Re: eBay's hot potato toss with tail between legs

Koen Holtman (
Fri, 18 Jun 1999 19:50:38 +0200 (MET DST)

On Fri, 18 Jun 1999, Steve Dossick wrote:

> Last I checked, Oracle has (very expensive) redundancy software, so when
> one server goes kaput the other takes its place. They can do this with n
> servers, in a lineup (where n-1 are backups waiting to take over if the
> guy in front fails) or in combinations of active and backup servers, with
> either full redundancy or load spread across db's (kinda like raid).
> Yes, it's expensive. Yes, they'd need a whole extra dba or two. No
> excuse for a publicly traded company not to invest the $$ protecting their
> bread and butter...

Yes, I am aware of these server redundancy schemes. My point is that this
only protects against hardware errors and a limited class of software
errors. There are many classes of (appplication or system) software
errors that will corrupt *all* of your redundant databases, no matter how
many you have.

Of course, I don't know whether the error was a hardware or a software
one. But software is seldom bug-free, even if you do throw sufficient
amounts of money and competent management at it. I don't know if they
did, mind you, but there is at least a possibility that they are honest
victims of Murphy's law, rather than just cheap.