Friday, 25 November 2011

Prioritising when everybody is screaming

We have all been there, just one of those days when things go wrong. And sods law says they all come together.  Now you need to prioritise.  If you have done your preparations this should be easy in your head.  You have your list of systems in prioritised order as a result of their importance to the company and the immediacy of the effect of downtime.  Adjusted for top management priority and current interest. 

Let the admins get on with the job, see if they need additional outside help, and keep the top brass away.  Most fixes are based on the rolling halv hour.  It will take halve an hour to know if this will work before we discover the next issue, or try the next possibility.  Be ready to run parallel avenues or make sharp decisions.  If your systems are properly admin’d / backed up there is usually a fast way or a slow way to restore.  Problem is, when do you abandon the fast way and go with the more secure but slow.

Avoid falling in the trap of helping the biggest nuisance user first, or the directors darling.  The dangerous complainer is the one that says nothing to your face but complains without you knowing and without change of response.  And their argument will stand if their system should have had priority.   Many systems are important but they can take a certain amount of downtime. How many accountants do you see outside hours or in weekend outside of the budget and reporting cycles.  Use your urgency/dependency listing from the DR plan to help  you.  Think of when they normally schedule upgrades.  You will also thank yourself for not storing all the eggs in one basket or all the data on the same san.

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