I have been in IT since it was called Management Information Systems (MIS), and I still have no idea what that meant. I think IBM had a contest to see who could come up with the most obscure names for various technologies. At one point I was working for a law firm keeping their NetFrame 450s up and running NetWare 3.2. If you don't know what a NetFrame was, it looked a lot like the monolith in that the primates were beating with bones the beginning of 2001, A Space Odyssey. I'm pretty sure that it came with the same toolset from the movie as well. Between wrestling those beasts and helping users who had never seen a PC before, I learned a lot of things that were not covered in any of the training books or courses I attended. Here are a few things I learned the hard way:


  1. Entering the name of a NetWare loadable module directly rather than entering "load" first abends the server, resulting in a call to "the office".
  2. Novell went away for a reason.
  3. Spare parts are of no use when the key for the storage room is lost.
  4. The NetFrame we recommended to a customer was last seen with a jack-in-the-box head and arms taped to it.
  5. Despite many predictions, Ethernet does scale.
  6. Users no not appreciate diagnosing the issue as a "loose nut on KB".

The good part of all of this is that the problem technologies (and weird names) have mostly gone the way of the Dodo. I am constantly amazed at the reliability of networks today and at the very short Mean Time to Restore (MTTR) we are seeing.


We have done a lot of growing this year at SolarWinds. Chances are that there is no IT management issue you have that we don't have a great solution for. If it has been a while, check out the depth of our product lines and what our customers have to say.