Friday, September 15, 2006

Patching: The Reboot problem

Just a quick follow-up to Susan's post concerning the reboot problem... So yes, this whole failure to reboot post-patching problem has become a real source of irritation for us. I too developed a renewed acquaintance with "shutdown -r -t 0 -m \\server"... going so far as deploying a VBS script on customer servers so that any of my technicians can type "reboot servername" in a pinch... the reason for scripting it by the way, was that someone shutdown a customer's server after-hours instead of rebooting - that and, when you're rushing around trying to get the thing to restart before the networking stack stops responding, it helps to not have to reacquaint yourself with the command.

But this isn't a solution. And I agree that it points to a larger problem.

I really like the HP ILO cards, and Dell DRAC cards. In fact, it's getting to the point where we'll have to require new servers to have some type of ILO/DRAC solution integrated in order to support customers under certain contracts. And you how that conversation will go... why should the customer pay more because patching is a pain point for us? So we're starting to address this on the front-side with an internal QA procedure for testing, documentation, and knowledge capture - along with a web-based tool developed in-house for knowledge transfer and collaboration. It's a step in the right direction for us, but it doesn't get at the root of the problem.

Expect more to follow.

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