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Re: Does it matter where the binaries are?

From: stephen booth <>
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 23:13:15 +0000
Message-ID: <>

On Thu, 10 Mar 2005 14:27:41 -0800 (PST), Jeremiah Wilton <> 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 that.

> 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.
Received on Thu Mar 10 2005 - 18:16:34 CST

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