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"You are trapped in a maze of screens and ssh sessions all alike."
"It is dark, and you are likely to log off the wrong account."
The typical case of the loss of situational awareness is performing some critical operation on the wrong server. There are two useful rules here
Such commands as reboot or mkinitrd can be pretty devastating when applied to wrong server. This situation often is made more probable due to not fault-tolerant name scheme employed in many corporations where names of the servers differ by one symbol. For example, scheme serv01, serv02, serv03 and so on is a pretty dangerous name scheme as server names are different by only single digit and thus errors like working on the wrong server are much more probable.
The typical case of the loss of situational awareness is performing some critical operation on the wrong server. If you use Windows desktop to connect to Unix servers use MSVDM to create multiple desktop and change background for each to make the typing command in a wrong terminal window less likely
Even more complex scheme like Bsn01dls9, Nyc02sns10 were first three letter encode the location, then numeric suffix and then vendor of the hardware and OS installed are prone to such errors. My impression that unless first letters differ, there is a substantial chance of working on wrong server. Using favorite sport teams names is a better strategy and those "formal" name can be used as aliases.
The name might be very similar, for example XYZ300 instead of XYZ200 or functions are very similar (production and quality boxes). Some commands like reboot on a wrong box can be pretty damaging.
That's why it's important that shell prompt shows the name of the host. Often, if you both have production computer and quality server for some application is wise never have two terminals opened simultaneously as root. Either change one to a regular user or move it to a separate workspace. Closing and reopening when it needed is also not a big deal, but can save you from some very unpleasant situations.
For example here are some education examples of this situation (from IT Resource Center forums - greatest blunders)
When I was first starting out I worked for a Telecom as an 'Application Administrator' and I sat in a small room with a half a dozen other admins and together we took calls from users as their calls escalated up from tier I support. We were tier II in a three tier organization.
A month earlier someone from tier I confused a production server with a test server and rebooted it in the middle of the day. These servers were remotely connected over a large distance so it can be confusing. Care is needed before rebooting.
The tier I culprit took a great deal of abuse for this mistake and soon became a victim of several jokes. An outage had been caused in a high availability environment which meant management, interviews, reports; It went on and on and was pretty brutal.
And I was just as brutal as anyone.
Their entire organization soon became victimize by everyone from our organization. The abuse traveled right up the management tree and all participated.
It was hilarious, for us.
Until I did the same thing a month later.
There is nothing more humbling then 2000 people all knowing who you are for the wrong reason and I have never longed for anonymity more.
Now I alway do a 'uname' or 'hostname' before a reboot, even when I'm right in front of it.
Paula J Frazer-Campbell
I spent half a day trying to trace a fault on a machine -- could not find anyhthing wrong - stange!!!
Went back to start, to discover I was working on the wrong server.
We have two cdrom drive mounted side by side. Both are use by different server. In a mid of rush, I put in a CD in the wrong drive and try to mount that CD in another using "mount /dev/dsk/c1t2d0 /CDROM" and it keep saying "Device Busy".
PANIC!!! thinking my server have broken, I called HP for help, only to discover the CD is in the wrong drive....how embarrassing.!!
Paula J Frazer-Campbell
Two K class server side by side logged into backup server telnet to live to check a setting forgot to exit and wished to reboot backup :-
shutdown -r now
Many cries from outside of the server room as the live system with 650+ users trundled around on a 6 way 8 gig K class reboot - this is measuded in days not mins.
I had a HP Engineer on site to install a heap of hardware in a machine. I shutdown and halted the server, then proceeded to power off the entire cabinet. Pity I was 4 feet out and powered off production cabinet.
My excuse - damned lowsy power, we really should have a UPS :p
Oct 05, 2018 | www.reddit.com
I corrupted a 400TB data warehouse.
Took 6 days to restore from tape.
mcowger VCDX | DevOps Guy 8 points 9 points 10 points 5 years ago (0 children)Meh - happened a long time ago.invisibo DevOps 2 points 3 points 4 points 5 years ago (0 children)
Had a big Solaris box (E6900) running Oracle 10 for the DW. Was going to add some new LUNs to the box and also change some of the fiber pathing to go through a new set of faster switches. Had the MDS changes prebuilt, confirmed in with another admin, through change control, etc.
Did fabric A, which went through fine, and then did fabric B without pausing or checking that the new paths came up on side A before I knocked over side B (in violation of my own approved plan). For the briefest of instants, there were no paths to the devices and Oracle was configured in full async write mode :(. Instant corruption of the tables that were active. Tried to do use archivelogs to bring it back, but no dice (and this is before Flashbacks, etc). So we were hosed.
Had to have my DBA babysit the RMAN restore for the entire weekend :(. 1GBe links to backup infrastructure.
RCA resulted in MANY MANY changes to the design of that system, and me just barely keeping my job.You just made me say "holy shit! Out loud. You win.FooHentai 2 points 3 points 4 points 5 years ago (0 children)Ouch.vocatus NSA/DOD/USAR/USAP/AEXP [ S ] 1 point 2 points 3 points 5 years ago (0 children)
I dropped a 500Gb RAID set. There were 2 identical servers in the rack right next to each other. Both OpenFiler, both unlabeled. Didn't know about the other one and was told to 'wipe the OpenFiler'. Got a call half an hour later from a team wondering where all their test VMs had gone.I have to hear the story.
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