FYI Netflix is down

Leo Bicknell bicknell at
Mon Jul 2 16:09:09 UTC 2012

In a message written on Mon, Jul 02, 2012 at 11:30:06AM -0400, Todd Underwood wrote:
> from the perspective of people watching B-rate movies:  this was a
> failure to implement and test a reliable system for streaming those
> movies in the face of a power outage at one facility.

I want to emphasize _and test_.

Work on an infrastructure which is redundant and designed to provide
"100% uptime" (which is impossible, but that's another story) means
that there should be confidence in a failure being automatically
worked around, detected, and reported.

I used to work with a guy who had a simple test for these things,
and if I was a VP at Amazon, Netflix, or any other large company I
would do the same.  About once a month he would walk out on the
floor of the data center and break something.  Pull out an ethernet.
Unplug a server.  Flip a breaker.

Then he would wait, to see how long before a technician came to fix

If these activities were service impacting to customers the engineering
or implementation was faulty, and remediation was performed.  Assuming
they acted as designed and the customers saw no faults the team was
graded on how quickly the detected and corrected the outage.

I've seen too many companies who's "test" is planned months in advance,
and who exclude the parts they think aren't up to scratch from the test.
Then an event occurs, and they fail, and take down customers.

TL;DR If you're not confident your operation could withstand someone
walking into your data center and randomly doing something, you are
NOT redundant.

       Leo Bicknell - bicknell at - CCIE 3440
        PGP keys at
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