The Genius

This data center is run by a tech who thinks very highly of himself -- and isn't afraid to make sure everyone else knows about the wonder that he is, reports a pilot fish on the receiving end.

"He made it clear at every opportunity how he did things better than everyone else, including his vendors like me and my organization," fish says.

"I happened to be in the neighborhood one day when the call came in that this customer had a problem, and we better respond -- or else."

When fish arrives, it quickly becomes evident that the crisis is due to an operator error: setting the wrong system date after some routine maintenance.

That's not good, since it's a time-critical business. But fish knows it shouldn't be a big deal to fix -- just restore some data from a backup, right?

But it turns out this IT genius has never tested the backup protocol and never verified his backups in any way. As a result, it's only now that he's discovering there's been damage to the mismanaged backup media.

After giving fish a quick rundown on the business circumstances -- specifically, how much every hour of downtime is costing and why -- the data-center demigod all but begs fish to do anything that will bring the system back up.

"A little over an hour later, after some nasty hacking, I had resuscitated the system by bypassing the bad spot on the backup and piecing in some stuff to fill the gap," says fish.

"None of this really modified the customer's approach to his fellowmen, but I did get to share one of the best bottles of wine you might ever encounter."

Sharky has a thirst for true tales of IT life. So send me your story at sharky@computerworld.com. You can also comment on today's tale at Sharky's Google+ community, and read thousands of great old tales in the Sharkives.

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