Thursday, November 12, 2009

I hate Sleaze!!!!!!

I'm typing this from Hickory, NC at a holiday inn express (near furniture mart) after encountering one of the dumbest clusterfucks in the clusterfucking history of clusterfucks.

Raid 1 is a way to set up two hard drives of identical size in such a way that everything written to one is also written to the other. It's also called "mirroring" and it's common to run across this setup in servers.

The nice thing about Raid 1 is that you get a layer of redundancy and a little extra read performance because you can pull data off both drives simultaneously. Raid has its place in the world but it IS NOT A BACKUP SCHEME.

Worse, if the raid card dies in a server the array is lost and you're boned x2. Now, onto the sleaze.

The backup 'solution' encountered tonight was the ultimate dick move in the IT world. First the array was split between an internal fixed drive and a hot swap hard drive sitting in the front bay. Nothing wrong with that. However every night the office was removing the hot swap drive, replacing it with an identical drive and letting the raid array rebuild itself. Every night, they were rebuilding the fucking array.

That's like walking around giving yourself an emergency medical procedure every night just to get to sleep. Worse, the point of failure would be exactly the same without an array.

If they had a single hard drive, no array, and the thing died they would have to restore from their backup. This would be a hassle but no huge deal. With the existing setup a failure of the raid card OR the primary drive would require opening the case and doing some surgery to resolve the problem.

What kills me is that whoever cooked this solution up HAD to have some degree of technical expertise to even do it. He should have known better and it's absolutely ridiculous that they didn't just have a simpler solution. In IT simple often means durable and adding complexity always means adding risk or maintenance costs.

My own company did not fare much better during the assessment. We ran HDMI cables for some monitors and had planned to convert the HDMI to DVI but there was only VGA available at the computer so...we lost about 5 hours on the job while my coworked reran VGA through the walls.

We couldn't even use the HDMI to pull the cable through because we had to drill bigger holes and the ceiling was full of dust and crickets, and we're pretty sure the crickets had been eating asbestos and crapping it out all over the place.

Nasty job. I was able to clone the array and knock out about 90% of the software so I consider it mostly successful. We still had to work until 8pm which is fucking retarded.

So it goes.

More nanowrimo stuff to be posted soon.

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