A View from Above 
Silicon Valley Lab

555 Bailey Ave. San Jose, CA 95141

Formerly known as "Santa Teresa Lab" (STL), IBM's SVL, nestled in the country side just south of the foot hills at the north end of the Coyote Valley in south San Jose, employs 1,300 people, and is where much of the software for IBM systems is developed. The courtyard on the second level between the towers has many walkways, lawns, and trees, and is directly above one of the largest computer machine rooms west of the Mississippi. Much of IBM's computing power comes from that lab.

This is one of the most beautiful places I have ever worked. Ninety percent of this campus, including the hills in the background, is set aside as open space. Of this, the flat open space is used as orchard by the Lester brothers, and the hill is leased out to a rancher who uses it to raise cattle. Because accessing the communications equipment and fire water tanks at the top of this hill involves 10 minutes of off-road driving, the security vehicle at this site is a 4x4 Ford Bronco, which also comes in handy during the rainy seasons. STL's weakness is road closures do to flooding. The lab had to be evacuated and shut down twice during the El Niño season and once during the rainy season before that when access roads became flooded out by more that two feet of water in some stretches.

For the last photo, I climbed to 2,500 feet, scraping the floor of the class C airspace, in an attempt to capture all three IBM sites in one image, but it was too hazy that day to get any detail of the other two sites. It does, however, provide a view of the par course to the west of the building.

Below is a panorama consisting of three landscape oriented images taken from a service road.  It takes 15 minutes of off-road driving to reach this vantage point, which, if you look at the lower left image of the above quad of images, is the short branch-off from the dirt road going to the two water tanks.

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