PermaLink More fixing of servers08/31/2008
Just when I thought I didn't have to fool with the Domino server, I was wrong.

After staying up late watching hurricane coverage, I came down today to the sound of clacking from the server. It had been down all day,, and Nora had restarted it several times to no good end. Apparently the 120Gb Western Digital SATA boot drive had failed. No big deal in terms of potential data loss, because Domino is installed on a set of mirrored PATA drives (old habit, one I strongly recommend -- never install Domino on the same drive as Windows). However, I did have to scout out another drive and install Windows 2003 on it. Chalk off another evening wasted, though for some reason, this install was a lot less of a pain in the ass than the reinstall the other night.

Once Windows was set, I reinstalled the mirrored drives carrying Domino and all the data and blogs and mail, and a quick reinstall of 8.5b1 and the system was back up and running with absolutely no swearing and throwing of objects required.

I do wish Windows Server had something as slick as Time Machine on it. Just point your system toward a good network drive on the Airport Extreme and it'll clone your machine to it. Unfortunately, even backups of Windows suck, because to restore them, you end up having to nearly completely reinstall Windows in order to restore your backup, and then, of course, there are files that are in use and you can't overwrite them with the known good ones.

My solution so far has been to set up local replicas of all critical Domino databases and let the Apples rep them, and then back the Apples up to the Airport network drives. So, no significant data loss during these last couple of annoying failures. Still, a pain in the ass.

Keep your eyes open during the next five or six days, because I think you will be astonished at how far social media has progressed in its ability to help people deal with natural disasters. in 2005, Twitter hadn't evolved, and FaceBook and MySpace weren't up to the task, so Craig's List ended up being the hero of the piece. This year, though, I think the ability of people to report their locations and experiences in 140-byte chunks via Twitter and other microblogging tools is going to change the game. Everyone from the New Orleans Times-Picayune to NOAA to Barack Obama is on Twitter now, and if you can't find eighteen different ways to keep track of the events and situations, you aren't trying. I'm already surprised at the appearance of video and images of the damage to Cuba and the Caymans on Flickr and YouTube. I didn't even think they had internet access in Cuba, or if they did, it'd be on Mosaic 0.8b or something.

This is an interesting time to live.

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1. Turtle09/02/2008 09:50:03 AM

Yeah, but it was late, I was annoyed, and just wanted to get the thing up and running so Nora could get her email. I'll be re-rigging the server later this month, probably. This machine is about double the speed of the old one, and has 1gb RAM instead of buggy 512 like in the old one, but I should plan on putting another gig in it to run VMWare.

2. chuck dean09/01/2008 05:34:27 PM

Have you thought about downloading the free VMWare ESXi server running it on your hardware and then run Windows 2003 in a VM... then you can back up the VM as a file and restore it.... or create a W2K3 template to clone a new system from.

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