Municipal Meltdown

By Brian P. Watson Print this article Print

Municipal Meltdown

The Problem:
In early October, the city of Mesa, Ariz., suffered a hardware glitch that erased municipal documents and hindered access to e-mail. A city spokeswoman said Mesa's storage platform malfunctioned, and the vendor, Hewlett- Packard, corrected the problem at no cost, according to the East Valley Tribune. Files saved after Sept. 25 were lost, but that loss was limited, the spokeswoman said. The e-mail problems proved more troublesome: It took several days for city officials to be able to access e-mail via the Web, and the computer that provides public access to top officials' e-mail remained down.

The Lesson:
Because it was unclear what caused the hardware malfunction, it's tough to lay specific blame. Still, whether it's corporations, municipalities or academic institutions, all data is crucial, and losing it can pose a risk to both operations and security. Organizations must work closely with their hardware and software vendors to do regular diagnostics and troubleshooting, ensuring that any problems or potential malfunctions are pinpointed and addressed swiftly.

Next page: Good news, Bad News

This article was originally published on 2007-10-30
Associate Editor

Brian joined Baseline in March 2006. In addition to previous stints at Inter@ctive Week and The Net Economy, he's written for The News-Press in Fort Myers, Fla., as well as The Sunday Tribune in Dublin, Ireland. Brian has a B.A. from Bucknell University and a master's degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

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