Server Crashes and Automation Models

Well the day started off like it does most morning’s out here. At 0530 this big oger of a Texan, notice that I don’t use the term man, bangs on my hatch and asks if I’m ready. Naturally I’m not, I’m barely opening my eyes actually and my dear Paco hasn’t even start fussing about being in the cage. Needless to say I respond “I’m coming, hold your horses” while I scramble to put on my shirt backwards and shorts inside out.

We merrily head off to the gym where we throw our P90X disc in and try to get into the mood for our plyometric work-out. Naturally it takes about 15 yawns and 20 minutes to really get into the mood but we manage to get through it and stumble back to our rooms to call the families and stare at our roofs for 15 minutes or so. But enough about that..

Things are going good, well if you don’t count the exhaustion and soreness, when I get a call from a client. “TONY THE SERVER HAS CRASHED!!” Umm, ok.. what’s this got to do with me is my initial thought, so I reply “Ok, tell me what happened.” They respond “Nothing, we just came in and we can’t access the drive.” Ok, picture is becoming clearer now. “Ok, so you can’t access the drive, got it, how about the server, is it on?” Response “Oh yeah, I can log in fine”…. WTF is going through my head at this point, we went from a system crash to a I can’t access a drive. Needless to say I jump in a truck and head over to the base to see if I can’t get eyes on the problem. Meanwhile kiss my day good bye folks. I get there and it turns out the web server stopped talking to the SAN for whatever reason. This story would end a lot better if I told you I was able to fix it, but I wasn’t, so it won’t. After several hours of troubleshooting and taking the machines apart I am sorry to report we had no success. I do welcome recommendations though.

Quick Synopsis: I have a MD1000 hooked up to a PowerEdge 2950 via a SAS cable via a PERC 6/E card. We don’t use any software to enable the drive it’s plug and play so nothing to do there. I did look through the event logs and nothing appears to be out of the norm, no errors or anything that would lead me to believe something failed. The relationship is set us in a Unified Mode between the SAN and Server. I even had my LN bring me a new replacement card and tried switching it out to no avail. Going to try a few more things in the morning but I’m thinking one of the cards on either machine as gone caput. This wouldn’t be too bad except it’s not like we can go to the nearest store for replacement parts. We’re talking weeks of waiting.

I suppose things are further exasperated by the fact that they don’t have any backups. Oh, wait, did I just say that… sigh..

Anyway, onto brighter news…

I am fortunate to report that running a group like the one I have here has its perks. It allows me to spend the time on the things I enjoy, you know the fun stuff:  optimizing processes, implementing efficient controls — note the emphasis on efficient — and dabbling in the things I enjoy. Such an example can be found in my latest success.

It’s a new model I just put together to optimize the way we do CAD to GIS conversions. There is nothing really special about it other than it takes a 45 minute task and turns it into a 30 second process, other than that, nothing much more to it.

I am actually more frustrated at my predecessor for not implementing it than I am of my team for not doing it. But that’s a story for another day folks, this post is already too long and I’ll need another 3 posts just to begin to describe how irritated at how things have been done prior to my arrival.

Needless to say, I am just about done putting the final touches on the “How To” guide, you know, that’s where I articulate how to go about using it and what it does. But most of you should be able to read it easily, I do the initial conversion, apply my projection, add a couple of fields, calculate a couple of fields and done. It’s actually so simple it’s amusing and something that can be applied for other similar conversion processes.

Oh and another good note, I just got mail. And if you know me or ever been deployed you know how exciting that is. So on that note, until next time…

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