Throwback Thursday: How (not) to save money in IT

The secondary server in this computer room is having problems with its disk drives, reports a pilot fish on the scene.

Fortunately, there's a simple short-term fix. "When the drives were reseated, then they would be OK," fish says. "They would last awhile and then fail again.

"It was always an emergency that took a tech several hours to diagnose, decide and reseat, then be declared a hero."

Early on, fish points out that reseating isn't really fixing the problem. If the drives are actually going bad, they need to be replaced.

But his recommendation falls on deaf ears. And over a period of two years, the number of failing drives climbs to almost a dozen.

As it happens, the ongoing string of emergencies provides convenient ammunition to certain people in the shop who have been lobbying to get new servers. And after one last drive failure, the purchase of a new pair of servers is approved.

And what happens then? "After the new servers were approved, the disk drives were replaced," says fish. "We didn't have any more problems.

"Shortly after the new servers were online, the old pair of servers was in great shape -- and then power was turned off to them."

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