Why Proper System Shutdowns Are Important.
While using the proper system shutdown commands during power events, or when otherwise required, may seem to be Computer 101 level procedures to some, to others, especially the untrained it is not.
Based on my experience, this seems to be a bigger issue with retailers than any other group. The core issues seem to reside primarily in four areas as follows:
1. Lack of written plans and/or procedures for shutting-down and restarting servers and POS systems.
2. Lack of a training program for employees working in the stores, so that they know what to do when the power goes out.
3. High employee turnover. – New staff coming on line is not familiar with the system, and who have
little or no training.
4. Insufficient security authorizations – No one working at the store has a level of security access
that allows them to login to the server and shut it down.
When an application server or POS workstation is shutdown improperly, very serious issues can result, such as:
- Loss of active unsaved data. – This might mean incomplete, and un-editable tickets, or orders.
- Critical damage to application databases, that can require having to rebuild the database or to restore data from backups.
- Damage to the operating system, that might require having to restore part of it or having to go as far as restaging the entire computer. This would be especially true If a downloaded Windows Security Service Pack was to scheduled to be installed on the next system shutdown, as it could cause the update to fail to be properly applied.
- Physical damage to critical components in the computer, such as the hard drive, motherboard, memory, requiring the machines to be down for an extended period of time
If you are unsure about what shutdown procedures you should be using, or if you need to put together some procedural documentation for this, please contact the CCS Retail Systems Support Department.