IT managers who believe the best tactic on midnight 31 December 1999 would be to turn off all computer systems could do more wrong than good, warned senior analysts at Giga Information Group.
During the company's Gigaworld IT Forum in Scottsdale, Arizona, Charles Burns, vice president, told IT executives that mainframes are more resilient against Y2K problems than users believe. But organisations should be wary of how other platforms will cope, he continued.
Burns said users are keen to power down before the midnight chimes because they do not want to expose the external clocks of their systems to the change. Managers are also unsure whether they can trust there will not be a power utility outage. But if they turn the machines off, should companies recover data that was last backed up in 1999 or should they do another back up and recover as soon as it is 2000?
He told managers not to worry about the internal clocks of their mainframes, especially if they use IBM Sysplex technology because these rely on satellite and radio equipment to control the time piece.
As for applications and database recovery, most vendors have claimed their software is Y2K compliant but users should be wary if the software contains user-written code which has not been tested or certified, continued Burns.
Burns said there are far higher odds for there to be a thunder storm to cause an outage at the local power utility, but if they are still worried companies should think about employing services from uninterruptible power supply (UPS) vendors.
He also asked the audience whether they knew when it would be safe to power up, and whether they had considered the impact of turning off the machines to systems in their employers' other locations locally or around the world, or even if they are linked to systems managed by their business partners.
Burns also warned that turning off machines could also put certain equipment in danger, particularly if they are old and have never been touched before.
He concluded: "If you power off you may end up being off for longer than you thought. Practise, practise, practise. This stuff's cumulative."
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