10 Signs You Might be a Server Hugger

Some Definitions

Server (sûr’vər) – noun – A computer that manages centralized data storage or network communications resources. A server provides and organizes access to these resources for other computers linked to it.

Hugger (huh’ger) – noun – A tight clasp with the arms; embrace.

I would therefore suggest that if you’re tightly clasping or embracing, with your arms, a computer that provides and organizes data, network resources or other computers – you’re a server hugger, even just metaphorically.


I had never heard of a Server Hugger before; tree hugger maybe. After checking the authoritative tome on the subject, the Little Book of Hugs (of course), I am none the wiser.

This all came about after a meeting where the topic of discussion was mostly Cloud and Email Management in the Cloud; a quick debrief revealed that one of the ‘opposing team’ was a card carrying Server Hugger, and staunchly opposed to all things Cloud. So that got me thinking,

There’s no known cure for being a server hugger, but luckily it is yet to be a terminal problem; unless you include Terminal Services. It’s no bad thing if you are a Server Hugger, even if undiagnosed, just think of all the new concepts and technologies you can offer your employees by adding just a teeny little bit of Cloud to your network.

10 Signs you Might be a Server Hugger

These 10 signs might indicate you’re a server hugger.

1. You enjoy large air-conditioned rooms, lit only by strip lights, devoid of all soft furnishing. The rows of metal boxes or racks will appeal to your organized side. The constant hum and fizz of white noise relaxes you.
2. Using a fingerprint or hand biometrics to gain access to rooms still excites you.
3. You can’t walk past messy or disorganized cabling (of any kind) without tutting and shaking your head
4. When you apply patches to your servers or application you can’t help but think services take longer to start when you watch them.
5. You believe any ‘progress bar,’  especially the blue ones, have built in anxiety detectors. The more anxious you get the slower they go.
6. Blinking green or yellow lights have a calming effect as you look at them, almost hypnotic. Red ones give you that ‘ohno second‘ feeling.You would go out of your way to buy things with blue LEDs
7. You like the feel of cold rackable metal boxes. You touch them often.
8. You’re thinking Cloud is the same as virtualization, something we should take a look at sooner or later, but for now you have users to deal with.
9. You believe there is no security applied to Cloud data, regardless of what the vendor tells you.
10. You have half thought about Aralditing up your users’ USB ports to stop them plugging things in.
11. (One for luck): You worry about all those servers and boxes and applications and green lights and red lights, but secretly you just need a big Cloud hug.

If you or someone you know if affected by this problem or you recognize more than six of the symptoms you should consult us straight away for the only known cure.


Building Hubs and Destroying Barriers

I and my co-founder at Mimecast are proud South Africans, but what we’ve built is a UK company with an increasingly global footprint.  The UK is already a great place to start a business with innovation at its core, and the Prime Minister is today announcing plans that will make it even better.  Whether or not the East London Tech City will ever give Silicon Valley a serious run for its money, it’s clearly great news for UK business, both in terms of inward investment from the big US tech players and as an initiative to encourage home-grown innovation talent to flourish.

But we’ve got to keep our feet on the ground here.  At some stage, if you’re a business with ambition, you need to expand.  The UK is a great place to sell technology, but there comes a point – like a rock band that wants to make it big – you have to spread your wings.  The US is crucial, as the heartland of technology and the biggest market.  Asia Pacific has huge potential, also, particularly China and India.  But what about the opportunity right on our doorstep?  How easy is it to expand across the European Union?

The answer is, not as easy as it should be, and that’s why I am today attending the EU Government Leaders Forum, sponsored by Microsoft.  One of the big themes of this event is the idea of a ‘single European digital market’ where, in an ideal world, we’d be able to use our UK or off-shore data centres to serve any European customer, and Microsoft could do the same from its Ireland or Netherlands-based facilities.  What we’re seeing on the ground, though, is a far cry from this model.  It is not so much about legislation – the European Data Privacy Directive of 1995 technically allows for the free flow of ‘personal information’ within the EU – as it is about cultural and national differences, and perceived rather than real issues, and that makes it a much more difficult nut to crack.

As Ben Rooney wrote on this morning, I’m one of only two CEOs (the other being Steve Ballmer) amongst a big group of politicians.  But nevertheless, it’s important for them to hear what’s holding us back, and for us to gain support for breaking down the barriers that slow our ability to grow in Europe.  For me, it’s a worthwhile investment, and for innovators of the future – who may well set up shop in Shoreditch over the next year or two – it could be the making of them.