You’re hired, welcome to the company! All you techies out there have heard that before. Then for the first couple of weeks you get the luxury of, “just take a look around the network and see what you see, make a note of what is good and what needs some work”. You make a few notes during your two week honeymoon period and then you hit the ground running. You make changes to a few of the server configs to speed them up, and you notice that there are a couple of hard drives in the server farm that are showing they are about to fail and you make a note to get that fixed. Everyone on the team hails your progress, smarts, and work ethic and thinks they have made the right choice. Even though the in-house gear is a little old you have made changes that made things faster and more redundant in your first month. Great Job! You are on your way to the Information Systems Hero title.
Everything is going along great at about the 8 month point. You have made a few key decisions along the way and have some of your gear outsourced now. All the ancient hardware onsite has been retired and liquidated and just a few core machines remain. You still have a large storage device and a tape robot onsite for your backups and you keep the tape library safely offsite. All is good in the department.
If you want to be the Hero skip to the word HERO / If you want to be a failure please skip 2 paragraphs to the word FAILURE
You have a free day or two in which nothing pressing needs to be addressed and you decide to look into the backup rotation and type. After spending a little time looking at it and not feeling comfortable you make the decision to create a secondary backup into the cloud as a test. After a little setup and tinkering you finish up and go on with your daily tasks.
A few months later your onsite storage device hard fails and there is massive data loss. A new system is delivered the same day and once the setup is complete the tapes are delivered and the restore process starts. Three hours into the restore a bad tape is encountered and again you are faced with massive data loss. The entire group is now in panic mode. It suddenly hits you that you setup a test backup offsite. What are the odds that it is still functioning and you will be able to get the data? With help from the entire department you get the network right and the data transfer starts. About one hour later the data is restored and your employees are happy not to mention your boss. You are now an IT hero.
A few months later your onsite storage device hard fails and there is massive data loss. A new system is delivered the same day and once the setup is complete the tapes are delivered and the restore process starts. Three hours into the restore a bad tape is encountered and again you are faced with massive data loss. The entire group is now in panic mode. After many attempts at trying to repair the damaged tape and having multiple experts look at the failed storage device. You and your team realize that 5 days of data will be lost and have to be recreated. Not a great day for your team. You are now an IT failure.
Moral of the story?
Use the tools the world provides to stay ahead of the curve. All it takes is one mistake to be a failure.