I was just reading about how Amazon’s massive outage in February 2017 was due to human error, specifically blamed on a “mistyped command.” If you haven’t read about the outage, you should check it out. I’m always simultaneously amazed and frightened at how much money is at stake during downtime, but a few other things struck me about this story as well.
First of all, I feel bad for the person that mistyped that command. Imagine how easy it is to make a simple error like this, and how many times we make little goofs at work. Then imagine what it must be like to be accountable for an error that led to very costly downtime as well as lots of bad press. That is definitely a tough position to be in.
I feel much the same way about doctors, police officers and many other job types in which simple mistakes can lead to massive consequences! I have so much respect for people who work under this level of stress.
My second observation is to ask how can mistyping a single command cause such a huge outage? That seems like a very precarious setup. I know I mistype all the time, but the worst ramification I face is getting made fun of around the office! In this case, millions of dollars were at stake. That’s a lot to have riding on single commands.
My last observation combines points one and two. Caution: This includes a shameless plug (but please look past that – it really is relevant)!
We have developed our port replication™ fiber patch panels due to very similar scenarios. A lot of data center managers were asking us for a solution to reduce errors when making changes in the Main Distribution Area (MDA, also known as a patching bay).
The solution we came up with is port replication. It eliminates the potential for human error on calculations that are required for standard patch panels. You can get all the details about port replication here.
The bottom line is why increase your risk for human error? You are best served by seeking strategies to decrease it any way you can. Port replication is a very simple means to accomplish this.
Josh Taylor is the director of CABLExpress product management, where he is responsible for all aspects of product design, support, market development, and inventory positions, including the high-performance fiber optic Skinny-Trunk® Solution.
He has published several white papers on topics including, Passive Optical Port Replication™ in the Data Center, Taking Your Network to 40/100G Ethernet, and Data Center Structured Cabling Guide.
In addition, he produces the informative Respect Layer One® video series.