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Death of IONA Edition - Sep 2008

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Power Cuts

IONA has long encouraged its staff to get published. It reflects glory on the organization that nurtured them. Who can forget Steve Vinoski's CORBA page turner - its laconic tone easing you into that arcane world. Now another IONA expert has given the world an insight into his speciality. Wild colonial boy and CIO Steven Porter has just published what should become the definitive work on power outages. After several weeks of fruitless searching for Steven in the Waltham office, we finally were able to contact him via insecure Yahoo IM from a mystery location to talk about his new book.

icontact247: Steve, why did you decide to write a book?

s_d_porter: After spending so much time and effort to mastering the power cut, I felt I really needed to share my skills with the those with less natural talents for such things.

icontact247: Why does Iona need these power cuts?

s_d_porter: Power cuts are crucial to our business. They protect our customers, shareholders, and employees from runaway productivity. Sometimes Ionians get so caught up in their own work that they forget to take the time to kick back, stay home, or just do nothing constructive whatsoever. That's where we come in.

icontact247: What duration of power cuts works best?

s_d_porter: Actually, we tend to keep the cuts fairly short these days. The beauty is that given the time it takes to bring all the systems back online, a three-hour outage can provide up to two days of non-productivity, which will be just enough to hold people over until the next outage. Over the past month we have managed to raise the company's non-productivity by 10%.

icontact247:  Tell us about your planning process.

s_d_porter: Power cuts don't just happen. They take a great deal of preparation. After the July lightning storm power cut, we couldn't take the chance of the backup generators actually working for once when the power went the next time, so I ordered a manual power cut on August 1st to make sure and I'm delighted to say the backup generators did exactly as I anticipated.

icontact247: Is the IT department solely responsible for providing power outages?

s_d_porter: No. Partnerships are key in helping us meet our deliverables. Without the assistance of the building owners and the local power company, there's no way we could have kept up the demanding release schedule of one full day without power, each month.

icontact247: Steve, how have you managed to maximize the impact to the company as a whole?

s_d_porter: The plan to centralize as much IT assets in the Waltham office was a key step in this. The Dublin IT department just aren't good enough at crippling the IT systems. They are very good at cutting internet connectivity, but they just don't know how to cut power to a comms room. We had to centralize power failures for the good of the company.

icontact247: Why the secrecy as to what lies in the comms room?

s_d_porter: Whilst it is true that access to the comms rooms is strictly limited to IT employees who have joined the Sacred Order of Sysadmins (SOS), this is obviously a necessary requirement in these days of the war on terror. We have to be very cautious. No one can feel safe. Incidentally, that’s also why Reed Savory reads all the incoming and outgoing e-mails.

icontact247: To check for terrorist communications?

s_d_porter: No, to check if anyone’s feeling safe.

icontact247: Can you comment on the rumor that IONA’s backup generators consist of two exercise bikes with Jack and Reed furiously pedaling while wearing lycra cycling gear?

s_d_porter: That is just a scurrilous rumor spread by our detractors. They cycle naked.

icontact247: Are you worried employees might, in a fit of desperation, try to become self-sufficient?

s_d_porter: In the past, the engineers in Dublin and St John's have set up their own comms rooms but mysteriously, their air conditioning was misconfigured, causing machines to overheat. It's quite a coincidence that Reed's cousin, Dwayne, installs air conditioners in Newfoundland. Besides, what can they do? There are only two exercise bikes.

icontact247: Well, thank you for your time, Steve. Now let me just save this document befo