We Just Power-off The Server

We Just Power-off The Server.

power-switch.pngOver the years I have run into situations where Point of Sale systems artificially fail due to avoidable crisis scenario’s.  Most often, this revolves around not properly  powering-down Point of Sale equipment.

Here’s example of one recent power related interaction:

Clerk:  “I cant get into my POS software”

Tech Support:  “I can’t get on remotely, it looks like your server is turned off”

Clerk:  Yeah, it’s off.  We were having problems earlier, so we just shut it off”.

Tech Support:  “The server has to be on in order for the registers to connect to the database  and the Internet.”

Tech Support:  “Do you normally do a proper shutdown of the servers and registers?” 

Clerk: “We either just press the blue power button on the big box, or more often we just press  the power on the UP’s Box because shuts off faster!”

Tech Support, “Do you mean the UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply)?”

Clerk:  Yes.

Tech Support:  In situations like this, it’s recommended that you first log out of any open software  applications that you are using and the use the Windows “Shutdown” or “Restart” command, whichever is  appropriate for the given situation.”

Clerk: Ok.
There are a number of serious issues here as follows:

1.  Lack of Training – This clerk has needs more information  on the equipment that is being used, and in proper server/workstation shutdown/restart procedures.  This can be a training or management issue, or both.  With a Point of Sale system it is advisable that someone who understands the proper  shutdown/restart commands for the registers and application server be available for all shifts..

2.  Operating System and Data Corruption –  there is a strong likelihood  that the operating system, the application software, or the database has corruption.  Another example of this would involve a users powering of the server or register while it was  in the middle of doing a Windows Update installation. This could corrupt the operating system.

3. Overnight processing doesn’t happen– If servers are off, no overnight processing functions run.  This could result in a lot of things NOT happening such as:

  • Backups
  • Database re-indexing
  • Automated Credit Card Settlement,
  • End of Sale sales Posting.

Additionally, there are some situations that are beyond the control of end-users, however, they should be addressed if there are problems:

  • Faulty or marginal POS equipment.
  • Faulty UPS (bad battery, failure to clamp during outages).
  • Damaged network cables
  • Faulty or marginal network switches or Network Cards.
  • Faulty power circuits.

If you are having any of the above scenario’s or issues, please contact the CCS Retail Systems Support Department for assistance.

– John