Will the last person to leave the computer room please turn off the equipment?

That’s not a phrase that tends to be uttered around business critical Data Centers or computer labs.  Shut down electronic devices that have been running for long periods of time and there’s a chance they won’t come back on.

Despite that, several Cisco lab managers around the world are powering down much of their hardware right now.  They’ve volunteered to take part in our company’s 11th annual year-end shutdown, during which hundreds of buildings are closed and thousands of employees are given time off.  (It’s the only time of the year that I log off for several days with confidence that a slew of new work-related e-mails won’t arrive while I’m away.)

For most employees the annual shutdown requires no more preparation than any other workday, but what does it take to successfully plan and execute a lab shutdown and restart?   Why would someone volunteer to take on the risk to business critical equipment that they’re responsible for?

For some insightful answers – and to even hear a shutdown in progress – listen to Anatomy of a Shutdown from Cisco IT’s Beyond the Network podcast.  The episode features lab managers  from different parts of the world – and who are responsible for very different types of labs – talking about why they power down their systems and what they’ve learned from doing so.  You’ll also hear how Cisco coordinates the overall program around the world and entices lab managers to participate.

You can find the entire Beyond the Network series from either link above.  Come back each month for new episodes.  Or better yet, subscribe and like the podcast on SoundCloud or iTunes.