[Gllug] best way to update a single production server?

Alain Williams addw at phcomp.co.uk
Fri May 1 15:21:27 UTC 2009

On Fri, May 01, 2009 at 03:06:10PM +0100, Jose Luis Martinez wrote:
> On Fri, May 1, 2009 at 11:37 AM, Martin A. Brooks
> <martin at hinterlands.org> wrote:
> > On 01/05/2009 11:33, Alain Williams wrote:
> >> It all depends on what ''MUST'' really means. If it is really valuable
> >> then the
> >> funds to make it robust are surely available.
> >>
> >
> > All too often a server MUST be up 24/7 -because- the funds to make it
> > robust are not available :)
> >
> >
> > --
> > Gllug mailing list  -  Gllug at gllug.org.uk
> > http://lists.gllug.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/gllug
> >
> I don't agree with that.
> We are professional IT specialists, I personally don't convert water
> in wine, no matter how much I would like to be able to do so.


I get customers telling me that their machines must be available guaranteed 24x7, I reply
that this is almost possible and then start talking about the prices.
The soon decide that 24x7 is not really needed and some occasional down
time is acceptable. I don't get complaints about the reliability of the
machines that I put in.

> With such a weak system I would make clear that the 24 hours uptime is
> just not achievable and would put in place maintenance windows during
> which the server could be down. Depending on pay, the support window
> could be at the quietest time of the day, but if the pay was lousy,
> the maintenance window would be just before or after the normal
> working day (to the kids out there starting in this field: don't
> accept to be exploited, stand you ground and make sure you are
> compensated properly for working unsocial hours).
> The only way that people relying on such system stop to believe in
> miracles is for the Sys Admin to stop trying to walk in water.

Very true.
Just because the customer/boss demands it does not mean that you have
to agree that it is possible. If you do agree: then you are in deep brown
stuff when (not 'if' but 'when') there is a failure.

Alain Williams
Linux/GNU Consultant - Mail systems, Web sites, Networking, Programmer, IT Lecturer.
+44 (0) 787 668 0256  http://www.phcomp.co.uk/
Parliament Hill Computers Ltd. Registration Information: http://www.phcomp.co.uk/contact.php
Past chairman of UKUUG: http://www.ukuug.org/
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