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"Data Center Follies" Topic


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642 hits since 21 Sep 2013
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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zippyfusenet Inactive Member22 Sep 2013 11:04 a.m. PST

This happened at a company I once heard of, to another fellow, whom I'll call Bleeped textbert.

(Bless me! I set off the bleep-o-matic. The offending word is a domestic animal with four legs, long floppy ears, and a tail, often used for draft or riding, with a distinctive bray.)

There were 50 or so servers in a data center. Bleeped textbert worked in a different city, so he couldn't visit the data center himself, but he had the job of scheduling down time for servers in that data center with the business units that used them.

Bleeped textbert often got emails from system engineers in far off cities and lands, asking him to schedule down time for a server he'd never heard of. Then Bleeped textbert would make inquiries and find out what new server had been installed in the data center, what purpose it served, who in IT was responsible to support the server and its software, and who in the company was depending on it to do business.

There were two servers in the data center that listed no other IT 'owner' than Bleeped textbert himself. Over three years, Bleeped textbert repeatedly questioned hapless data center staff as to which business units used those servers, and what was their purpose. He was told, "They're not in use." Every month or two the Elbonian consultants would patch these two servers and charge Bleeped textbert's company a fee for the pleasure.

One day, Bleeped textbert learned the truth from a grey bearded old SE, the truth that the data center staff themselves did not know: the two servers had been purchased and installed for a project that never went live. The two servers had been abandoned in the data center. For three years no IT staffer or consultant would take 'ownership' of the jinxed servers; they sat in the data center, occupying switch ports, sucking electic current, being serviced by Elbonians. There was no software installed on the servers but anti-virus and backup. Backup of nothing.

Bleeped textbert's ears stood up when he heard this. Bleeped textbert's work team needed more test servers to handle their excessive workload, but all attempts to get more had failed. The two abandoned servers exactly met the specification that Bleeped textbert's work team needed for test servers. If only a kindly Engineer could install one piece of licensed software, then Bleeped textbert could configure the two abandoned servers into another test environment for his harried work team.

Bleeped textbert ran to tell his manager of the opportunity, and she seemed as excited as he was. Together they spoke with the remote and powerful Ozbert, Chief of the Engineers, and he agreed to have one of his minions install the key piece of software for a trifling fee.

But for another year, no one paid the fee. The two abandoned servers sat in the data center, sucking current, being patched. Four years now. Tick-tick-tick-tick.

Then, suddenly and without previous warning (yeah, you bet), danger loomed for Bleeped textbert's work team. Their very success turned in their hands and became disaster, for a computer program they had developed proved so popular that the business users loved it to death. So many of them used this program for their work that their demands for memory overwhelmed the server the program ran on, and the program crashed.

There was no way to limit use of the program, the business needed it too much. For months and months the program crashed over and over again, and the rage of the business users increased with their frustration, until their sore lamentations reached the ears of an IT Vice-President in a distant city. Then there were meetings and inquests and special teams were created, and there was woe and sorrow in all the land.

"Oh!", wailed Bleeped textbert's manager, "If only we had a couple more servers, we could put copies of this popular program on those servers too, and then there would be enough memory on all three servers to satisfy the business users. But there is no budget! There is no plan! No one will authorize us to buy additional servers! Oh, woe! Woe!"

"Wait." said Bleeped textbert quietly to his manager, "I think I know where I can find two servers."

"La-la-lalala," sang Bleeped textbert's manager, with her fingers in her ears, "I can't hear you. I hope you're not saying anything bad. La-lala-la!"

This install did not require any licensed software, so Bleeped textbert installed the popular program on the two servers all by himself in the middle of the night. Taking no chances, in a flagrant violation of SOX policies, Bleeped textbert didn't file change control for the install.

On Bleeped textbert's work team, in order for anything to get done, everyone had to say yes, anyone could say no. And someone always said no.

Bleeped textbert knew that if he popped up on anyone's radar, he'd be shot down. Someone would say, "Those aren't *your* servers, *you* didn't pay for them, you can't just *appropriate* them.", and would take Bleeped textbert's servers for her own purposes.

In the morning Bleeped textbert's manager introduced the business users to the two new servers. With its workload divided in three, the popular progam flew like lightening and never crashed again, and the business users danced with joy, and heaped praise on Bleeped textbert's manager.

It was the most fun Bleeped textbert had at work in five years. Bleeped textbert is long past the point of caring whether they fire him. He just doesn't want to go to prison.

skippy0001 Supporting Member of TMP22 Sep 2013 12:59 p.m. PST

This could be the start of the Apocalypse…

Mapleleaf Inactive Member22 Sep 2013 2:00 p.m. PST

Somehow the "bleep" makes it more realistic -

It sounds like a government office or is private enterprise just as bad ?

zippyfusenet Inactive Member22 Sep 2013 2:32 p.m. PST

My acquaintence Bleeped textbert works at a major US corporation that was recently praised in the financial press for its success at cutting costs. Yeah. You bet.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP22 Sep 2013 3:10 p.m. PST

No offense Zippy, but your post looks like a transcript of Blazing Saddles as shown on the Family Network. grin

GarrisonMiniatures Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member22 Sep 2013 3:31 p.m. PST

One of the delights of big business or government is manipulating budgets.

That was meant to be slightly not serious… I mean, not meant to be funny, just slightly not serious…

Streitax Inactive Member22 Sep 2013 4:53 p.m. PST

Of course his manager took the credit, it's good to be King.

Skeptic22 Sep 2013 4:56 p.m. PST

That is a curious word for this website to censor, considering its biblical usage with respect to the animal that you described…

That seems like an "interesting" workplace, by the way…

Mr Pumblechook22 Sep 2013 8:29 p.m. PST

And the beauty of it is, if someone does want the servers or complains, they will be drowned out by the howls of those using the Popular Program who won't want to back to crash-land

zippyfusenet Inactive Member23 Sep 2013 3:16 a.m. PST

Eggs Ackley, Mr. P! Bleeped textbert's customers are now using those abandoned, jinxed servers to meet a critical business need. Bleeped textbert would like to see some posturing fool of an IT manager try to take resources away from a business unit.

"Those two servers followed me home, boss. And they were so cute that I fed them and gave them names, and took them for their shots. And now they're mine!"

Cerdic Supporting Member of TMP23 Sep 2013 7:48 a.m. PST

Donkeybert?

Who asked this joker23 Sep 2013 10:32 a.m. PST

Donkeybert?

Something like that. Assbert really. grin Odd. It didn't bleep for me. Hmmm…

Dan Cyr23 Sep 2013 12:59 p.m. PST

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Dan

Cerdic Supporting Member of TMP23 Sep 2013 2:43 p.m. PST

Who indeed, Dan!

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