But this phenomenon isn't limited to production systems. In the buildout phase of an important project, application, or whatever, all the necessary pieces are in place, the proof-of-concept is running happily, and everything looks great for a rollout into production. Until you decide to go through it with a fine-tooth comb to make sure that even though everything seems perfect, it really is perfect.
During that somewhat OCD search, you see a few parameters that don't appear to be set right -- as innocuous as a typo in the secondary NTP server field or the lack of a description entry on some configuration parameter. None of it's really a problem per se, but still isn't quite correct and dammit, it should be right.
So you happily fix the NTP address or add a brief description in the text field and save the configuration. Then you realize you hadn't backed up the previous configuration, and another admin had been toying with some other settings for some reason. By saving the config, you've toasted the known-good configuration for the whole setup. But that secondary NTP server field just had to be fixed, didn't it?
Most of this is just boneheadedness -- the IT equivalent of someone seeing a piece of paper stuck to the wall, pulling on it, and ripping a huge hole in the wallpaper that takes some plaster with it. Or it's the thread hanging out of the sweater that causes the whole piece to return to the ball of yarn from whence it came.
Sometimes, many times, the big items are easy. But the little details done with no malice -- yet also no forethought -- can be just killer.
This story, "Admin tip: Leave well enough alone, dummy," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Paul Venezia's The Deep End blog at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.