For a brief time I was a student at TSU. I was interested in John Dewey and the practical application of philosophy especially as regards epistemology. I visited a philosophy professor, and he directed me to a professor of education. The professor and I spoke at length, and I found out he was working on an extensive learning management system (LMS) that utilized techniques and practices that were essentially applied epistemology. He offered me work on a hourly/contract basis to extend the system.
My first step when looking at the system was to take inventory of the technology. These were:
Windows 2000 with IIS and SQL Server
Classic ASP pages built with VBScript
A proprietary upload plugin for ASP
A CCOM object to handle database communication
Visual Basic 6 as the source code for the COM object
An extensive set of SQL Server stored procedures to handle data transactions
My second step was to ask, how is this backed up, restored, and replicated?
The server had a backup tape drive, but it appeared it either was not being used, or not working.
I immediately created an image of the server, then I began to learn and document the process to replicate the system to other machines.
I was successful in this endeavor, initially creating a working development server. Once this was complete, I had enough documentation that a competent technician could also replicate the system. Additionally I used MS T-SQL to create nightly backups of the data, and I wrote WSH scripts to automate backup of the data folders.
Eventually the server failed. A new server was ordered, and I used my documentation and backups to completely restore the system. This system is still in place and running today.