Redundancy

No, I haven’t been sacked – but I can think of someone who should be.

This week, while decommissioning an RM replica DC (which also functioned as a file server, along with about 155 other roles, as RM are fond of doing), I confirmed something I’d suspected for some time.

The RAID controller was not actually configured for RAID.

This entire time, the server has had no fault tolerance on any of its disks. Which is interesting, because when I started at the school, the backups were also not working properly. All of which is made worse by the fact that this server, when it was first installed, was the only server, and was therefore the Active Directory Forest Root.

With no fault tolerance.

Whoever set this up needs to be beaten to death with their own shoes.

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About The Angry Technician

The Angry Technician is an experienced IT professional in the UK education sector. Normally found in various states of annoyance on his blog. All views are those of his imaginary pet dog, Howard.

10 responses to “Redundancy”

  1. Mark Scholes says :

    In other news: RM Employees warned not to wear shoes

    • AngryTechnician says :

      Chances are the donkey responsible doesn’t even work there any more. I’m not sure what the staff turnover is like these days but I’m told there was a period when it was pretty high.

      • Andy says :

        Amazing – AT, you may not remember my very first post here but it was EXACTLY the same .. only our server died (Forest root) before I found out an ‘engineer’ had changed it from Raid 5 to 0.

        I was sort of annoyed and thought it would be a one off!

        Complain to RM and they’ll send you a large box of chocolates – because yes, that really smooths things over.

  2. Mark Scholes says :

    Dear RM, I inserted the chocolates into the server but it did not solve the problem, please return our money instead, and also pay out on that clause in the contract that said £1 million if you suck

  3. Gerard Sweeney says :

    RM are busy enough with GLOW nowadays (might not mean much to those outside of Scotland)…

  4. Mr M says :

    This is what happens when you do not assume that everyone and every IT business In the world except YOU is a complete idiot.

    The art is to ‘know deep down’ this is the case, yet somehow not give off that impression so as to look like an arrogant arse.

    Once mastered, this art will bring much zen to one’s life. Oh, and it will also mean you are more likely to discover problems before they happen…

  5. justintime says :

    it is easy to be a smart a** and judgmental after the fact…but ask a few your-highness-self a few questions:
    1. when was this done?
    2. was there even a budget for a raid at the time?
    3. was there ever a hardware or software failure since initial install that required emergency repairs with nothing at hand?
    4. perhaps mid stream the admin/tech was fired before having a chance to correct it?
    5. perhaps it was inherited? – you know how hard it is to down a server (ESPECIALLY AD controller) for something like a restore or clean re-install.

    6. since there was a high turnover of the staff ..maybe there were treated like shi* and could care less about ‘their’ servers.

    There are plenty of reasons to do ‘something wrong’ knowing that is it wrong :)

    • AngryTechnician says :

      I’m not sure you’ve quite grasped the theme of this blog. Here’s a hint: it’s not called “The Calm and Reasonable Technician”. Being angry and judgemental is what I do. And yes, it is actually very easy when you have this sort of source material to work with.

      It’s also easy to be a smart ass and judgemental when you have no idea of the actual facts, so here’s a quick run-down for your-highness-self:

      1. About 5 years ago, not that I see the relevance.

      2. The server has a RAID controller, and the drives were connected to the RAID controller, the array just hadn’t been built.

      3. I highly doubt it. The Windows install is the original install, and the disks are the ones that shipped with the server.

      4. RM provide a managed service for a hefty fee – if someone leaves or is fired, someone takes over. That’s how the contract works.

      5. It was a fresh install by RM, on a server supplied by RM. They can’t inherit a problem from themselves. Downing a DC to add redundancy is a lot damned easier than downing it for a restore from a non-existant backup when the disks die.

      6. Almost certainly true, but RM still charge a shedload of money for the service, so it’s still their problem.

      Yes, there are plenty of reasons to do ‘something wrong’ knowing that is it wrong. But managing a production PDC for 5 years for a paying client with no RAID or working backup isn’t just doing ‘something wrong’. It’s inexcusable. If you think it’s acceptable… well, I’m glad you don’t work for me. :)

  6. justintime says :

    @ “your-highness-self:”
    LOL well it feels nice to be amongst the royalty LOL…I think you took this comment little harder than intended.

    I have no idea…since, well…you did not provide any info other than 2 paragraphs above that read mostly as rants. I simply tried to show the other side of the coin. Many small orgs and biz have to run of aether budgets.
    1. relevance = budget/inventory at the time
    2. that is sad, lazy and inexcusable
    3. like I said …just showing the possibility
    4. no clue who or what an RM is (now I guess is it some service company)
    5. see #3 above
    6. treat your employees how you want them to threat your customers.(copyright reserved LOL)

    “…managing a production PDC for 5 years for a paying client with no RAID or working backup isn’t just doing ‘something wrong’. It’s inexcusable.”
    – AGREED
    “If you think it’s acceptable, you’re a crap sysadmin, and I’m glad you don’t work for me.”
    – I never said it was acceptable. No way I would downgrade to a sysadmin again…I am way too old for sleepless weekends and coffee-powered work days so chances are I would be hiring your services or working with you. No more sysadmin no more help desk…
    I guess it comes with age…
    All the best.

  7. Jon says :

    Interesting. I’ve found a lot of schools lately whose backups are not working. When I look, the ‘RM Server Backup’ has very few backup options, is not configured correctly and is basically rubbish. In the end I’ve just used ntbackup.