After nine servers he worked on failed, techie imagined next career as beach vendor

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Who, Me? Welcome erstwhile again, gentle readerfolk, to nan safe area of The Register we telephone Who, Me? successful which readers overmuch for illustration yourselves unburden themselves pinch stories that person been weighing connected their minds – because they callback moments erstwhile things did not spell rather according to plan.

Take for lawsuit this week's hero, who we will Regomize arsenic "Ivor". In his misbegotten youth, Ivor erstwhile worked for a assemblage successful nan UK which, for illustration galore of its ilk astatine nan time, utilized Novell Netware servers. In fact, this peculiar institution had conscionable updated to nan marque spanking caller eDirectory, which it installed connected 10 of its servers.

Now, arsenic pinch immoderate caller spot of package you install, errors were to beryllium expected. One weekend, Ivor came successful to activity to trace immoderate recently-reported errors. Seeing that nan correction messages were pointing astatine a sole server, he attempted a repair of that machine.

It did not.

So his adjacent measurement was to region eDirectory from nan server to spot if that fixed things.

It besides did not.

However, nan errors now seemed to beryllium pointing astatine a different server. OK, thought Ivor, possibly nan trace was being put disconnected nan first clip by nan errors connected this server. He ran nan repair connected nan 2nd server, pinch nary success. So he tried removing eDirectory again, besides pinch nary success.

But wouldn't you cognize it, nan correction trace past pointed him to a third server.

Third time's nan charm, thought Ivor, and group astir repairing again. And erstwhile that didn't work, he removed eDirectory conscionable successful lawsuit – because that had been specified a adjuvant troubleshooting measurement it must beryllium worthy different go, right?


We will abbreviate Ivor's communicative somewhat astatine this point, because you tin astir apt spot wherever it's going. Let america leap up to nan constituent where, of nan 10 eDirectory-equipped servers, he had tally unsuccessful repairs and removed eDirectory from nine of them.

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  • One doorway opens, different 1 closes, and this 1 kills a mainframe
  • Scripted shortcut caused double-click disaster of sysadmin's ain making
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Even though it was nan weekend, nan assemblage was still staging classes. Calls were now coming successful astir why login was truthful slow and definite record shares were missing. All of nan school's personification information – describing 10,000 students and 700 unit – was astatine this constituent moving connected a azygous server.

And nan worst portion was, nan errors were still showing up.

Ivor had only 1 realistic people of action. Clearly this was nan damaged database and nan root of nan errors. This was nan 1 that needed to beryllium fixed. But if he reactivated immoderate of nan different eDirectory servers earlier repairing this 1 he would apt beryllium replicating nan responsibility and conscionable extremity up chasing it around.

He had to repair nan server live.

"If this killed nan database," Ivor wrote, "or we had mislaid power, aliases nan soul RAID controller failed, aliases conscionable astir thing had happened astatine this point," each would person been lost. In that event, he "would apt person had to get a occupation trading slices of melon to visitors connected a formation somewhere" – which is simply a very circumstantial and strangely idyllic measurement to ideate nan disastrous extremity of your profession successful IT.

Thankfully (or not, depending connected what you deliberation astir trading melon connected a beach) nan repair worked. Ivor was capable to reinstate eDirectory connected nan different 9 servers and afloat functionality was restored.

He later learned that nan errors he was seeing were mostly cosmetic and could person been safely ignored. But hey, elder guidance didn't request to cognize they paid a afloat day's overtime and astir mislaid everything complete a problem that didn't request to beryllium fixed.

What astir you? Ever imagined your profession successful IT ending connected a formation trading slices of melon? Or had a time for illustration Ivor's? We want to perceive astir it. Tell america your communicative successful an email to Who, Me? and we'll stock it pinch nan world – anonymously, of course. ®