As a computer systems network manager and member of the nonprofit High Tech Crime Consortium, Kevin McDonald has seen all manner of data disasters: the medical company whose patient treatment records were lost in a warehouse fire; the police department whose website host vanished overnight; even the careless employee whose leaky liter of Coke ruined a computer server. “If you are a small business and you have a catastrophic loss of data, more likely than not you will never recover,” says McDonald, executive vice president at Alvaka Networks in Irvine, Calif. “Data storage is so cheap now, if you can’t afford it you should shut your business down and do something else.”
Smoke testing is a term used to describe the testing process for servers after patches are applied.
The process typically involves making sure servers are rebooted in the right order, making sure they have completely rebooted, restarting applications in the right order, and then testing to be certain everything is working properly when users return to work in the morning.
This typically takes 30 minutes per server, depending upon your environment.
PCs are not typically smoke tested, or if so, not all of them.