Just prop the door open



  • Way back, in the place I used to work I would have occasion to visit the main office every few months. On one occasion I asked where the main server was out of curiosity as the main office did not have a dedicated server location, and I knew the machine was stored on site.

    I was pointed to the utility room where I found that the main (only) server with all and I mean ALL the companies documents was on the ground two feet away from the drain pipe of a sink. Not only that, but that the case was covered by stacks of ring binders and spare cables. Of course I immediately strongly suggested that they move it away from sources of water and not cover the box so that it could stay cool.

    Unfortunately I was ignored as there was no room anywhere else, but I was asked if I could take a look at the software because the file share was running a bit slow. This brought me to the second wtf.

    When I investigated I found that the network had been configured so that the server could not ping out to receive patches from MS, but anyone on the net could ping in. In addition the antivirus licence had expired over two years ago. I also discovered that while backups were done every friday, the tapes were years old and sometimes the backup simply failed.

    This meant that the main server was visible to the internet, had no patches, no up to date antivirus, no reliable backup, no cooling to speak of and was only one burst pipe away from a soaking.

    After pleading my case I was eventually allowed to fix the antivirus, apply some patches and uncover the case to get some ventilation. However it took until the company moved to a bigger office unit before the server got moved to its own dedicated room with the rest of the equipment, switches phone system etc. away from sources of water.

    Unfortunately they forgot to pay attention to the last and most important thing I said about the servers location.... That the new server location should have ventilation and cooling, especially if we were now going to centrally locate all the equipment.

    First time I walked in there I nearly passed out from the heat. I begged for some kind of cooling but the best I could get them to agree on was to leave the server room door open. You can imagine that the noise from all the overheated servers did not go down well to the folks who worked on the other side of the door so the door would invariably get accidently closed.

    I dont know if they ever put in proper ventilation or cooling. Last I heard they were having to close the server room door more often because there would be loud alarms going off from time to time and the extra noise was distracting people from their jobs.



  • @codefanatic said:

    This meant that the main server was visible to the internet, had no patches, no up to date antivirus, no reliable backup, no cooling to speak of and was only one burst pipe away from a soaking.

    TRWTF in this story is that the server remained functional that long on the Internet without patches.



  • @heterodox said:

    @codefanatic said:

    This meant that the main server was visible to the internet, had no patches, no up to date antivirus, no reliable backup, no cooling to speak of and was only one burst pipe away from a soaking.

    TRWTF in this story is that the server remained functional that long on the Internet without patches.

    I would not exactly call it functional, glaciers moved faster than this box.

    Oh I forgot to mention that this machine served its virus definition files to the desktop machines. To this day I have not worked out how they got anything done.



  • @codefanatic said:

    I would not exactly call it functional, glaciers moved faster than this box.
    That's because glaciers are properly cooled.



  • @Zecc said:

    @codefanatic said:
    I would not exactly call it functional, glaciers moved faster than this box.
    That's because glaciers are properly cooled.
    Quoted for awesomeness.

     



  • Management only learns it's lesson once it gets burned (sometimes). The thing never had a catastrophic failure, so why should they invest money in something that works?


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