Poorly scheduled downtime

February 5, 2009

Not me… someone else, but it did make me think.

If you need downtime, you schedule it carefully. If your server needs a reboot for some reason (maybe some patch), then you find an appropriate window in which to place it. Typically this ends up being between 2am and 3am, but working out a time when a backup won’t be interrupted, or when overseas customers need the system to be up, and so on.

I want to rebuild my laptop soon, but I want to make sure I do it at a time when I have a few days up my sleeve — time when I don’t need my laptop. Turns out that might be this weekend, as I’m going to have a small operation at lunchtime tomorrow (elective surgery, potentially — but hopefully not – involving two bricks). I’m likely to be wanting to rest for a couple of days, so it could be a good opportunity to find the right pile of installation DVDs and do a system rebuild.

Funnily enough, I was just reading about an instance of poorly scheduled downtime by another company. ITV were showing a 4th round FA Cup match ‘live’ (well, almost) a few hours ago involving one of the oldest rivalries in sport — Everton v Liverpool. There were about three minutes left in the game, which was looking like going to penalties, so they thought they’d sneak in a quick commercial. A bit of ‘downtime’ if you like. Except that during those few seconds away, Everton scored a goal. Already there are articles popping up about the incident, and ITV are looking like idiots.

Whatever industry you’re in, if you need some downtime, please plan it carefully. Imagine what happens in the ‘worst-case’ scenario. And wish me ‘luck’ tomorrow.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Jeremy Huppatz

    Hiya Rob,

    Have you considered running a P2V snap of your laptop as is? This might let you shrink the downtime required – vanilla windows, virtual server/VMWare and your virtual disk files = instant restore to your current environment. This means you’ll be able to work while getting your new environment set up just how you want it. You might not have access to all the hardware-level APIs you might be interested in using, but it will let you cut code, run SQL, etc…

    Just a thought.


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