Technically, it’s called a Storage Area Network — the interconnected devices and servers that make up a company’s operations system.
“In the IT world, this is pretty much as bad as it gets,” Assistant City Manager Sammy Rich said. “You hear about these things happening, and you hope it’s never you or your organization — but it was.”
The good news is, Rich heard Tuesday that a Wisconsin company contracted to recover the lost data expects to be able to do so. There isn’t, however, a guarantee.
“The report is looking optimistic,” Rich said. “We should receive our data back on Thursday, and we’re shooting to have everything back in operation by Monday.”
The system went down during a storm on the evening of Sept. 17, although City Manager John Bennett said there were no lightning strikes so it’s unlikely the weather caused the crash.
Much of the “mission critical” data — utility bills, payroll and personnel records — is on a separate system hosted offsite and was not affected.
But most other documents, financial reports, engineering plats, letters, agreements and digital records disappeared along with email capability and, for a time, Internet access.
Public Services Director Kirk Milam said departments have been communicating for more than a week via telephones, faxes, snail mail, face-to-face meetings and paper files.
“We’ve developed a great dependence on technology,” he said. “This is not the end of the world, but it’s created some challenges in doing the work.”
The computer systems in police cars were not affected, Deputy Chief Lonzo Roberson said, but the lack of email has affected some internal operations.
Rich said residents probably haven’t noticed any effects from the weeklong outage, but he did have one announcement.
“If anyone has attempted to email us, or is waiting for a city email, please have patience,” he said.