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Installing disks is basically LEGO, right? This admin failed LEGO

This bit goes here, this bit goes there and - huh! - why aren't the lights blinking?

On-Call Welcome to another Friday (!) and therefore to another edition of On-Call, The Register's column in which we let readers vent about jobs gone bad.

This week, meet “Ian”, who once worked in a data-centre-for-hire, doing all the stuff that tenants needed done.

Of course he's had some mirth-making moments along the way.

“In my time here I have seen everything from customers making firewall changes that cut off all their traffic, to 'network issues' causing a server to lose power,” Ian told us. In that last case he pointed out that perhaps the client needed to consider whether they'd over-committed their power distribution unit.

You get the drift: tenants could be real dicks who needed to RTFM or just HTFU.

The tenant Ian wrote to tell us about filed a ticket saying a brand new server was working after installation, but went inert after one of Ian's crew switched it on for a migration. The assumption was that said engineer had broken it.

Ian knows that mistakes happen, so he and the engineer visited the server. Which was on.

The customer was on the phone at this point, letting Ian and his mate know that this was no ordinary server. He'd built it himself and even cooked a custom Linux to run on it, which meant he knew everything about everything.

Ian and friend were about to hook up the diagnostic trolley to sort things out when they spotted a curious absence of blinkenlights in the server's hot swap disk bays. Kit on the diagnostic trolley confirmed the absence of storage. As in complete absence, not just something wrong.

Upon telling this to the customer, Ian received what's technically known as “a mouthful”.

“He called us all incompetent fools and idiots and made a number of aspersions towards ability of the rest of my support team.”

While that was going on, Ian's engineer mate started to pull out some of the hot swap bays and quickly learned that all of the 2.5 inch drives inside were in the caddies the wrong way round. Every. Last. One.

As Reg readers are doubtless aware, disk caddies and disks are made to go together. There are obvious connectors that clearly need to point in one direction. Even when slotting a 2.5" drive into a 3.5" caddy, it's no more conceptually complex than LEGO.

Ian closed the support ticket, but not before making sure it re-told the story above. He thinks it found an audience: it wasn't long before the "server expert" moved on to another gig.

If you've a story you think could fill this space next week, write to On-Call. Go on. We dare you. ®


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