Seeing where Schumin Web lives…

April 27, 2017, 10:24 AM

On Tuesday, Elyse and I took a big loop trip through Virginia and Maryland.  We started at my house, went up through Frederick (where we had a late lunch at Sheetz), then took US 15 over the Point of Rocks Bridge into Virginia, where we went through Ashburn, and then down into Manassas, and from there, back home via the Beltway.  The plan was to see Manassas Mall, which we both realized that we had never actually been to.

As it turned out, Manassas Mall wasn’t that exciting.  It was a fairly generic one-story suburban shopping mall that contained fairly typical mall stores and a Walmart store, plus it contained an indoor go-kart track, as well as a place called Uptown Alley, which contained an arcade, bowling alley, and laser tag, as well as a restaurant.  Other than the entertainment venues, it was more or less as expected.

However, more interesting than Manassas Mall was a side trip that we made on the way down.  You may recall that, since 2007, Schumin Web has been hosted with DreamHost.  In 2012, DreamHost began operating in a data center in Ashburn, Virginia, and my site was one of many to get moved there.  It makes enough sense, since Schumin Web is based in the eastern US, and the largest segment of my viewership is also in the eastern US.  I remember getting a big boost in speed when the site started serving from Ashburn rather than Los Angeles, which made site maintenance that much easier.  With the site hosted in Northern Virginia, it wasn’t a large leap to imagine a trip to go see where the building that it was housed in was.

So that’s what we did on this trip.  I knew that I couldn’t justify a full trip just for that, so I bundled it in with the mall and other various odds and ends.  I knew that DreamHost was in RagingWire’s Ashburn facility, so it was just a matter of Google-and-go.

We first found this building:

Then we found this second building up the street:

Home, sweet home, I suppose, at least as far as the site’s physical location goes.  In any case, that was interesting to see, because I didn’t quite know what to imagine as far as the place where the site physically lives went, and now I know what it looks like, at least on the outside.  Nice place, and the large HVAC units also give a good indication of exactly how much effort goes into keeping this facility at the right temperature.  Wonder what kind of fire systems they have in here.  I imagine that it’s an FM200-based waterless fire suppression system, because conventional water sprinklers would cause more damage than the original fire.

I also found it interesting what was right around the data center buildings.  Most of it was boring suburban office buildings, but the first building had a lot of customer-facing businesses right next door to it, including a yoga facility.  So I saw a lot more activity than I expected.

So there you have it.  The place where Schumin Web is served from.  Now you know what it looks like.