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Hi. I'm a Unix Administrator, mathematics enthusiast, and amateur philosopher. This is where I rant about that which upsets me, laugh about that which amuses me, and jabber about that which holds my interest most: Unix.
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Probability failure

Posted 08-26-2011 at 01:59 PM by rocket357
Updated 08-26-2011 at 02:16 PM by rocket357

Today I get an alarm that a customer's website isn't responding. This particular customer isn't an American customer, and due to international law their server has to be hosted in their own country. So they picked a hosting company over there and we shipped their servers to the hosting company.

Traceroute showed that we could get to the city where they were hosted, but not the server itself. I called the hosting company's support line. After explaining to them that my boss had been the one to deal with all of this and he's gone for the day (so I couldn't verify the customer information that my boss had setup), they told me they'd call the number in the contact information to verify that I worked for the company I claimed I worked for. No problem, I say. They call. They verified that they couldn't ping the server from within their facilities, so I suspect a kernel panic. I tell them to reboot the server (It's a Dell. Remote Server Management, for unknown reasons, is not enabled on the machine).

After cutting through all of the red tape, I finally get in touch with a technician who is standing in front of our rack. He asks me to verify the make and model of the server.

"I don't know," I say, "My boss set it up and he's gone for the day. It's probably a Dell because we usually buy Dell."
"Oh, ok. Can you verify the Dell service tag number, please?"
"Umm, no I can't. Let me see if it's documented in the customer file."

I put the guy on hold and rush to dig through customer files, job records, ANYTHING. I come back empty handed after a few minutes.

"Look," I say, "I don't have this information, and I can promise you that this won't happen again. The records are probably locked in my boss's office. My coworker has been trying to get a hold of him for a bit, so I don't know what to tell you other than I have a customer whose website is down and I need this machine rebooted pronto."
"Well, how am I supposed to know which server to reboot in your rack?" the tech asks.
"I have an idea. This particular server is a combined app and database machine. It's probably the most powerful server in the rack."
"Ok, and?"
"And if you describe the contents of the rack to me, I bet I can figure out which one it is."
"Umm, sure. I see a Dell R910..."
<few seconds of silence>
"And?!?" I ask.
"That's it. There's a Dell R910 and nothing else."

I sincerely wish I could make up stuff this good.
Posted in Uncategorized
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  1. Old Comment
    …sounds like a good candidate for a Computer Stupidities anecdote.
    Posted 08-26-2011 at 05:55 PM by MrCode MrCode is offline


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