Research Hub > Scary Stories to Tell in the Data Center

October 07, 2021

Article
5 min

Scary Stories to Tell in the Data Center

In October, four IT experts disappeared while fielding support desk calls. One year later, their IT horror stories were found...

What's Inside
  • Dawn of the Deal

    It was a flash sale that brought on the horde....

  • Error Terror

    The user has an error message on his desktop monitor that the printer needs new toner immediately…or else...

  • Internet Outages. The Horror. The Sheer Agony...

    The IT team had to succumb to the most sinister foe of all – network downtime.

  • The Invitation

    What if your greatest horror isn’t one that’s slithered and crept into your systems, announcing its presence after its arrival? What if your greatest IT horror is one you invited in?

_

Dawn of the Deal

In a zombie movie, there’s always one weak link in the group. The one that falls behind, the one that’s just not much of a fighter, the one that just can’t take another night of eating cold canned food and waiting to be attacked – or worst of all, the one that gets bitten and doesn’t tell anyone.

It was a flash sale that brought on the horde.

A $700 item, advertised online for only $100. The sale went viral, infecting hundreds of thousands of social media feeds.

It could have been a glitch in the code, it could have been a typo. No matter what it was, the website didn’t find out until thousands of infected shoppers rushed the product page at once, all hoping to sink their teeth into a no-brainer deal.

The site crashed, unable to withstand the spike in traffic. The zombie shoppers kept coming, leaving nothing but destruction in their wake. Eventually, the wave subsided, and the horde dispersed. But the damage was done.

Don’t be the weak link against hordes of shoppers. A cloud infrastructure is your best chance against website outages due to sudden spikes in traffic. The cloud gives you the flexibility to control workloads and site traffic during peak seasons without increasing your data center footprint – or losing money on a viral sale.

“ 

Eventually, the wave subsided, and the horde dispersed. But the damage was done.

Need to build an infrastructure that can keep up with hordes of customers? 
Explore CDW Amplified™ Infrastructure Service →

Error Terror

The IT staff member on call sits alone at her desk in the wee hours of the night. Suddenly, the IT help desk phone rings. An employee calls in with an urgent matter. He has an error message on his desktop monitor that the printer needs new toner immediately…or else. To troubleshoot the problem, the sleep-deprived IT worker asks the employee to confirm that the message was on his computer when he arrived at work and that the alert remained even when he went through the requisite shut down and restart. The IT staffer remotes into the computer and notices nothing is awry. How strange.

The next morning, the now harried IT staffer escalates the ticket to the on-site team. Magically, the team is able to close the ticket within ten minutes. The culprit? The “error message” was just another employee’s Post-It note requesting that the printer’s toner be changed.

The lesson? Use those small-but-mighty Post-It notes with caution and only contact the IT team if you truly need technology help.

Do you need help making sure your IT staffing needs
are met and IT support is handled efficiently? 
Explore CDW Amplified Support Service →

“ 

There was no way out, no escape.

Internet Outages. The Horror. Sheer Agony.

It was a busy Friday morning in the office. Managers crammed in a conference room, pitching new business ideas, the receptionist answering the phone that’s ringing off the hook, all while the frontline employees are chugging coffee, typing away at their desks. Then, it happened…

The internet had abruptly gone down and the company website disappeared, bringing everyone to a screeching halt. After multiple disaster recovery attempts to get the site back up and running, it still wasn’t working. The IT team had to succumb to the most sinister foe of all — downtime.

In the long and weary hours from twelve noon to midnight, the team was at the mercy of the internet service provider (ISP). IP addresses were blocked, for no reason. No ETA on the internet being fixed. Frantic scrambling and scratching heads for what to do next. There was no way out, no escape. They were stuck in daunting waiting game, a purgatory of being stuck on hold with customer service for an eternity, trying to get answers.

Midnight rolls around. Amid IT colleagues burning the midnight oil, the internet miraculously comes back on. The long, grueling wait is finally over. Everyone is ecstatic, wondering how did this happen? And why did it take so long? The suspense lingers. The answer is simple, but haunting —  we do not know why or how the outage happened.

One thing is for sure: internet outages do occur and are unavoidable. No organization is immune to it. The best course of action that can be taken moving forward is implementing preventive measures, such as having a disaster recovery plan in place. Being proactive, instead of reactive, will help reduce unexpected internet outages from rearing its ugly head within your organization.

The Invitation

The world of IT can become a land of horrors – and you’ve defended against them all. Something haunting your IT Department, causing your devices to malfunction? You warded that phantom off and kept your end users protected. Something lurking in the system, losing your data? You found a way to retrieve what was lost and build a better defense strategy. At every twisted turn and dark hallway, you’ve found a way to keep your IT Department safe and your systems up-and-running.

But what if your greatest horror isn’t one that’s slithered and crept into your systems, announcing its presence after its arrival? What if your greatest IT horror is one you invited in?

This monster doesn’t appear as an apparition in the dark, or as a creature thumping, but as slick marketing and overpromised features. This IT horror comes with a smile and a slide deck of how their latest software and sleekest hardware can provide your organization with the power to ward off future horrors. Round it out with a fancy dinner, and you might be half tempted to invite this monster into your IT Department yourself.

This is the horror that many have faced, only to realize too late what happened. Missed deadlines and implementations not quite living up to the promises made will suddenly have you look towards the money going out of your company – and into the monster’s pockets. Frustrations and tensions arise as weeks turn into months with little progress, more missed deadlines, and continued struggles. All the while promises are still being made.

And then it will happen: one day, almost like being snapped out of a trance, you’ll realize what you’ve invited in to your company. This monster is hungry, eating away at your time and your finances, and it’s giving almost nothing in return. You must get the monster out – by getting out of your agreements.

This IT horror does not leave empty handed. After the months and money you’ve lost investing in something that won’t work, you then need to get more parties involved (most commonly, legal) to try and recoup what you can while getting out of your agreements. But even if you’re able to recover financially, the time lost will be a scar as you move forward, restarting the search for a vendor that can deliver what you need – and what you were promised the first time around.

How do you protect yourself from this horror ever infesting your organization? Through thorough knowledge and research, finding out what you need and identifying your own pain points. Knowledge will help you look through their glamour and see the past illusion they’re trying to create with slick marketing materials and fancy dinners. Then, and only then, can you prevent this IT horror from creeping into your organization – at your own invitation.