Now STOP that!

Data center pilot fish gets a call from someone in management with a question: How much does a tape weigh?

I don't know, says fish. What type of tape are you talking about?

Several minutes later, management guy is back. The tapes you send offsite every day, he tells fish. How much do they weigh?

Hmm, says fish. Do you mean the tapes that come from the mainframe or the ones that come from the servers?

Twenty minutes later, management guy is back again. The mainframe tapes, he says.

Can you tell me how much data is on the tape you're asking about? fish asks with a straight face. And do you know if it's compressed or not? And whether the tape is full? And what software was used to write to the tape?

Some time later, management guy returns, this time with a tape in hand -- brand new, never used.

Fish takes it thoughtfully and hefts it. Well, I don't have any scales, fish says. I'll guess it's under two pounds. Why are you asking me about this, anyway?

"Turns out they were looking for a cheaper way to send tapes to offsite storage," fish reports.

"Get this: They were actually looking at sending the tapes by FedEx, UPS and postal mail to see if they could get a better deal -- and not even considering that the data needs to be in offsite storage the same day!"

Send Sharky your true tale of IT life by e-mail: sharky@computerworld.com. You'll get a stylish Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

  
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