Tuesday 5 March 2013

V6 Excessive Oil Consumption and IT Networks

One would wonder what an engine’s excessive oil consumption might have to do with an IT network.

And, why would one want to keep an ongoing maintenance contract in place for their IT infrastructure when it just seems to work on its own?

Years ago I was working in an engine remanufacturing facility. We worked on everything from the Geo 3 cylinder all the way up to The Big Three’s big block engines with a few Cummins and CAT engines in between.

A fellow with a relatively new Ford pickup brought it in to the shop to see why the engine was going through a litre with every tank of gas.

After we ran tests on the engine it turned out that his three or four year old engine was cabbaged. No compression.

After a series of questions back to the owner it was discovered that he had not changed the oil since he had purchased the truck. The owner’s manual indicated zero maintenance to 160KM was his response.

A good part of the plant’s crew were on hand to see what was going on under the valve covers and the intake that hid the block’s valley.

The oil, that is the oil that was still liquid, kept channels cut into the oil that had gelled up. The oil gel (sludge) was everywhere flowing oil was not. It was not difficult to see the flow patterns in the oil galleries and return passages in this particular motor. The patterns in the oil pan were nothing short of fractal and amazing.

Needless to say the fellow did not get his core deposit back as the block from his truck was virtually useless.

Since an IT Solution is a very complicated set of components brought together to suit a client’s needs one cannot expect that solution to run in tip-top shape without ongoing maintenance.

On top of that if an auto manufacturer issues a recall due to a sticking throttle that may cause uncontrolled acceleration will the owner keep driving their vehicle or schedule the needed maintenance? They will probably schedule the needed maintenance at the soonest possible time.

There is a need to stay on top of patches. From operating system patches to very important security patches the network needs to be maintained and kept tuned up for the best overall performance.

Many Line of Business (LoB) applications introduce ongoing changes to the network setup. Sage, Intuit, Thompson-Reuters, CCH, and many other LoBs require server side updates and SQL integration that need ongoing care.

That is what we do. We design, integrate, and support highly complex IT Solutions that provide a stable platform for the life of the IT Solution.

We believe that a well managed IT Solution gives our clients the best value for their IT Budget. And, depending on the industry our prospective client is in the above may be one of the ways we approach this particular discussion.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

Chef de partie in the SMBKitchen
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