This small government agency has its own "data center" with a motley collection of systems — but no budget money for real data-center necessities, says a pilot fish working there.

"We had VAXen, Linux servers, Windows servers, a small RAID array and our own private Wi-Fi/broadband network because we needed access to files normally filtered by the main network," fish says.

"We did not have UPSes, and our environmental control was a pair of air conditioners in the windows.

"The agency decided to upgrade all the air conditioners due to age. They swapped out our analog-control units with new digital units that would hold specific temperatures. Well, they would hold until the power went out — then they reset to 'off.'

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