Seeing the Unseeable

Here’s an interesting view of one of the six rows of gear I maintain in the datacenter. Looks kinda cool, eh?

You might wonder how I created an image like this, given that the rows of servers have less than three feet between them. This means I have to make the shot from about two feet from the front of the servers. Not a lot of room. Well, with my camera on a wheeled tripod, I shot this one rack at a time using a fisheye lens. A single-click on the Lens Correction tool in Lightroom eliminated the distortion. I then combined the eight corrected images in PhotoShop. I didn’t spend a lot of time aligning things because, well, this is good enough. The resulting image has high enough resolution that it’s easy to read the small labels on all of the servers.

This is not the first time I created this sort of image. When I did this at my previous company, I created a clickable image map. Clicking on a machine might take you to the logbook entries for that server on my wiki, or to an ssh session on that machine, or to a web page being served by it, etc. If I get motivated to do that, I’ll share the results. Maybe.

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