My friend Brenda is an auditor who came to work one day and couldn’t connect to her department’s audit server.
Brenda called the help desk and told them she couldn’t connect. She wasn’t sure what the server’s name was, so the help desk had a bit of trouble finding it.
The help desk called back later to note that the server (which resided in the data center) was installed and managed entirely by the Audit department, and that IT was “not responsible for anything related to it other than the hardware.”
Brenda managed to locate the phone number of the person who installed and managed the server (and left the company some months ago), and he provided the correct server name, and reminded Brenda that he wrote extensive documentation regarding how the server was configured and how to install the applications on it.
“Just give the documentation to IT,” he said, chuckling. “They should be able to restore it rather quickly. Remember that last meeting I had before I left, when I walked everyone through the documentation and where it was stored on the shared drive?”
After some hunting, Brenda located the document. A day later, after IT “got the server running again,” Brenda heard that a junior IT staffer has wiped the server because “it never appeared to be used.”
What issues do you see with this event? What normal IT activities should have prevented this unfortunate occurrence?
See the comments below, and the follow-up post, Conclusion: Audit Server Disappeared.