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Just Because it’s Worked Forever…

Sometimes, we’re forced to use really old equipment because the applications we use for our businesses won’t run on anything else. That’s not a problem as long as we ensure everything is backed up properly and regularly. But when we don’t pay attention, it’s an expensive jolt.

This lesson was reinforced when we took on a new client planning to move its offices and equipment. The equipment included a server installed in 2005 to run Hyper-V and four virtual servers. Two of them were installed in 2003, and two in 2008. All the old servers were running custom-designed software.

They signed on with us because their old IT firm refused to disconnect and move the servers. We soon saw why. Because of neglect on the part of the old IT firm, the servers had never been properly backed up. Although it was a small amount of data, it was essential to the operation. We couldn’t make a move without it.

Nobody paid much attention to the servers because everything worked. But we couldn’t make a move without those 30 gigs. And naturally, this problem wasn’t discovered until late on a Friday afternoon. The Hyper-V server, we learned, hadn’t been rebooted in 70 days. We made several attempts to copy the 30 gigs, and just when we thought we had it, we got the blue screen of death.

We made an appointment to take the server to our data recovery specialist on Monday morning, but we continued to work all weekend. We got QuickBooks running, and the old IT firm was supposed to back up their data. We could see the data in the cloud but couldn’t access it. On Sunday of that weekend, we were able to contact the programmer who customized their software and get a file we could use. It was data from 2009, but it was something we could use.

We were able to cancel the data recovery session and start restoring files. By Wednesday, we were able to restore all their data except for the files from the past five months. That was close enough for our client to reconstruct the rest of their records.

Although the equipment was old, age played no part in the issue. Neglect was the culprit. The former IT firm did not perform the backups they were supposed to, and the client didn’t sit on them to do it. We see this among more of our clients, and it’s easy to get back on track by paying attention.

We get logs and notifications of backup failures for clients who use our services, and when we see repetitive failures, we can fix them. We encourage our clients to monitor our monitoring. It’s a key component of a backup strategy to avoid disasters and more effectively mitigate problems. Call us – 973-433-6676 – or email us to set up an appointment to review your needs.