No. Really. Down.

It's an important meeting for this pilot fish's CIO and some vendor representatives when a tech walks in. With no indication of stress, tech announces, "Hi. The servers are down."

CIO, irritated at the interruption: "Why don't you restart them?"

Tech: "We'd like to be able to..."

CIO: "Are they out of power? Check the circuit!"

Tech: "No, power is not the problem."

CIO: "So what is?"

Tech: "The servers are down."

CIO: "Just restart them!"

Tech: "Oops, I haven't explained myself. The servers are down -- literally and physically.

Flash back 10 minutes, to when pilot fish gets a report of Internet access being unusually slow. He suspects it's a problem with a network adapter on the new hardware that's hosting the proxy server.

It's sweltering in the server room as he makes his way to the back of the rack that holds two servers -- one for Windows, the other for Linux and the proxy server.

"The people who mounted the rack didn't think about servers, because it was initially holding phone patches," says fish. "They mounted it with 12 inches of separation between front and back. Now, instead of a relatively light phone patch, there are two servers supported by the rack. And the people who mounted the servers didn't know anything about torque force.

"As a co-worker entered the room to help, I put my hand on the back of the server and moved it a few millimeters to the front, and the torque force finally exceeded the rack's physical limit.

"The first server collapsed down, hitting the second server, which loyally followed its partner.

"So I was struggling to keep the servers from hitting the ground at the very same moment my co-worker was telling the CIO, 'The servers are down.'"

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Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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