Water, water everywhere in the datacentre

Water, water everywhere in the datacentre

It’s not every day a company gets called to say the new servers it installed are now under water – but that is what happened to Maclean Computing.

At IBM’s Insight Forum in Auckland last month, senior account manager Adam Zame recounted how the new servers it had installed at a client’s premises were drenched because of a broken air conditioning unit. However, the tale of woe was also one about the benefits of virtualisation.

Maclean Computing was enlisted to look at the client’s systems last year and found a number of them were running on ageing hardware.

“The customer is the Southern Hemisphere’s leading textile and design company. Their IT environment had grown organically over that time and they hadn’t dived much into IT,” says Zame.

Shortly after Maclean Computing had installed the virtualised servers in December 2008, the air conditioning unit in the server room broke down resulting in the client’s server room being flooded.

“All the hardware that we had just put in so lovingly and sent them an invoice for was soaking wet. It was not a pretty sight, but luckily from a virtualisation point of view we had put three days worth of backup on tape in another location.”

Maclean Computing was able to bring in a loan device and get the server up and running again.

“Luckily, the customer got on the phone straight away and we had a replacement server available. Being so close to Christmas it would have been difficult getting hardware out of a vendor or distributor.”

Zame says the customer no longer uses the air conditioning company that installed the faulty unit and it is considering an office relocation, with the server room in a different location.

“If IBM pulls out a waterproof server that would be fantastic,” he says.

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