Sunday, March 09, 2008

Hero Write-up: Now this is Customer Service!

My best friend Scott is president/C-everything of a small northeastern Ohio manufacturing concern, KirkKey Interlock. I hadn't spoken with him for a while and wanted to see how Canton fared with the Blizzard of '08 (that's what they're calling it...not me).

I say, "So what's new?" He replies that on Tuesday his primary server (which essentially runs the business) came up with lame with not one, but [a statistically improbable] *two* physical disk failures on a RAID5 hardware array. My friend attempts the fix but gives up pretty quickly after seeing some Linux nasty-grams on the boot screen.

His service provider is an old college buddy who lives down in Raleigh, Cerient Technologies led by Jason Tower. Scott couldn't email out because Exchange was on the toasted server. Being creative, Scott started Treo-emailing photos of the screen. Unfortunately, Jason couldn't receive email because a storm had knocked out a lot of local hosting. [Sigh]

After understanding the server's disks were hosed, Jason hops in his Mazda and drives the 10 hours to Canton overnight. He arrives Thursday around 6AM and without having slept the night before, works until he falls asleep Friday morning just after midnight.

Miraculously, Jason rebuilds the array. I'm no MCSE but I thought this was impossible if you lost 2/5 disks. Anyway, he fixed the array, replaced the disks, and rebuilt--*no* data loss. Wow.

About the time he finishes, the Blizzard of '08 hits. So Jason is stuck in Canton, Ohio through Saturday and is making a run for home today...but it's unlikely he'll get through the mountains of West Virginia on I-77. Further, he's under the gun because a lot of his clients will implode because of how their systems might react to daylight savings. Oui vey!

Anyway, big props to Jason for going above and beyond to service his client. He's a service provider I think we all could emulate and learn from. Safe travels, Jason.

4 comments:

Brian Bell said...

I'm one of Jason's "local" clients in the Raleigh, NC area. This story is not surprising - not only the fact that he would make the extra effort to get the job done, but that he miraculously saved the data on a catastrophic failure. Quite a knowledgeable guy and dedicated to his "craft".

Caveat: Just don't ask him how to do something on a Windows box ;)

Jeff Hunsaker said...

@Brian I hear ya! Ironically, the implementation at my buddy's firm leverages VMWare on Linux hosting multiple *Windows* VM instances. Say that five times fast.

Brian Bell said...

Oh I know... my comments were in jest. Jason has actually saved my Windows VM's several times as well. Furthermore, if he runs into a problem that he isn't comfortable with, he will either learn it or find an expert to help.

mcollier said...

wowser!