If you tell enough stories, perhaps the moral will show up.


Five nines

About four years ago, we were having trouble with the Group mail gateways, and I set up a half-hourly email to the helpdesk and some other support people to allow them to ensure that mail was being received.

I needed a platform that would be a lot more reliable that the Group gateways I was testing. So I put it on a box built from consumer-grade parts and a free operating system, with a power supply extended out of the house into a fifty-year old fuse box (real fuses) in a rat-infested shed which bakes in the summer, and literally freezes in winter. As you would expect, it's run reliably ever since, popping out the emails every half hour on the half hour.

(Perhaps there are some machine room management lessons here for us. But I hope not.)

Well, that issue is over now, and it was the last application on that machine, so I've shut it down to make room for the hydroponic cannabis farm which is the current fashion in rural enterprise.

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