Almost Implementing a Standard

Several of our suppliers claim to support standards, but in reality they support a subset of those standards under certain circumstances.

…which is another way of saying that they don’t really support them at all.
True, you get what you expect most of the time, but not quite always, and when you don’t it can be a problem.

Consider what would if other businesses worked that way. Imagine you regularly ordered a taxi, to take you to the airport or somewhere. And most time, a taxi turns up, where you want it, when you want it. But just occasionally, instead of a taxi, they send something else. Like a golden-feathered chicken, for example.

Not quite what you want when you have a plane to catch, and certainly not something you’d pay for.

When Disaster Recovery is a Disaster Waiting to Happen

We were ready for our Disaster Recovery exercise. The plan was simple: to fail-over to our DR site, and then to fail-back again.

But, during our last-minute safety checks, my colleague and I spotted a problem. We realised that, if we proceeded with the planned fail-over, there was a significant risk of data-loss.

Some of the team wanted to continue anyway. We were, after all, trying to simulate a real disaster situation. If a real disaster were to occur, they argued, we would have to deal with similar consequences.

Debating the merits of this position, I suggested that:

There is a difference between falling off a bridge and throwing yourself off. The first is an unfortunate accident, the second is downright recklessness.

In agreement, my colleague replied that:

Continuing with the exercise would be like throwing yourself off a bridge now just in case you fall off one later!

A deeper analysis of the risk suggested that, if we were careful, we could throw ourselves off this particular bridge safely. Although there was likely to be data loss, there was a manual process available that would recover the missing records.

So, off we jumped…