Re: Does it matter where the binaries are?

  • From: stephen booth <>
  • To: Jeremiah Wilton <jeremiah@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 23:13:15 +0000

On Thu, 10 Mar 2005 14:27:41 -0800 (PST), Jeremiah Wilton
<jeremiah@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> People die if your system goes down?  
> Please tell me you're not with the NHS :-)

Close, city council.

Here's a scenario.  Social worker believes that a child is in danger
but before they can remove that child they need to get a court order
signed by  Justice of the Peace.  Before the JP can/will sign the
order they need to be shown certain pieces of evidence.  The paper
copies of that evidence might be in 3 or more physical locations which
may be closed up for the night and may require special permissions to
access (e.g. documents held by the NHS).  If we have copies of those
documents in a DMS then we can print copies and the social worker can
get the court order.  If the DMS is down then by the time the paper
copies can be assembled and taken to the JP an abuser could have
killed the kid or absconded with them.  The next day you're reading in
the newspaper about how the city council didn't do enough to protect
[insert name here].

That's not a hypothetical, it's happened.  That's what I mean by
people dying if the system is down.

> I think "if a system goes down" is the key phrase here.  What if that
> system is the filer? Or the network between the hosts and the filer?
> Or the host network adapter?

According to NetApp that would never happen.

Yeah, I know they're being less than 100% accurate.  Unfortunately
project managers in the public sector tend not to be chosen for their
ability to think.

We've managed to get them to look at a clustered filer so that at
least if the network interface or one of the filer heads dies we'll
still have a service.  Of course that doesn't protect us from power
outage, network switch failure or a JCB driver getting over
enthusiastic and cutting you're nice fat pipe (it sounds impossible
until it happens to you).  My personal preference would be for two
filers, with their attendant server(s), on separate sites where each
database stored on one filer was paired with a standby stored on the
other.  I'm hoping that once we get the system bedded in and start
getting more services online that I'll be able to get something like

> Will the project manager compensate the victims' families for deaths
> resulting from poor availability design?

Project managers can be rather like seagulls (appologies to any
project manager's offended by this, maybe I've become jaded by my
experiences).  The have the ability to fly in, make a lot of noise and
spread their guano then fly out and onto the next project.  The rest
of us have to live with the results of their decisions.

> I apologize if this sounds too critical.  You are right for asking
> these questions here.

I only ask questions when I want an answer.  A lot of this is my
trying to produce something usable whilst operating within the
parameters set for me by the project managers.


It's better to ask a silly question than to make a silly assumption.

Other related posts: