I was back East on vacation a few weeks ago and received a text from my client about a problem affecting the corporate network. Thanks to my “worry free” practice of keeping a spare PC on my clients’ networks, from 3000 miles away I was able to help them carry on working in less than an hour. In this case it was a “hot spare” computer – powered on, fully updated (Windows updates and virus definitions) and ready to use that saved the day.
I do want to mention that when I am away, there are at least two of my experienced and trusted colleagues covering my clients in the event that high priority onsite service is required. In addition, the “set and ready to go” hot spare is typically an older PC that has been replaced by a new one and cascaded down to the “hot spare” role.
I received a text message from my tech contact at one of my managed services clients which happened to be a law firm. The Associate told me their PC and others on the network stopped responding.
I logged on to my client’s network and after a bit of troubleshooting, isolated the issue to one of the workstations and the server. I successfully performed a remote restart of the server, however, one of the PC’s on the network was questionable and needed to be inspected.
I had the questionable PC removed from the network and had it replaced with the “hot spare”, which had all the programs required for the staff member to do their job. I quickly configured their exchange email, did some quick testing and voila, business as usual.
Upon returning from my vacation, I ran different scans on the questionable PC and inspected the Windows event logs – all was clean and the PC was able to go back on the network into service.
It’s a great idea to keep the last PC that was replaced as a spare computer, whether at home or in the office. If that PC is no longer operational, it pays to purchase an inexpensive used PC or laptop that can run all your programs.
This is one of the cornerstones of “CKWEST, worry free IT”, my ongoing conversation and commitment to ensure “business continuity” for our clients regardless of what happens.
Whether you’re in the middle of working on a high priority document, in the middle of an important project or even just doing day-to-day work, if something does happen to your main computer, the spare computer is your lifeline to ensure continuity of business – it’s just that simple.