Skip to main content

David Shirley

Craft of Code
David Shirley - Webquarry

From a Single Server Under a Desk to Data Centers Across the US

There comes a point in the life of every small business when it needs to make an important decision: remain a lone wolf and accept the status quo, or invest in change to uplevel and grow. That point came twice for David Shirley, founder of Webquarry: First when he moved his business out of a spare bedroom and again when he began working with Linode. 

David started Webquarry in 1997, hosting websites for small, local businesses on servers he had in his home in California. In the early 90s, David started with a single server under his desk where he would play around with Macintosh memory modules while working full-time as a general contractor. A desire to shift careers led him to rent out space to local businesses on that server, and before long, he began to add more hardware to increase capacity.

He was fortunate to be on the same power grid as local hospitals and fire departments, which kept his hodgepodge infrastructure running amidst California’s rolling blackouts. Eventually, he expanded into a spare bedroom. By the early 2000s, he had several hundred pounds of batteries running, multiple servers, and seven T1 lines coming into the house. 

It came time to make the next leap and move Webquarry to a colocation facility in Emeryville, California. David moved his homemade system to the colo overnight so as not to disrupt his customers’ businesses. That was a big step to scale, but over time the required upgrades got more and more expensive. David was building the servers, integrating the software that ran on them, and maintaining all the hardware. Business sustainability became the new hurdle for David, so he began looking at alternatives.

Around 2013, one of David’s customers expressed his delight with Linode’s speed and responsiveness, convincing him to give Linode a try. David got a glimpse of what the next upleveling of Webquarry could look like. His customers were putting more trust in David’s ability to meet their unique needs, from ecommerce to compliance and more. Webquarry had built a reputation for quick and reliable service that allowed small businesses and web designers to focus on their areas of expertise and leave the tech to David.

Now in business for 25 years, Webquarry hosts and backs up thousands of managed WordPress websites, relying on all of Linode’s US data centers. “It’s important to be able to turn up servers close to where my customers are,” explained David. “It keeps the entire system simple and allows us to be quick and responsive. With Linode, things don’t break as often, and when they do, it’s easy to diagnose and fix.”

Webquarry has expanded to offer domain registration, web design, compliance, and security services. David likens his experience with Linode to that of having friendly, cooperative colleagues. Linode’s quick and proactive customer support gives David confidence that he and his customers are well taken care of. David’s advice to other small businesses? “Keep it simple. Establish relationships with customers and vendors alike. And give Linode a try! They’re fast, reliable, and easy to work with–what more could you want from a cloud service provider?”

Share This