Want email updates from me?
Want more unvarnished truth?
Looking for something? Look here!
What I'm saying now
What you're saying...
I think tag clouds are pretty, and not to be taken overly seriously
111 Chop House 75 on Liberty Wharf 9/11 A Broth of a Boy ABCs Abiouness accountability activities alcohol Allora Ristorante Analysis Angry Hams ANSI/TIA 942 Anthony's Pier 4 Apple Application Armsby Abbey Arsenal Arturo's Ristorante Ashland AT&T Audio Automation baby Baby Monitor babysitting Back To School Bad News Bangkok Thai Bar Bay State Common baystateparent BBQ BCP BeeZers Before I die I want to... behavior Big Bang Bike Bill of Rights Bistro Black Box BlackBerry Boston Boston Marathon boundaries Boyston BPO brand Breakfast Bridge Bring Your Own Technology Budget Burlington Burn Burrito buyer BYOD Cabling Cambridge Camp Campaign career Casey's Diner Castle casual cCabling Cell Phone Central Square Change Management Cheers Chef Sun ChengDu Chet's Diner Children Chinese Christmas Christmas Families Holiday CIO Cloud coddle collage College College Acceptance co-lo Co-Location Co-Location Tier Power Cooling Comfort Food Control Country Country Kettle Crisis customer dad Dad Phrases damage daredevil Data Center Data Center Design Davios Day Care Dead Death declaration Del Frisco's Design Desktop Video dinner Disaster Recovery Divorce Do Epic Shit dodgeball Downtown Crossing DR driving Droid Easter Economic Kids Edaville Education Elbow Night Elevator Employee Engagement Erin Etiquette Evaluation events Exchange Expiration Dates Facebook Failing family Fatherhood Favorite things Flash Flemings Fogo de Chão Food Hits and Misses Format Foundry on Elm Foxborough Frameworks fraternity Fraud French Fried Clams friends fun Fusion Generations germs Girl Scouts girls Global Go/No Go GPS Grafton Grandchild Grandpa Harry's hazing Healthcare Healthy Choices while Dining Out Help Desk Hisa Japanese Cuisine Historic holiday Home hope Horizons hose Hot Dog Hurricane IIT Assessment incident Indecision Indian Infrastructure Inn Innovation Internet Inventory Management iPhone IT IT Assessment IT Satisfaction Italian Jack Daniels Jakes Restaurant Janet Japanese Jazz Joey's Bar and Grill JP's Khatta Mitha kickball kids Laid off Lakes Region Lala Java Leadership Learning legacy Legal Harborside Les Zygomates L'Espalier Liberty Wharf lights out Linguine's loss Love Lucky's Cafe M&M Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade mai tai Managed Application Services Managed Services managers Mandarin Manners Mark Fidrych marriage Mary Chung mass save Maxwell-Silverman Mediterranean meetings Memorial Day memory Mendon Mergers Mexican MiFi Migration Ming III miss MIT MIT CIO Symposium Mobility Moes Hot Dog Truck MOM money Mother Moving on Name neanderthal neighborhood Network New York Marathon newborn Northborough Not Your Average Joe's Nuovo Nursing On-Call Operations Operators Oregon Club Organization Pancakes Pandemic Parental Control Parenting Patch Peeves People Perserverance UMASS growth Play Plug and Run Predictable Pride Problem Process Production program Project Management propane PTA. PTO PUE QR Quick Response Rant Real Estate Realtor Recognition Red Rock Resiliency Respect restaurant Restaurant Guy RFP ribs Ritual Root Cause Analysis Sam Adams Sandy Sapporo savings School Sea Dog Brewing Company Sea Dog Steak and Ale Seafood Seaport Security Sel de la Terra Service Service Desk Service Indicator Light sharing SHIRO Shit Pump Shriners SHTF Simplification Skunk Works Skype Sleep sleepovers Sloan Smith & Wollensky soccer Son SOP sorority spanking Squarespace staffing Starbucks Status Reporting Steak Steve Jobs Storage Strategy stress Summer Sushi swimming Tacos Acalpulco teacher Technology Teen Telephony Temperature Strip Tenka terrorist Testing Texas BBQ Company Text Thai Thanksgiving in IT The Mooring Thomas Thought Leader Three Gorges III TIA 942 Timesheets Toby Keith Toddlers traditions Transition treehouse turnover TV Twitter unspoken moments Valentine's Day Value Vendor Venezuelan Verizon Vermont Video Vietnamese voice VoIP Watertown Wedding Westborough Korean Restaurant Westborough MA. StormCam WiFI Wi-Fi Wilbraham Wine Worcester work work life balance working Yama Zakura Zem Han Zitis

Entries in Service Indicator Light (1)

Monday
Apr302012

Why I still like Service Indicator Lights

My business partner loves to tell people I can always find something with an error light illuminated in a data center.

You know the light….the one basically saying “I need attention.”  They vary in color…some may be red, some amber.  They are meant to draw attention to them.

Well, please don’t tell him….but I’m actually not omniscient.  The law of averages begins to come into play.  In a large data center holding thousands of devices, with a mean time between failures measured in years, something is always failing.

Sometimes the “I need attention” light comes on because a dual power corded device only has one power cord plugged in.  All the computer knows is one side of power isn’t working…so someone should know about it.  Sometimes the light comes on for more serious reasons….such as a fan failing or a processor check.

Some might argue the external service indicators are a thing of the past.  In an era of systems being able to report on a large variety of health measures, most servers are already communicating to a variety of monitoring systems so “looking at a light” may be considered old fashioned.  And while I wouldn’t argue that, I don’t use the service indicator lights that way.

I use them as a simple way to consider how an organization is servicing their environment.

For example, year ago I walked into the data center of a financial services firm and noticed an service indicator was “on” with a key processor.  I made a mental note.

A week later, the same light was still on.  I got the manager and asked him about it.  “Our people are aware and taking care of it.”

Another week goes by…and the same light is still on.  Admittedly, someone could have repaired the machine and another failure ensured.  Such was not the case.  This company simply wasn’t taking their systems servicing seriously.  This time, the manager did get the machine repaired before there was a serious issue.

This same data center also had a large number of dual power corded devices with indicator lights illuminated.  The company quickly discovered one side of the power distribution unit had a tripped breaker and they didn’t realize it.

So clearly systems monitoring and power monitoring was an issue.

Do I run my shop based on the lights?  No.  Automated tools properly configured will provide better instrumentation.

That said, these “dummy lights” painstakingly added to systems by thoughtful engineers provide a litmus test for me…a simple litmus test I can administer solely by walking around a data center without touching anything. 

So, the truth is I always do find lights on, as can you.  It’s how your organization deals with the lights that differentiates.

How do you react to service indicator lights?