According to the Mayan calendar, the world comes to an end in 2012. And while the Mayan’s were some pretty smart people, I believe that the Sun has a few more years left. But as anyone who has followed my previous musings will know, I’m a real big fan of relativity. So I’m thinking: maybe the Mayan’s did get it right. Think about it, if your personal world ends, is it any less catastrophic for you than the apocalypse? There are some things that, if they were to happen, would be just as personally devastating. Here is a familiar tune to play in the background as you read on..
Everyone say after me, 3, zero, zero, zero, zero, zero, zero, zero, zero, zero, zero, zero, zero, zero, zero, zero, zero, zero, zero, zero, zero, zero. That’s the number of bytes that are estimated to move through the Internet in 2012*. Add to this number the explosion of new smart devices, smart phones, tablets, and who knows what’s next, and you’ve got the perfect storm to fuel an IT data apocalypse.
I had my own personal IT apocalypse many years ago. At the time I was a communications tech in a remote office. The company I worked for had the full range of ways to connect to the outside world, everything from microwave to WAN links were at our disposal. We ran 24×7 and I just happened to be on the mid-shift when we got hit with a huge blizzard. The first things to go were the microwave shots. Followed closely behind by the hard lines when the snow took out the poles the lines were suspended from. As we were scrambling to repoint the dishes, we lost our power. Now of course this was a Tier III facility; we had onsite generators, but they didn’t kick over. We went out to the generator hut only to discover that the storm had broken a window and the generator room was full of snow. So after blocking the window and clearing the room of snow, we were finally able to get the generators to turn over, one time. The batteries were dead. Guess whose job it was to PM the batteries? That was my own personal apocalypse. We were down for 24 hours. That’s how long it took for the main power to be restored.
Like it or not, this whole Big Data thing is like snow clouds on the horizon. I can already imagine how it’ll start. First, you’ll get that call at 3a.m. It’ll be about some application that is running intermittently. Transactions won’t be processed, or replication will be failing. This will be followed shortly by complaints from the workforce in the field. They’ll be having problems with the new mobile app that IT just developed for them. And then the CIO will be calling because the teleconferencing unit in her office isn’t working. It’s then that someone will discover the overloaded DS3 link. And it’ll only take six weeks to get that upgraded. Hmmm. That could be apocalyptic for the person who has to explain that to the CIO.
All right, this is a little over dramatic. Sure enough, Big Data is out there, but you can be prepared. No, you don’t need to start stock piling hard drives and Cat 5 cables. Instead, learn from my mistakes. Don’t forget your preventative maintenance. Go look at your WAN. Monitor your utilization and get informed about what’s coming. Like Chris Connor said a couple of weeks ago, it’s not the stuff that you know that you have to worry about. Instead, be concerned about the skunkworks project that’ll dump a couple of gigabits of traffic on you when you least expect it. 2012 doesn’t have to be the year of your apocalypse.
As for me, luckily the company I was working for at the time of my apocalypse was the U.S. Army. And while they were not too pleased with the outage, I just ended up peeling potatoes for a few weeks instead of being fired.
Have a personal IT apocalypse story of your own? Share it with us. Best story as voted by our blog managers will get a special IT Apocalypse Survival Kit!
*This is according to IDC in their 2012 Digital Universe report.
PS: Are there storm clouds on your horizon, check out our WAN health check tool