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EXECUTIVE PROFILE: Southern Co.'s Roger Park

Roger Park, 56, manages the servers and desktop systems group that supports server hardware and operating systems for Southern Co.'s 750 Windows and 250 Unix platforms. His group also develops automated installation scripts and images for the utility's 1,000 servers and 25,000 workstations. He's been in IT for 34 years and with Southern Co. for 27 years. Park holds a bachelor's degree from Utica College of Syracuse University.

Next time I'll: Implement a different backup and recovery strategy at distributed sites--one aimed at reducing the amount of data to be backed up at such sites. I'll avoid getting so close to the bleeding edge and ensure that I choose technology that provides the best balance between robustness and cost.

Most ill-timed backup failure: No backup failure is good, but the restore experiences stand out most. Restoring 200 GB of data to a server hundreds of miles away simply takes too long for anyone to be happy. That's why we're pursuing our storage strategy.

Why direct-attached storage is out: When hundreds of servers are involved, managing direct-attached storage and the associated backup activities is not as cost-effective as the alternatives.

Biggest mistake made in technology circles today: Forgetting that technology exists to serve the business.

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