical part of ongoing education and development.
Linode’s Training Team has been an incredible success. Yes, it’s a huge investment, but I cannot stress enough how much I encourage you to create the same in your own Support department.
So why do you need a Training Team?
You aren’t getting the best people into your organization; you’re thinking too small, not branching out, and losing out on the best candidates.
You’re relying on someone else to train your people… their last employer.
You need to not just reteach the skills your Support Specialists already have, but find new people who will make your team better than it is today.
Because of our Training Team, Linode has a steady stream of great candidates, a comprehensive new-hire training program, a robust continuing education system, and the absolute best, most diverse, and enthusiastic Customer Support team that we have ever had. And it gets better every single new class.
Linode’s Training Team was a significant investment that’s already been paid off many times.
We’ve put 92 new-hires through training
Our average new-hire onboarding time is 72 days
Our Training Team now consists of a Training Manager, two full-time Training Specialists, and six Training Experts
As intended, our Time to First Response is down, our number of updates to resolution is down, and our Customer Happiness is up
Customers are being helped faster and more consistently
Creating a Training Team has absolutely been one of the best investments the Customer Support department has made.
I’d like to hear anyone’s thoughts, opinions, or questions on training or creating training teams; and I would be happy to help if this is something you’re trying to take on. Furthermore, this was a very high-level and simplified overview of a very complicated, calculated, and time-consuming topic. If you’d like to chat or would like more detail, please reach out on Twitter or send me an email.
We are excited to announce the pilot launch of Linode GPU instances. These instances are tailored towards workloads such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, high quality graphics rendering, video transcoding and scientific computing.
Linode GPU instances are built on NVIDIA Quadro RTX 6000 GPU cards. This is the first time these cards are being offered by a cloud provider, and includes all three major types of processing cores (CUDA, Tensor, and Ray Tracing). It’s the next step in cloud computing for Linode, and advances our mission of making cloud computing simple and accessible to everyone.
All Linode GPU instances come with dedicated CPU cores and your choice of one to four cards per instance.
We’re rolling this out initially as a pilot. There’s limited availability (these things are expensive!) and it’s only available in Newark for now. But most importantly, we want you to help shape our next steps. So, please take a look at what we have, maybe give it shot, and let us know what you think or what your needs are by sending us an email or by opening a ticket.
This week we’re celebrating Linode’s 16th birthday and we want you to celebrate with us. Like we’ve done in the past we’re using our birthday to also celebrate you. Here’s what we’ve got in store:
NodeBalancer pricing reduction
Starting today, NodeBalancer pricing has been reduced from $20/mo to $10/mo, for both new and existing NodeBalancers. If you’re currently using NB’s there’s nothing you need to do to receive the new pricing. It’s automatic.
If you’re not using them, NodeBalancers are highly-available, managed, cloud based, “load balancers as a service” and you can read more about them here.
Dedicated Instances storage increase
We’re simplifying our plan matrix by matching storage between our Shared and Dedicated Linode plans – specifically by upping the storage space on the dedicated plans to match the shared. If you weren’t aware, you can easily resize a Linode not just up or down, but across plan types as well. This storage increase will make life easier when you want to resize a Standard Linode into a Dedicated one, for example.
This applies to both new and existing Dedicated Linodes. If you have a dedicated Linode you can simply resize your disk to take advantage of the new storage space.
Dedicated instances are optimized for workloads where consistent performance is required or where full-duty work (100% CPU all day, every day) needs doing. This includes build boxes, CI/CD, video encoding, machine learning, game servers, databases, data mining, and busy application servers.
What’s coming next?
We’ve got more good stuff on the horizon, including:
The launch of GPU instances built on NVIDIA’s latest GPU architecture
This week Intel publicly disclosed a group of processor vulnerabilities known as Microarchitectural Data Sampling (MDS), also referred to as “ZombieLoad”. MDS affects systems that host virtual machines from varying security domains and/or that the system owner does not fully trust, which includes Linode’s infrastructure and Linodes themselves. This guide has additional detailed information on these vulnerabilities as well as their mitigation.
We’ve started mitigation efforts and anticipate full mitigation of our fleet in the coming weeks. These mitigation efforts may require interruption to your running systems, but we will clearly communicate any scheduled maintenance or coordination required by our customers via Support ticket.
To address these vulnerabilities on your end, we’ve released a new kernel (5.1.2) with mitigations in place, so make sure you select this kernel in your Linode’s configuration profile, then reboot. If you are using a distribution-supplied kernel, you will need to upgrade your kernel accordingly. As always, you should also ensure your Linode is up to date and secured.
We’ll keep you updated here in the coming weeks as we proceed with our mitigation efforts.
We’re excited to announce the opening of our newest data center in Toronto, Canada. Linode Toronto is our 10th global data center and will allow our Canadian customers to deploy cloud workloads on Canadian soil.
Roughly one-third of Canada’s developer community calls Toronto home, making it a natural fit for our newest data center and the tens of thousands of Canadian customers who rely on us. Toronto includes availability of all Linode features and services similar to our other data centers at standard Linode pricing. Additionally, it was built using our latest server builds and is connected to our global backbone.
Linode Toronto also satisfies the in-country data compliance requirements of the Canadian Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (“PIPEDA”) and Anti-Spam Legislation (“CASL”). For more information, please consult our Compliance, Terms of Service, and Privacy documentation.
Customers with Linodes in other data centers wishing to move to Toronto can clone them to the new facility. The cloning method is recommended since you’ll be able to stage your services on a new IP address before changing your DNS records. Alternatively, you can open a Support ticket and we can configure a migration for you. For new Linodes, simply choose “Toronto” as the location when creating your cloud instance.
And in case you missed it, we recently announced Dedicated CPU plans for CPU-intensive workloads like CI/CD, video encoding, machine learning, game servers, and busy application servers. Keep an eye out for more announcements on our upcoming India and Sydney data centers, Object Storage, Linode Kubernetes, One-Click Apps and more.
We are happy to announce the new Linode integration for Rancher! Rancher is a free and open source tool that simplifies the deployment and management of Kubernetes clusters. Instead of using command-line tools to access your clusters, Rancher’s web interface provides a logical presentation of all of your deployments, services, and other cluster objects, and you can edit and scale your clusters with the click of a button.
The Rancher web interface also offers a simple method for launching apps on your clusters, and it comes packaged with an impressive catalog of curated apps to choose from. These apps can be deployed as individual solutions, or used together in a more complex service architecture.
Under the hood, Rancher leverages the Linode Docker Machine driver to create new cluster nodes on Linode. There’s a lot of technical wizardry that powers this integration, but it’s all in service of making Kubernetes more accessible. If you’re the type of user that wants to be able to drop down into the CLI and dig deep into your Kubernetes manifests, Rancher provides easy ways to do that too.
We’ll be working with Rancher Labs this year to make this experience even better. If you want to deploy Rancher on Linode, we’ve written a guide that walks you through:
Installing Rancher on a Linode.
Deploying a Kubernetes cluster on Linode with Rancher.
Deploying an App from the Rancher App Library to your cluster.
If you already have a cluster running on Linode, you can import it into Rancher too. If you’re already a Rancher user, try turning on the Linode integration and testing out a new cluster on our platform. Rancher has built-in support for Multi-Cluster Applications, which can ease the adoption of a multi-cloud strategy that incorporates Linode.
As always, we’d love to hear any feedback you have. If you’d like to participate in the continued development of our Rancher integration, our engineering team is active on both the Rancher Slack, and the Kubernetes Slack (where you’ll find us in the #linode channel).