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Two real-life IT misadventures defy belief -- and offer food for thought on how the whole mess might have been avoided

IT can be hilarious.

Every once in a while, a bizarre set of circumstances will produce a situation that you might not believe unless you were there to see it. The stories of these events are the stuff of IT folklore and get retold over beer and peanuts year after year. But just because they're funny -- in hindsight -- doesn't mean they lack good object lessons. In a recent meeting with a client, I was reminded of two stories I'll never forget.

The doomed cabinet

Back when data centers were still dominated by mainframes and Intel-based servers were just starting to make inroads, a client was faced with a data center floor space problem. New systems were being added at an alarming rate, and a reorganization was needed to make room. This particular move required an oversized enclosed cabinet to be removed and its contents -- primarily networking equipment -- to be shifted to a smaller relay rack in a different part of the room.

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