grade school my Father would sometimes babysit me by taking me to
the repair shop he owned with his brother.
would scrape and sweep the floors, and walk to the auto parts store
to pick things up. When I was 12 they taught me how to do brake
jobs, rebuild starters and alternators, and even let me drive
remember driving a 1969 Riviera Grand Sport (455 cid) down North
Avenue in Chicago more than anything else about 7th grade.
thing I remember most was the Penzoil sign on the wall that read,
"It's cheaper to change your oil, than your engine.".
doing an initial evaluation of a dermatologist's office we found
his server was in pieces. Two of the hard drives had been removed
and were lying beside it. The doctor explained that the drives had
crashed, but his previous consultant said everything was OK because
the server had four drives and only needed two. It was my job to
explain to the doctor that everything was not OK.
your server had four drives. Three shared the work of storing all
your business critical files and applications and the fourth was a
spare. If one of the three crashes the remaining two make the spare
into a new one.. If they have no spare they just keep plugging
along until they get one, or one of them crashes. If you don't have
at least two you lose the server. We need to replace the
crashed drives right away." He said no.
type of drive was very old which made it two things, likely to
fail, and hard to find. It took days to find them, $200. I bought
two to replace the crashed drives, and one to keep on his shelf.
$600 and we would be safe.I asked again and the doc said no again.
The three drives sat on a shelf in my office for a month before a
vacation to Mexico.
the sun, the sand, the sea. It was beautiful. Drinking sparkling
water and eating cheeseburgers on the beach I was composing an
email to doc that was sure to convince him to let me replace those
drives. Then the phone rang. It was doc's Office Manager and
she didn't sound good.
said they had just come in, their server was down and it wouldn't
turn on. None of their employees could access any of their business
critical files or applications either. They didn't know who was
coming in, when, for what, how much they owed, or how much to bill.
They were doomed. Oh no!
called Don (not his real name) and he went to their rescue. He had
to drive over 100 miles that day to pick up the drives and get them
to the good doctor. He started rebuilding their server from scratch
using their backup.
had things in good shape by Friday and I took the weekend shift.
The doctor's staff had recorded everything by hand for three days
and really wanted to be up and running Monday morning. They were.
and it happens a lot, the application they used to store all their
signed client waivers didn't allow it's data to be backed up, it
only lived on their server. Doc no longer had the signed waiver
defense against lawsuits.
days of Don, and my 48 hour weekend spent living in doc's office
cost him $12,000. It could have been avoided, along with the loss
of those waivers. Doc still ended up paying $600 for those drives,
and another $600 for my phone bill from Mexico.
are two major religions in my profession, Break-Fix and Managed
is where you passively wait for something to break and then hope it
can be fixed. That's what doc did and he changed the engine.
Services is where you proactively manage your computer resources.
Kind of like changing the oil.
your oil, not your engine, or not, that's your call, and that's