Are Ghosts Haunting the Halls of Your Servers?

October 31st, 2014

Though not everyone believes them, we all know about the horror stories of the spirits of the dead that linger in this world, haunting locations where no one dares to tread. Every culture, though their beliefs vary, contains them to some degree. Their purpose is unknown, and they are thought to be caused by unfulfilled desires or regrets. But regardless of whether or not you believe in them, you better believe that your business can very well be haunted by ghost servers.

With more and more companies moving to the cloud, they are leaving behind the empty shells of their former servers. These old and forgotten pieces of technology become “ghost servers,” unused or underutilized servers. These undead servers, however, might still be alive and kicking, and if your company isn’t careful, they could wind up costing you a substantial amount of coin. Not only is it counterproductive and expensive, but it can also be very dangerous to your company.

A particularly nasty horror IT story happened in 2006, when someone accessed the alumni database of Ohio University and potentially compromised 137,800 Social Security numbers, through a server that was thought inactive. No security patches were issued to it, and hackers were able to take advantage of this vulnerability and steal this information. But the thing is, how did nobody know it was still active?

Rituals Like Iron and Salt Circles Do Nothing against Ghost Servers
When attempting to purify your network, you must first identify where the ghost servers are, and if they are active or not. If you recently relocated or moved to the cloud, your business might be haunted by these servers. The easiest way to locate these servers is to keep track of what your company is using and where it is using it. To do this, put someone in charge of taking an inventory of all of your systems. Or, you could do it yourself for the thrill of the hunt.

There is no excuse for not keeping track of your company’s technology. Unfortunately, some companies run out of money for an IT staff, or they simply lack the resources to keep track of these ethereal beings. The solution? Hire MTG, your own personal Ghostbusters. Outsourcing your IT needs greatly cuts down on capital expenses compared to hiring a complete IT staff. You would rather use those funds to hire a marketing or sales staff to generate revenue for your company. Give us a call and we can set up a complete network assessment that will document and map out your IT infrastructure once and for all.

Laid to Rest
Even if you find the ghost, what do you do with it? There are some specific steps that need to be taken in order to completely exorcise it, and none of them involve chanting in Latin. You must first determine if you really need the server. If you do, MTG can help you virtualize it. Alternatively, you could host your data on our servers, which benefits you much more in the long run - we’ll monitor your system so you won’t need to worry about any ghosts spooking up your servers.

If you find the server is completely unnecessary, it might be time to say goodbye. Let it move into the great beyond. Pull the plug (not while it’s on!) and separate it from the power supply, erase the data from the drives, and put it in a coffin for burial. The server cannot be laid to rest until it has been removed from its network and location, and its disks have been wiped clean.

If you need help preparing your unused servers for a proper burial, MTG will be at the funeral to support you and mourn your loss. We can host your data for you, and you’ll never have to deal with ghosts of the past ever again. We can monitor your system and make sure that no lingering presence exists beyond your sight. Call (215) 247-8324 today!