Over the weekend, the weather finally changed, with temperatures in the high 60’s on Saturday. It’s not something I generally get excited about, but after this year’s brutal winter I took advantage of the break from the cold to go on a long run with friends. It was on this run that someone asked me, “How is it that my home phone never goes down but that a number for one of Ashburn’s biggest data centers can, and recently did, with only a busy tone for those trying to get through?”
Knowing what I do for a living, he went on to explain that one of the employees at the data center had been fired and chosen to turn off the switches before walking out, which brought the whole center to a standstill. In fact, not only was he able to bring down all of the managed hosted services, but the VOIP-based PBX system was also shutoff, which prevented the entire support staff from making or receiving calls. To make matters worse, every client who tried to call customer support heard nothing but a busy tone. Doesn’t help when one of those clients is the state government.