Memory-Lane Monday: So much savings!

Remember when somebody said this was a bad idea?

Computerworld  |  Shark Tank
Computerworld / IDG

VP of development has a brainstorm for saving $40,000 a year: just move a production system to a development machine, reports a pilot fish on the scene.

Says fish: “I immediately contacted the database administrator and told him this was a very bad idea. The DBA said, ‘Of course, I know this! I told the VP we shouldn’t do it. But orders are orders.’”

So the DBA moves the production system for one of the company’s biggest clients onto the development server, and everything runs smoothly.

For about two weeks.

“Then,” says fish, “one of the developers wrote an application that spawned database jobs, in order to break up a large body of work into smaller chunks. But there was a small bug in his application, and when he launched it on the development server, it immediately ran a number of jobs, each of which in turn launched more jobs, until there were thousands of jobs running simultaneously.

“In a matter of minutes, the development server crashed. Which also crashed the production server, since it was running on the same physical machine.

“Our customer lost access to their production database for about an hour, until we could stop the machine and halt the geometric progression of jobs.

“The next day, the VP instructed the DBA to move the production database back onto its own machine.”

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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