Amazing i Server Survival Story from Australia
July 12, 2011 Alex Woodie
If you’ve been involved with the IBM i platform for any length of time, you’ve probably heard stories about the incredible abuse that the AS/400 and its successors can take. Whether it’s water, wind, neglect, or dust, the server just seems to go right on ticking. Now we’re hearing of another amazing feat of disaster recovery from the floods in Australia earlier this year.
According to a July 5 posting on the website of the daily newspaper The Australian, a group of employees for a furniture retailers staged a daring rescue of two iSeries servers that were located in a flooded warehouse store outside of Brisbane in the state of Queensland. Floodwaters inundated the region in December and January, causing $30 billion (Australian) in damages and killing 35 people.
The servers housed the ERP system for Super A-Mart, a discount furniture chain that runs 30 superstores in the country. According to The Australian‘s story, the two servers were critical to the operation of the entire company, not just the rapidly flooding store in Oxley where they were located, as they also housed production and backup copies of Super A-Mart’s Lawson (now Infor) M3 ERP system.
It wasn’t an ideal scenario, but it was the one left by Super A-Mart’s previous chief information officer, current CIO Matt Keays said. “That was their DR plan,” Keays told the newspaper, “to put replicated ERP servers on the same site in a flood plain.” (The company has since contracted with a local outsourcer to provide offsite replication and DR services.)
After getting a boat from its network cable supplier, Keays and several other employees went to the Oxley store, which was under more than 12 feet of water, according to the story. The men knew where the servers were (a mezzanine) but didn’t know what condition the servers would be in.
As it turned out, the servers were dry. There’s a great photograph on The Australian‘s website showing the men lowering the big servers down to the boat by rope. The servers were then loaded into a 4×4 and taken away.
You can read the whole story (and see the picture) at www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/it-business/furniture-men-hit-roof-as-computer-servers-float-by/story-e6frganx-1226087517293.