[unisog] Server Update Policy, Procedures and Maintenance Schedules:

Valdis.Kletnieks at vt.edu Valdis.Kletnieks at vt.edu
Sun Sep 3 14:45:15 GMT 2006

On Sat, 02 Sep 2006 23:16:59 PDT, gentuxx said:

> systems is very important.  For example, departmental servers might
> suffer some impact (performance, reboot, etc.) without much consequence
> at 02:00 local time, but taking down a general proxy server for
> "routine" patching (maintenance) may be a significant issue.

I'm going to go out on a limb and posit that this *should* *NOT* be a
significant issue.  If the machine has become important enough that people
complain if you take it down for 30 minutes at 3AM to apply patches or do other
maintenance, it is *long* past time for a redundant server with failover.

If upper management complains about the expense, just ask them what the costs
would be if the *single* system failed at 9:01AM on an important high-load day,
and was down for 3 1/2 hours because a motherboard had to be replaced.

One of two answers will emerge:

1) You'll get the money for a backup server you can fail over to while
doing maint on the primary.

2) You'll have in writing a statement that 3 hours of downtime during the
day isn't important enough to spend $4,000 for a cheap 1U rack mount to act
as a fall-back.  If 3 hours during peak time is acceptable, then 30 minutes
in middle of night must be OK too.  Direct any complaints at the upper
manager who didn't OK the money.

Either way, Not A Problem. :)

(Having said that, if the main server is something *really* big-ticket,
like our Sun iPlanet server for 80K mailboxes, spending a quarter mil on
a fall-over may not happen.  We're working on a solution for that, and in
the meantime, we've built in as much reliability and redundancy as we can,
and we *do* get to take it down at 3AM on a weekend if we have to apply

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