Our digital lives are expanding faster than the universe. Your banking information, family photos even your pet records are in the cloud, and the cloud is in a building in some data center. All your stuff resides in a temperature-controlled, buildings with massive rooms stacked full of servers. Servers like any other machine, periodically breakdown and need to be fixed or replaced.
If you know that a server breaks after 8 trillion actions involving storing and retrieving data, then you should probably buy a new one before reaching that milestone. Otherwise, you and your clients will be dealing with costly down-time. Similarly, if you know that for every million users you need to buy more data space, then you can probably budget your server expenses based on the growth of your user base.
I had an amazing opportunity to work with folks at Nexenta to help build a product that enables them to manage servers and monitor future growth more effectively.
Working with people that set up servers and maintain data centers was really interesting. I learned quite a bit about how servers work and the challenges they face. Most of this work occurs at a terminal, which requires knowing the programing language. Building a WYSIWYG dashboard, which is what I was involved in, provided a huge advantage for people who may know servers, but don't know how to use a terminal.