The MSP: Where the Magic Happens

The MSP: Where the Magic Happens

May 30

This article originally appeared as a guest post on MSPMentor.

A couple of weeks ago, I went to Disney World with my family. I’m not going to lie. It was awesome. I’d never been to any Disney park and neither had any of my kids. We had a great time. We rode tons of rides. We saw lots of great stuff. My kids got to fight Darth Vader.

But lucky for you, this isn’t a post about how lucky I am. Instead, it’s about complexity.

I started thinking about it the first time we rode Splash Mountain. Bobbing along in our little log, we swooshed down waterfalls and lazily roamed through Disney’s now-defunct Song of the South until we neared the famous (and awesome) drop at the end.

Suddenly, the ride stopped and I found myself staring at an animatronic Br’er Fox shoving an animatronic Br’er Rabbit into a beehive while a deep-toned, Southern-accented voice said, “Looks like Br’er Fox and Br’er Bear are causin’ a commotion. Please wait.”

I assumed that someone had puked on the big drop and they had to clean it up before proceeding, but it got me thinking about all the cogs that have to turn to make Disney World work. Seriously, it’s a lot of cogs.

Working to Make Magic

As my week there progressed, I noticed it everywhere. It wasn’t just the mechanical side of it, or the IT side of it. The Walt Disney World Resort covers 47 square miles and employs 66,000 people, for crying out loud. There’s a lot that needs to work smoothly in order to give everyone the magical experience they’re famous for. To me, the logistics are mind boggling.

You probably don’t have 66,000 employees and I’m guessing you don’t have to keep your operations running smoothly for 40+ million visitors a year (though if you or a client have a popular website, maybe). But that doesn’t mean you don’t have complexity.

I want you to think for a minute about the IT systems of your clients (or yourself, for that matter). Do you understand how every piece fits together? If you had a disaster in the next five minutes, would you understand the path you’d have to follow to get to complete recovery? Which hardware needs to be set up first? Which settings need to be in place for later settings to work? What are those settings? How do your systems relate to each other? And so on.

Obviously, having a good image-based backup solution helps to mitigate some of that headache because those settings and such are preserved within your backups themselves, but there’s plenty of complexity outside those precious snapshots.

We want things to be simple. We want to reduce them to something we can easily comprehend, but the truth is, almost everything great has a foundation of complexity beneath it. Your clients have entrusted you with the complexity of their IT environment, now it’s up to you to understand it and make the magic happen.

Image source: Christian Lambert Photography