Shark Tank: Because you never know

This pilot fish works for a big computer vendor, and he's assigned to help out at a major conference. "Important customer decision-makers were flying in from all over the world and being shown all the latest and greatest hardware, software, and services by their sales reps," fish says.

His job is at the software development tools stand, so as soon as he gets in, he checks out the setup. It all looks good, thanks to several techs who have spent many hours installing and configuring dozens of products and getting the demos to work just right.

But fish doesn't see an indication that anyone has taken a system backup. So once the hubbub of setup is done, fish returns to the exhibit hall in the evening, loads a blank tape into the built-in drive on the server for the development tools stand, and three hours later has a verified backup of the entire system.

"A few days later, just as the lunch break was starting, the hard drive failed on that server," says fish. "Field service quickly replaced it, but the new drive was freshly formatted. It looked like an overnight effort to rebuild everything, canceling all customer demos for the afternoon.

"I dug out my backup tape, and by the end of the lunch break the system was humming away just as it had been.

"The sales people never even found out, let alone the customers. Pity, in a way."

Submit your own true tales of IT life to sharky@computerworld.com. If Sharky uses it, you'll snag a snazzy Shark Tank shirt! You can also add comments by using the form at the bottom of this page.

See more Shark Tank stories at the Sharkives.

If you love Shark Tank, you'll have fun with Shark Bait, a place where you can really tear apart IT. Submit your own tech-related "baits" for points, or rate other baits. Leave comments, build your profile, and try to become one of the "big fish." Visit the Shark Bait site to get started.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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