OT: It's arrived!

Paul Orrock paulo at digitalcraftsmen.net
Mon Nov 5 16:16:23 GMT 2007

[snip very accurate comparison between sysadmin and programming ]

 > paulm wrote :
> you've done can vanish. (Remarkably like no-limit poker.) A typical
> example of this is un-backed up data or a failed restore. Whoops, game
> over.

It's very true that you have to be infinitely more careful as a sysadmin 
than a programmer and make sure that you have typed what you mean to 
type and most important that you're in the right terminal window. I 
found moving from programmer to sysadmin fairly simple but I think 
that's because I'm aware that there are things I don't know enough about.

There is a world of difference between removing a dev site by accident 
or overwriting your latest script with an old version and doing 
something like removing a clients live e-commerce website which earns 
several thousand pounds a day.

I've seen sysadmins get over confident, which means they get lazy and 
sloppy and they cut corners, don't backup as much as they should, don't 
check everything thoroughly and one day they find that the corner they 
cut was actually the one they were standing on and they're left with a 
fubared machine and angry people.

As Paul says, developers can just kick themselves and redo the work. 
Sysadmins get kicked from all directions, and then get kicked out when 
they've fixed their cock-up, or just kicked out and find themselves 
blacklisted if it's really spectacular.

> reasonable person can come up with is "OK, we need this in triplicate
> locally, mirrored internationally, backed up elsewhere, and on tape."

Hence the Google version of RAID you mentioned, Redundant Array of 
International Datacentres :-)



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