In the beginning….
Javier Ayala was born to a couple of circus performers in 1975. His father was either Giovanni or Bruce who were Siamese twins in the circus. His mother was Hilda, the bearded lady. From age 2 Javier began learning the art of circus performing and was putting his head into a lion’s mouth by age 3. This activity caused a lot of stress on Giovanni and Bruce and on March 26, 1979, their shared heart gave out. Life was difficult for Hilda as a single mother until she met Bruno in 1982. Bruno was one of the circus midgets who was new to the art of circus performing. Bruno and Hilda had a good life together until 1989 when Bruno was accidently stepped on by Jumbo the elephant. Hilda never fully recovered from that his loss. She went into a deep depression that lasted throughout the remainder of her life. She saw herself as cursed because of the fact that she had lost three lovers in the span of one decade. On March 26, 1990, on the 11th anniversary of Giovanni and Bruce’s death, she accidentally cut her jugular vein while trimming her beard. Javier found her that evening after coming home from fire-eating practice. It was at that point that Javier decided to give up circus life for good.
A fresh start….
Beginning in December of 1995, Javier accepted a job with Computer City in San Antonio, TX. working as a salesman in the upgrades department. In March of 1996 Computer City decided to make their upgrade salesmen into technicians. It was shortly after this that Javier proved himself to be a valuable leader and a knowledgeable technician. He was made the Lead Upgrade Technician and was put in charge of the entire upgrades department. Javier was happy in this position, but he longed for more. Around July of 1996 a position became available with the Tandy Technical Service department in the back of the Computer City store. Javier was offered the job and accepted it. He was made the Apple/Laptop technician. It was Javier’s duty to service all Apple computers as well as all laptops that came into the service center. This experience proved invaluable as Javier looked for his next opportunity.
In January of 1997, Javier accepted a position with NetForce, Inc. He was stationed as a contract worker at Southwest Research Institute. It was there that Javier spent the next three years of his career. He began as a network administrator for the Non-destructive Evaluation division. His duties included normal help-desk duties for a staff of 60 people who were running Macs, PCs and Sun computers. Another duty which was bestowed upon him was the administration of the division’s aging Banyan Vines File Server. About six months after starting at SwRI, Javier was put in charge of the Unix backup server as a result of his dedication and eagerness to learn. It was around this time that Javier first began playing with something called Linux. Within a span of six months he had taught himself enough about UNIX to take on the added responsibilities of the day to day administration of the division’s UNIX servers including tasks such as adding and deleting users, and DNS zone file modifications. These were happy times for Javier. He was in charge of 90% of the division network and was highly regarded by the people he worked so hard to support.
January of 1999 brought tragedy. Due to the division’s inability to generate revenue during the previous five years, it was decided by the Institute’s board of directors to dissolve the Non-destructive Evaluation division. It was at this time that Javier was transferred to the Automation and Data Systems division at SwRI. Javier was appointed the division’s UNIX administrator. It was here that his experience in Sendmail, Solaris, Linux, BIND, NFS, Legato Networker and Solstice Disksuite came into play. Javier was able to take a division whose UNIX resources were in shambles and make sense of the chaos. Within a span of three months, Javier had single-handedly restored the division’s backup server to working order, migrated the division off of Banyan mail and onto a Sendmail/POP3/IMAP solution, and joined all of the Solaris workstations into a NIS environment. Javier was happy once again, however the feeling would not last. Tragedy, it seems, was never far from Javier. SwRI had been showing interest for some time in wanting to hire Javier as a full-time employee, however NetForce was unwilling to part with one of their most valuable resources. A war ensued between SwRI and NetForce resulting in a stalemate. The actions of NetForce left Javier feeling embittered. As a result, he felt that his time spent at SwRI had reached its end, and Javier began looking elsewhere for employment. In February of 2000 Javier was offered a position with Rackspace.com (now Rackspace Hosting). He accepted this position and in March of 2000 bid farewell to his friends and co-workers at SwRI.
At Rackspace, Javier was assigned to Team D. It was here that Javier was able to bring order to chaos. He has been a beacon of light in a foggy, foggy world. Javier has single-handedly taken Rey Muñiz and Rob Larson and molded them into fine young system administrators. It is for these accomplishments that he will never be forgotten.
From a beginning as a circus performer, to his present career as a system administrator, Javier has persevered and challenged himself to new heights. He has risen through the ashes of a broken childhood, like a phoenix he soars to new levels of greatness.