Incident: Dust bunnies collect everywhere. Even in server rooms with rubber floors, sleek black racks, and loads of fans. Why this happens has eluded even DARPA’s finest scientific minds. What’s also eluded DARPA’s brain trust is why offices routinely allow their cleaning people access to critical server rooms during unsupervised off-hours.
Sometimes they know to leave the humming, blinking boxes alone. Other times, as was the case in this instance submitted by a reader identifying himself as D. Lartner, they see dust bunnies not just around the server racks, but in them as well. Whereupon they open the racks. Whereupon they see servers with their cases partially open and little dust bunnies bouncing around because the sysadmin was more interested in eating donuts than keeping his machines clean.
So the cleaning people did what cleaning people do. They cleaned. Around the racks, inside the racks, and inside the servers. With Windex. Zot.
Fallout: A new cleaning crew (which I thought was unfair); a stern talking-to administered to the sysadmin; and a new cleaning schedule that includes the server room only when other folks are in the office.
Moral: Two, this time. First, that cleaning people always get blamed because everybody needs a scapegoat. Second, don’t expect everyone to know what you know about electronics -- even if you think it’s obvious.