Mid-Day Fail-Over?


Readers will probably notice that I have already spent a few entries complaining about the general ineptitude and organizational malignancy at MIT IS (information services). Fear not, however, as MIT is far from the only organization that I can pick on. The following is an entry from the UIUC status page:

Web Services will conduct a campus web server
failover test today at noon. The following services will be
down during this time: www.uiuc.edu, Web Services
Toolbox, maps, and PH. The test should be completed by
12:20.

Who the heck schedules a failover test, especially one involving definite downtime, for a major website and important service in the middle of a weekday? I think a disclaimer is in order here. The http://www.uiuc.edu website is no longer run by or affiliated with the campus’ IT department (my former employer), CITES. At some point, it was decided that it would be run by the Office of Public Affairs (OPA). I mean, come on now, just look at how they run their own web site. This is the kind of crap that happens when you take critical IT infrastructure out of the hands of those most qualified and able to deal with it. There’s lots lots more to this story. Believe it or not, a noontime planned outage of the main campus website is actually one of the least severe indicators in recent history that the UIUC main campus website may be run by a bunch of people who don’t have a clue as to what they’re doing. I won’t go into some of the other clear indicators, but feel free to comment if you are more intimately familiar with the situation. The whole thing just seems ridiculous. It’s as if the campus web server went from running in a well controlled datacenter, managed by qualified systems administrators, to running under some secretary’s desk in an office somewhere.