Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Site outages are like roller coaster outages

I was just at CedarPoint and a few of the coasters had some outages. The Dragster was out of commission for 30 minutes while I waited for front seat (could have gotten in the middle, but who does that). The Millenium shutdown for the whole day (I was in line for about an hour, it shut down, I waited 45 minutes and then exited the line). The Maverick ran empty test cars while I was in line for about 10 minutes, then went back on. The Windseeker was down all day because it was too windy (ironic).

As I waited in these lines, I was reminded how similar the outages are to web site outages for customers. There was terrible communication, the rides were in strange states (the Millenium car was stuck on the incline for about 25 minutes, then they pushed it over), and all the other people waiting in line were speculating on the problem thinking the worst.

Only difference in the outages between a site and a coaster is that those waiting in line can observe the actual failure happening to someone else (the stuck cars). The socialization was the same as if people were using Twitter to complain. We could see the technicians working, which is a bit different, you never get a live webcast of the developers and engineers on the technical teams for a site working to resolve the problem (that would be cool though, expose the conference line to customers and give video of the WAR room).

No additional thought, just that. Oh yeah, I had a great time.

No comments:

Share on Twitter