Once upon a time there was a…

Nursery rhymes or tales with morales or lessons often start this way. Why would a technologist start a story this way? Well, this is a cautionary tale of a business which was okay until something unexpected happened and that was followed by another unexpected event which led to another challenge. It is a cautionary tale due to the fact that the owner did nothing wrong per se, they just relied on out-of-date knowledge.

The business had a smart independent IT person, IITP, who knew how to setup and maintain a local server and even make a personal computer act like a server. The solution was simple, elegant and very much a work of art in the eyes of many. There was one element though that no one paid attention to and that was that only the artist knew how to maintain the solution. Everything worked, as expected and the business owner was happy. Until the day the IT person disappeared. No calls were returned, no messages answered just like a ghost the IT person vanished.

Now if this was a classic sales pitch this paragraph would be filled with the immediate chaos and disruption of the business. All doom and gloom. Yet this did not happen, right away, and in fact everything ran smoothly for about two years.

Then there was a storm. Trees blew down. Many people lost power. The office building where the business was lost power, and the “server” was automatically shut down. The independent IT person was very smart and turned-on BitLocker to encrypt the hard drive and prevent data theft. The owner was not told so they missed one important fact. Where are the keys? Without the key there was no “easy” way to bring the “server” back to life. Instead of “for the want of a nail” the owner was in “want for a 48-digit number.”

As this is a cautionary tale the story does not end here. The owner had a backup of the data that was on the disk, so the new IT people got a new disk, installed it and started the restore recovery process. Luckily this was started within a day. Once the old data was on the new disk the primary application for the business did not start correctly so the vendor had to get involved. Within two days the vendor said we cannot solve the problem as the “server” does not look like we expect. Good news is the new IT people figured out what the software vendor was looking for and found it. The application was back, and the business only lost four days. So, our cautionary tale looks like a happy ending is at hand.

The story, unfortunately, does not end here. The owner was in his office and the fire alarm went off in the building. Everyone had to leave. The fire department arrived and put out the fire. The owner wanted to go back into his office and get back to work when the fireman said “Until the fire marshal declares the building safe you cannot go back in.” The owner was torn, dismayed and fearful that he would suffer another unknown number of days of being closed while waiting for the fire marshal. The owner persuaded the fireman on scene to be an escort so the “server” could be retrieved. With the server in hand the owner went to the new IT shop and they setup the server in their office. So, the story does have a happy ending thanks to the well-meaning firemen.

Now, there is nothing wrong with having a server in your office. Yet events like this happen and the apparent savings of having the server in your office become penalties when any part of the system and environment is compromised by either a physical event or a malicious attack. The solution and easy way to avoid the pitfalls, lost time and wasted energy is to move the resource to the cloud.

Understanding business and how to leverage technology advances to better support your business is what Lead IT Consulting is all about. We strive to understand what is critical to your business and develop systems and processes that do not dilute your secret sauce. Reach out when you wish to chat and understand that the only “bad” question is the one not asked. If you have questions about the security of your current server set up, we’d love to talk. Lead I.T. Consulting always starts with the business and customizes technology solutions to fit your business goals while minimizing risk. Book a meeting to discuss or complete a contact form and let us know how we might help.

Scroll to Top