Network Management

Why Not WhatsConfigured?

Configuration change management sounds like a Nice-to-Have not a Need-To-Have right?

Not to Microsoft’s Bing employees, especially after last night.

Microsoft’s nascent search engine went down last night from roughly 9:30pm to 10:00pm. I noticed the outage because I thought I’d try to plan an upcoming vacation using Google’s competitor around that time. Somehow I was signed up to receive “Bing Travel Deals” emails every day and had ignored or deleted them up until last night. Ironic, right?

Naturally, upon seeing the error message, the first site I checked was Twitter (another service notorious for prolonged outages) to see if anyone else had noticed. Of course many, many people had. What could have caused Bing’s crash I wondered? I felt a pang of sympathy for the tech giant. This, the same week Windows 7 was lambasted all over the web for its Black Screen of Death.

It wasn’t long before the Bing team blogged about their misfortune and explained the reason behind the apparent crash. “The cause of the outage was a configuration change during some internal testing that had unfortunate and unintended consequences,” the team wrote.

Ha! I thought. I had just had a conversation that day with a WhatsUp Gold sales engineer about our WhatsConfigured Plug-in. He was telling me about an evaluator who had shrugged off the need to automate network device configuration file backup, restore, storage, and change management processes. He and his team could just continue to do this manually he argued.

human-error1And while this evaluator is right – he and his team can just continue to update their configs manually – he is leaving room for human error.

I feel pretty confident assuming Microsoft will not be leaving configuration changes open to human error again. Because they know first hand that even if its done correctly 99.9% of the time, there is still that .01% chance that something completely avoidable could go terribly wrong. And I ask, Why take unnecessary chances?

Take a minute to check out WhatsUp Gold’s WhatsConfigured. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!

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