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The Chance of Failure


The Chance of Failure

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jay-h
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Nadrek (3/31/2011)
For those with RAID; how many actually run consistency checks on a regular basis, to detect single drive corruption?
...
I would also note that planning for regular failure is both very expensive and very limiting; most products don't support truly transparent high availability with 0% downtime at all. Big mainframe hardware (and perhaps midrange systems) does; commodity x86 based hardware and software typically doesn't, with a few exceptions.


0% downtime is extremely expensive. One needs to be realistic. Most apps can tolerate occasional downtimes of varying degrees, and it's a lot less expensive to evaluate those needs realistically.

Interestingly, we used to have a clustered RAID SQL2000 installation. Every system failure we had was in the RAID control system which meant that the clustering did us no good whatsoever in the downtime area. (Fortunately the RAIDs did not lose data during those failures). We have a mirrored system now on completely separate hardware.

...

-- FORTRAN manual for Xerox Computers --
TravisDBA
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Eric M Russell (3/31/2011)
Disaster recovery is actually easier in the modern IT world than it was in times past. One hundred years ago, if the county courthouse burnt to the ground, much of the archived documents would be lost forever with no backup copy.



It might be easier as you say, but you would be surprised at how many shops do not plan for it by not even just backing up their databases up on a regular basis. It would astound you. I have seen shops I have gone into in the past that have not backed up their system databases in over a year!!! . When I asked why? the response was "Well we didn't need to, everything works just fine and if it isn't btoke we don't fix it... " w00t Absolutely incredible, there are bozos out there in IT like this but there are. . Just because DR has gotten easier doesn't mean people are doing it. :-D

"Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ...:-D"
Eric M Russell
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If Joe's Bike Shop looses all their data without a backup, then that's a personal tragedy for their business, but it's not really a community or regional wide disaster. The chances of a government office losing all your tax records or a corporation permanently losing all your mortgage paperwork is practically unheard of.

Well... the mortgage company may sit on your escrow account refund for weeks or months claiming they "misplaced the paperwork", but they can find the records at any point, if they really wanted to. That's not an information technology issue.


"The universe is complicated and for the most part beyond your control, but your life is only as complicated as you choose it to be."
Tom Bakerman
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This seems like rehashing old news. I have vague memories from a database class I took in the 80s where we talked about an airlines data center (AA or United or somebody big like that). Like I said, my memory is vague on this, but I believe they talked about Mean Time Between Failure of the disk farm on the order of 5 minutes (translation: there will be a disk failure about every 5 minutes).

The technology has changed, but the problems are still there and have to be dealt with.
Evil Kraig F
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Tom Bakerman (3/31/2011)
This seems like rehashing old news. I have vague memories from a database class I took in the 80s where we talked about an airlines data center (AA or United or somebody big like that). Like I said, my memory is vague on this, but I believe they talked about Mean Time Between Failure of the disk farm on the order of 5 minutes (translation: there will be a disk failure about every 5 minutes).

The technology has changed, but the problems are still there and have to be dealt with.


I'm now picturing some poor kid wandering the halls of the data center with a giant shopping cart of new drives in front of him, just slowly meandering down the aisles looking for red lights with this zombie-fied look on his face at 3 in the morning.


- Craig Farrell

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TravisDBA
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TravisDBA (3/31/2011)
Eric M Russell (3/31/2011)
Disaster recovery is actually easier in the modern IT world than it was in times past. One hundred years ago, if the county courthouse burnt to the ground, much of the archived documents would be lost forever with no backup copy.



It might be easier as you say, but you would be surprised at how many shops do not plan for it by not even just backing up their databases up on a regular basis. It would astound you. I have seen shops I have gone into in the past that have not backed up their system databases in over a year!!! . When I asked why? the response was "Well we didn't need to, everything works just fine and if it isn't btoke we don't fix it... " w00t Absolutely incredible, there are bozos out there in IT like this but there are. . Just because DR has gotten easier doesn't mean people are doing it. :-D



I was not just referring to small mom and pop shops, I was referring to large geographically distributed IT enterprises as well, and it does happens more than you might realize.:-D

"Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ...:-D"
Tom Bakerman
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Craig Farrell (3/31/2011)
Tom Bakerman (3/31/2011)
This seems like rehashing old news. I have vague memories from a database class I took in the 80s where we talked about an airlines data center (AA or United or somebody big like that). Like I said, my memory is vague on this, but I believe they talked about Mean Time Between Failure of the disk farm on the order of 5 minutes (translation: there will be a disk failure about every 5 minutes).

The technology has changed, but the problems are still there and have to be dealt with.


I'm now picturing some poor kid wandering the halls of the data center with a giant shopping cart of new drives in front of him, just slowly meandering down the aisles looking for red lights with this zombie-fied look on his face at 3 in the morning.


Hehe. But remember, too, that those were the days of the washing machine sized disks. :-P

Another memory I have from that discussion is that the average length of experience of employees was on the order of 10 years.
Michael Valentine Jones
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Don't think of it as a failure.

Think of it as a chance to start over without the burden of all that legacy data.
James Stover
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Fortunately the Cloud will save us from failure. Because we know how bullet-proof telecom infrastructure is. It never fails...except when it storms, or during peak solar activity, or when a fiber-optic cable is dredged, or the provider goes bankrupt, or during DDoS attacks, or...:-D


James Stover, McDBA

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James Stover (3/31/2011)
Fortunately the Cloud will save us from failure. Because we know how bullet-proof telecom infrastructure is. It never fails...except when it storms, or during peak solar activity, or when a fiber-optic cable is dredged, or the provider goes bankrupt, or during DDoS attacks, or...:-D


No, the true cloud will be the 'magic mesh network' made up by the billions of cell phones that finally have enough speed to communicate everything everywhere without needing ISPs...

... oh, wait, that was Shadowrun...


- Craig Farrell

Never stop learning, even if it hurts. Ego bruises are practically mandatory as you learn unless you've never risked enough to make a mistake.

For better assistance in answering your questions | Forum Netiquette
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