LowComDom Performances Presents
The Crapolla According to Fek'Lar
You Know You're DOOMED When...
your manager comes in and says, "This is another case of why we don't do this, and it bites us in the ass later", and you just sit there wondering what the hell they are talking about.
You've stumbled onto another issue of The Crapolla, a journal written for software professionals. No not the managers; I mean the people who do the work.
This Crapolla is sponsored by...
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In This Issue...
It's a RAID! Nobody move! Call out the Vice Squad! Someone's mounting a Hard Drive!
I've been thinking about this subject for a while. You've heard my rants on Fry's and a few other places with cavity searches, the dot coms who were just grabbing money and not trying to make a real company, etc. I thought I'd talk about who seems to be making a mark in the right direction. This month my subject is Adaptec.
You may remember that a couple months ago, I mentioned that my SGI box died. That started a new project of building a new machine. Since I was going to get a new box I decided to really work the hardware. I had never spec'ed out hardware on the Intel architecture. This was a good chance to do it.
One of the important questions I came up with was, "How am I going to back up the hard drive?" If you think about it, backing up a 40 Gig hard drive doesn't really fly on tape, CDs, Zips, or just about anything else you care to mention. Hard drive capacity has really ballooned and removable media is falling behind.
After some pondering, I decided that the only back up media worth working with was another hard drive, and if I was going to do this I might as well look into a RAID card. RAID 1 would mirror the hard drives. If one drive died there would be an exact copy on the other. Hmmm, how much was this going to cost?
Some one at WTHAIS said to look at the Adaptec web site because they had a lot of information on RAID. Not only did they have a lot of info, they had something I had not seen before. An ATA 100 RAID card. This would mean I wouldn't have to buy expensive SCSI drives. Jeez, they're giving out ATA drives with new credit cards these days.
I was wondering how I was going to restore my back up after a drive failure. I sent this question off to Adaptec Tech Support. Not long after I had an answer. It was actually an answer that was about the actual question I asked. It was actually an answer that was very detailed and actually told me what I wanted to know. I began wondering who was playing a trick on me. Email support is never this good. I decided to push my luck and ask a second question. The same thing happened. I got a quick, very detailed answer about the very thing I asked about! Where is Rod Serling when you need him?
It turned out that if a drive failed I would not need to do anything. The mirror would automatically be used. I would receive an email notification telling me which drive died, and I could change it out whenever I wanted. This led me to temp fate one more time and ask about how you synched the replacement drive. This last question took a bit longer to get an answer for. But I received, still in a relatively short time, an apology for taking so long. The person answering the question wanted to check her work with more senior people. Then she gave me the usual verbose and very detailed answer to my question. This really was a Twilight Zone experience. I bought the ATA RAID 2400A and two IBM ATA 100 drives.
Two months into the project of building this machine I got an email.
HBA: 0 reports controller error (Selection Timeout , 0) for device (0, 0, 0, 0) at Thu Jul 5 17:15:32 2001.
The drive on Bus Zero was dead. I was happy and unhappy at the same time. I was happy because I hadn't lost all my work. But I bought IBM drives because of their reputation. Let's just hope I got the bad one in the batch.
I also want to point out that IBM handled the RMA quickly and without hassle. They even sent the correct shipping container to place my drive into. I've learned over the years that it isn't a sin to have a product fail in the field. But it is one to screw up getting the replacement to the customer.
I also remembered that another feature of this RAID card was the ability to have a Hot Spare drive which would have been synched up when the Bus Zero drive died. I bought one more hard drive, opened a Diet Coke and pressed the synch button. Another email arrived.
The device at (0,0,0,0) was replaced (Rebuild initiated) at Mon Jul 9 14:07:22 2001.
The LSU at (0,0,0,0) started reconstruction due to initiation at Mon Jul 9 14:07:22 2001.
The LSU at (0,0,0,0) went optimal at Mon Jul 9 14:53:20 2001.
The device at (0,0,0,0) went optimal at Mon Jul 9 14:53:20 2001.
This is a case where the support organization drove a sale. I hope somehow someone in support gets some credit for this, because you don't see it very often. No one was blowing sunshine up my shorts. I got the real facts ahead of time, and when the doo doo hit the rotating oscillator, I learned that what Adaptec said was going to happen, was in fact exactly what happened. Honestly, that's what convinces me that I'm some how in the Twilight Zone.
Come on, 'fess up. Where's Serling?
Latest Internet Worm Invades President's Brain!
Sys Admins Convinced This Will Kill The Worm.
Let's play, "Who said this?"
Heard in the halls of various software companies.
"Life with sobriety is beginning to irritate me."
"Yeah, clarity sucks!"
"What have I told you about drinking coffee before this meeting!?"
"Or you just give up and tattoo breasts on your back."
"If it doesn't make you psychotic, I don't want it."
"Take your stinks paws off me, you damned dirty newbie!"
"Say 'Hello' to my little friend."
"Yes, the automation will cover our ass. It does damned little else."
"That's why user is spelled with an 'L'."
"Okay, time to spank the customer!"
"That's why it's good. It's good, because it's so bad!"
"If I hadn't checked it, people would have thought I was an idiot."
"No, they would have had confirmation that you are an idiot."
"Yes, they have a script. It tells them when to play soccer."
"ISDN is so vague. It's like a fishing trip that went bad."
I must see what "rm -rf /*" does.
(Inventor of Chocolate Cheesy Bunny - Morale Officer - The Last Honest Geek)
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