Sometimes it just takes the right question

This company has its systems set up so that any power outage will trigger an email that's sent to the support team. But that's not quite working, according to an IT consultant pilot called in to troubleshoot.

"The client has multiple servers, each with its own UPS," says fish. "Each UPS is connected to the server running the software that sends out an email if there is an outage.

"Over the last several months there have been occasional outages, but Server3 has never sent out an email. The software has a test button, and every time the test button is clicked, a test message is successfully received. Yet when I pull the power cord on the UPS, no message is received.

"We do the usual, uninstall and reinstall to no effect. So I contact the UPS vendor tech support.

"Support tech, too, is stumped for a while. He has me explain exactly what is plugged into the UPS. I list the server -- yes, it has two power supplies and both are plugged into the same UPS, but that's another story.

"There is also another device, and then there's a network switch that's plugged into the non-battery-backup side of the UPS for surge protection only.

"So when power goes down, or the plug is removed from the wall to test the server, the network switch goes down...and the server is unable to send anything to anyone on the network.

"I move the power cord to the battery backup side, and everything works as it should."

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