> > Now if these vendors could somehow eliminate downtime due to human error
> > we'd be talking *serious* reliablity.
> You mean making the OS smart enough to know when clearing the arp
> cache is a bonehead operation, or just making the hardware smart
> enough to realise that the keyswitch really shouldn't be turned
> while 40 people are logged in?  (Either way, I agree this'd be an
> improvement.  It'd sure make colocation a lot less painful.)

Well I was joking really, but those are two very good examples!  Yes, machines should 
require extra confirmation for operations like
those.  Hell, even a simple 'init 0' would be well served by a prompt that says "There 
are currently 400 network sockets open, 50
remote users logged in, and 25 disk IOs per second.  What's more, there's nobody 
logged in at the console to boot me up again
afterwards - are you _sure_ you want to shut the machine down?".  It's also crazy that 
there's no prompt after an 'rm -rf' (we could
have 'rm -rf --iacceptfullresponsibility' for an unprompted version).

Stuff like that would have saved me from a few embarrassments in the past for sure ;-)

It drives me absolutely nuts every time I see a $staggeringly_expensive clustered 
server whose sysadmins are scared to do a failover
test in case something goes wrong!  Or which has worse uptime than my desktop PC 
because the cluster software's poorly set up or
administered.  Or which has both machines on the same circuit breaker.  I could go on 
but it's depressing me.

Favourite anecdote:  A project manager friend of mine had a new 'lights out' 
datacenter to set up.  The engineers, admins and
operators swore blind that everything had been tested in every possible way, and that 
incredible uptime was guaranteed.  'So if I
just pull this disk out everything will keep working?' he asked, and then pulled the 
disk out without waiting for an answer...

Ever since he told me that story I've done exactly that with every piece of so-called 
'redundant' hardware a vendor tries to flog
me.  Ask them to set it up, then just do nasty things to it without asking for 
permission.  Less than half the gear makes it through
that filter, and actually you can almost tell from the look on the technical sales 
rep's face as you reach for the
drive/cable/card/whatever whether it will or won't.


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