The Best Laid Plans…

I try to get ahead of my day by listing everything I know I need to do in Todoist the evening before. I review it, and then arrange it in the order that I think it needs to be done. I made my list last night. There were 12 things on it:

  • Run test import of data for WO CAP
  • Import data into WO CAP production
  • Revise wish list for CAP release 2 based on feedback
  • Check on enabling CAP through AirWatch
  • Prepare for White Pages meeting
  • Develop initial DFD for White Pages
  • Verify that a database view is pointing to a particular database server
  • Re-test “Follow-You” printing
  • Investigate an issue with Change Management
  • Daily 15 meeting
  • Space management meeting
  • Data migration meeting

The first two things on the list were fairly urgent. I had good reasons for trying to get them done before 8 am. It would probably take about 90 minutes to get through both of them.

A bunch of servers were patched last night, and when I woke up this morning, I had a message telling me that one of the applications that I am responsible for was having a problem after the patching. So much for my well-organized day.

I got into the office just after 6 am (driving through a light snow, which itself was strange, given the weather we’ve been having lately), and proceeded to investigate the problem. It was an odd one, one I couldn’t explain, and I had a hunch that rebooting the server would clear it up. My hunches, in this respect, are very good. So I went into the server and rebooted it. I pulled up a terminal window and pinged the server so I could see when it was back online.

Any system or network admins among my readers will know well the feeling I had a few minutes later when the server had still not come back to life. I waited, and watched the packet: 100 packets, 200 packets… 600 packets. Ten minutes and the server was still down. A little voice in my head began to wonder: Did I reboot the server, or did I accidentally shut it down?

Prior to rebooting the server, only one service was failing. All of the other services related to this particular application were functioning normally. But because I decided to reboot the server, all the services were now down.

I made the decision to page a system administrator in order to get the server up and running again. If I had accidentally shut it down, I had no way of starting up myself. I waited miserably, wondering how my day had spiraled out of control so quickly. I began notifying people that we had a problem.

Twenty minutes later, I got a call. “Are you sure you want me to page a system administrator,” the caller asked, “I can ping the server.”

And so could I. It turned out I had in fact rebooted the server. It just took an unusually long time for it to come back to life. But come back to life it did. My hunch proved true. When the server came back on-line, all services were functioning normally.

So relieved was I that this unexpected problem only managed to consume the first 90 minutes of my day, that I actually felt elated. There is no way that I will have my first two tasks completed by 8 am, but I’ll get them completed by 9 am, which is much better than things were looking a little while ago.

Such are the best laid plans of mice and men…