Label Your Cables

Computer setup can be easy, or it can be hard, but once you have everything setup and configured you usually know not to touch or change anything without a lot of research and second-guessing. In this article by Dave Cartwright, we hard a story about how much trouble could have been avoided with a little planning. This should be a reminder to learn the tough lessons from other poor souls and apply them to our actions today.

A year or so passed. Then one Sunday the phone rang. It was the end client (you know, the client of the former employee of… ) and he said, “The server won’t come back up”. This rang an alarm bell: it wasn’t “won’t come up” but “won’t come back up.” I embarked on the usual line of enquiry: “Has anything changed?” Answer: “I don’t think so.”

After a while, a reasonably important fact emerged: “Well, we’ve moved to a new data centre, but I’m sure I’ve set it up as it should be.”

I gave him a few things to try. Poor guy was knackered, as he’d basically spent the previous 24 hours moving the entire installation across London single-handed and he absolutely had to get the server up ready for business the next morning. I told him to try a few things (check out the RAID card BIOS to see whether it could refresh its settings, and so on) and then get some kip, and to call me at lunchtime if it was still down; I had a commitment until 2pm but could hop in the car for a trip to London after that.

Sure enough, all was still broken at 2pm so I arrived at the new data centre at around five.

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