Saturday 25 September 2010

Distractions Can Be Costly

This post is born out of a bit of frustration . . . but in a good way.

There is a very good reason why we build comprehensive checklists and make sure that we are documenting our progress through any of the procedures from setting up an SBS 2008 or SBS v7 box to building a very complicated Hyper-V cluster.

There are times where total silence, meaning no music, no talking or conversations, or any other forms of distractions are an absolute must.

Today, while running through the set up of a new cluster there were a number of distractions that jumped in within minutes of each other.

The last step accomplished on node 1 of the soon to be 3 node cluster was to set the IP addresses for the various NIC team VLANs with the following step being the setting of the DNS server for each VLAN.

The error made by me was to be running through the steps following our internal cluster set up guide making notes on its structure and such but not actually _checking off each step_ being done.

The phone rang and it was Monique. Then someone had dropped by seeing that the big door was open a bit to allow cool air into the shop. So, after they were dealt with the following looked just fine:


That is the default teamed VLAN structure on the node with the blanked IP being our own subnet.

Well, the final step once all of the IP addresses are set into each VLAN is to IPConfig /RegisterDNS to clean out all of the DHCP delivered IP addresses in DNS.

In our SBS v7 DNS the Heartbeat subnet IP showed up but the IP for our own subnet did not for the Management VLAN.

In the end it took about half an hour or more to realize that the step that was missed was to set the DNS server IP address for the Management VLAN.

The cost was my own assumption that the DNS server IPs were set in the first place . . . instead of putting that checkmark at each completed step as I should.

I am the primary reason that checklists have become an important aspect of how we do business and how we build IT solutions.

All it takes is one skipped step to bring things to a screeching halt or crashing down on a production network!

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

Windows Live Writer

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