Stupid user tricks 5: IT's weakest link

Flaming laptops, nosy mothers, and server racks sent tumbling down stairs -- seven more real-world tales of IT brain fail

By InfoWorld staff, InfoWorld |  Career, help desk

Yeah, that was a fun conversation.

Fallout: An angry, embarrassed exec and a bill for a new PC.

Moral: Make sure your users know that the PCs you provide aren't for personal use. They're the property of the business; if they need to be opened, it'll be an IT staffer who does it no matter how smart your kid might be. Or not.

Stupid user trick No. 4: Introducing your IT infrastructure to a flight of stairsIncident: Lava lamps in the server closet are one thing, but turning your infrastructure into a lounge might require more than just a backup plan, as one IT contractor relays.

Everyone has favorite clients, folks where you never know what you're going to find when you visit. This one time, we get called in on the hot line -- 911, major emergency, everything's down. Two of us got the assignment and went squealing out to the client site through Long Island traffic. We arrived, nodded to the receptionist who knows us, and headed up to the server room, expecting to find the company's IT guy with whom we contract. Only it's a lounge now: sofas, coffee tables, a vending machine, and a big-screen TV on the wall, but no servers. Well, that's the first clue as to why nothing's working.

We nosed around for the IT guy and found him in his office, desperately trying to expedite an order for new servers. Where are the servers we set up, dude? Oh, we moved them downstairs. There was a problem on the way, so that's why we need you to restore the servers. That was vague.

We did some digging and discovered that he asked the two mail guys (the office muscle) to move the server rack downstairs to a new room. Now this wasn't a relay rack, this was a full-on four-post server rack. And because Mr. IT wasn't sure he'd be able to hook it all up again, he told them to leave everything in the rack.

I'm not sure how these guys even got it to move across a flat floor. That thing had three servers, two switches, a router, a disk array, a tape drive, and a UPS installed. It must have weighed a ton. The two geniuses apparently decided that the freight elevator was too far, so they tried to move it down a flight of stairs "just one step at a time." Yeah, it fell on step two, one of the guys came close to getting killed and most of the stuff in the rack wasn't working anymore when it stopped its tumbling routine on the first floor.

Apparently, APC doesn't guarantee equipment in its racks if you drop it down a flight of stairs.

But we were prepped. We were almost grinning, because we were about to be heroes. We told the IT guy that we have virtual images of his servers, that we had their configs registered with a local outfit that will rent us replacement infrastructure until he gets the new stuff on order, so all we need are the backup tapes and we can have him up and running in about a day, maybe less.


Originally published on InfoWorld |  Click here to read the original story.
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