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Chapter 2. Climb Out of the Hole > Conclusion - Pg. 36

36 Chapter 2 Climb Out of the Hole server, maybe two. When more servers are installed, the room is warm, but the building cooling seems sufficient. Nobody notices that the building's cooling isn't on during the weekend and that by Sunday, the room is very hot. A long weekend comes along, and your holiday is ruined when all your servers have overheated on Monday. In the United States, the start of summer unofficially begins with the three-day Memorial Day weekend at the end of May. Because it is a long weekend and often the first hot weekend of the year means, that is often when people realize that their cooling isn't sufficient. If you have a failure on this weekend, your entire summer is going to be bad. Be smart; check all cooling systems in April. For about $400 or less, you can install a portable cooler that will cool a small computer closet and exhaust the heat into the space above the ceiling or out a window. This fine temporary solution is inexpensive enough that it does not require management approval. For larger spaces, renting a 5- or 10-ton cooler is a fast solution. 2.1.5.6 Implement Simple Monitoring Although we'd prefer to have a pervasive monitoring system with many bells and whistles, a lot can be gained by having one that pings key servers and alerts people of a problem via email. Some customers have the impression that servers tend to crash on Monday morning. The reality is that without monitoring, crashed machines accumulate all weekend and are discovered on Monday morning. With some simple monitoring, a weekend crash can be fixed before people arrive Monday. (If nobody hears a tree fall in the forest, it doesn't matter whether it made a noise.) Not that a monitoring system should be used to hide outages that happen over the weekend; always send out email announcing that the problem was fixed. It's good PR. 2.2 Conclusion The remainder of this book focuses on more lofty and idealistic goals for an SA organization. This chapter looked at some high-impact changes that a site can make if it is drowning in problems. First, we dealt with managing requests from customers. Customers are the people we serve: often referred to as users. Using a trouble-ticket system to manage requests means that the SAs spend less time tracking the requests and gives customers a better sense of the status of their requests. A trouble-ticket system improves SAs ability to have good follow-through on users' requests.