Half-assed Tech

I should know better by now than to trust that technology, any technology, is implemented in such a way that its actually trustworthy enough to do what you expect it to do.  It seems that the more complex and cumbersome something is to install, administer, and maintain the harder it is to have it do what you need it to do.  More often than not it fails when you need it most.

Take my foray into technology gone wrong tonight.  Long story short, rebuilt a server OS from 32-bit to 64-bit, re-attached a SAN (storage attached network) and it was blank.  I know there was almost 250GB’s of data on that drive BEFORE I did the rebuild, so you can imagine my dismay and shock when it re-appeared as blank.  No production data, don’t pass go, your ass in the fire despite it not being your fault…  you get the idea.

Panic mode set in, and I started paging and calling everyone I could to try and figure out what happened.  As I was talking to the guy that actually runs the SAN systems (Clariion if anyone is interested), the data just re-appeared.  I didn’t reboot, rescan, or do anything of a nature that would trigger the data to stop by and say “Hi” to me again.  It felt like a warm blanket got pulled over me on a cold morning where you forgot to close the windows the night before……

Regardless of whether the data came back in the end or not, there is no excuse why a billion dollar company, not being named, should have technology systems in place that are so crude.  The unfortunate thing is that this scenario is played out hundreds of times around the world for the exact same reason.  No company likes to spend money on things that suck its bottom line like a vampire for a made up number that is referred to in Accounting circles as “return on investment”.  With that said, I believe that there are three schools of thought where you spend money for two reasons:

  1. IT guy sees a cool new technology, pitches it to management and gets a green light without knowing the true cost of being bleeding edge technology leaders.
  2. IT department utilizes resources and decides the best fit for their company and makes wise purchases.
  3. Company is stuck in the mode of thinking “this is how we’ve always done it” and refuses to purchase anything other than old parts off eBay to repair aging infrastructure.

Most companies, even though they would never admit it, fall into #3 almost always.  Companies like Google fall into #2.  Small companies with younger employees generally fall into #1, until they realize its expensive and morph into #2 or #3 over time.  I don’t know where my company falls currently, as they’re so big its hard to judge.  Based on some of the health reports I’ve seen lately, I think they’re in danger of falling into the #3 pit to hell where it’ll be time for me to jump ship looking for the #2 golden opportunity.

Ok, I feel better now 🙂

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