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Re: Yet another infrastructure problem

From: Andrew Sullivan <ajs(at)crankycanuck(dot)ca>
To: pgsql-www(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: Yet another infrastructure problem
Date: 2008-10-30 12:42:24
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Lists: pgsql-www
On Wed, Oct 29, 2008 at 09:15:20PM -0700, Joshua D. Drake wrote:
> And is actually a hardware issue that is being dealt with, not a software 
> one.

I fail totally to see how either that, or the OS in question, in any
way constitutes a premise against Greg's argument.  His argument is
just that there are a lot of services, and several of them appear, to
the uneducated eye, to be rather less reliable than one might hope.

He has proposed a way to help: increase diversity of the systems by
introducing another operating system and some additional hardware.
Apart from the duplication of services, such a diversity of code bases
adds robustness to a distributed system, because a code problem in one
system will not affect the other one.  (For instance, if it turns out
that jails have a bug in some release of FreeBSD, it's likely not to
be the same problem in xen running on Linux.)  As a side benefit, this
might lower the initial cost of volunteering for enough people that
there would be more volunteers.  (Just to prove I can argue both sides
of the fence, though: adding more sysadmins to a distributed system
often does not improve the reliability of the system.  The system
needs to be designed for many hands, and I don't know if this one is.)

Since I'm officially Not Volunteering to help with this, I don't have
a dog in the race.  But I don't think responding to Greg's sound
argument with red herrings is going to address his point.  "This is
what we picked; deal with it," is a pretty lame argument in the face
of public failures of the stuff one picked.


Andrew Sullivan
+1 503 667 4564 x104

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