The DW satellite is down

Last Friday MK-check sent alarms about the Data Warehouse satellite in Japan,  
indicating the server was down or not contactable. The most likely cause was problems with the communications after all the server is on the other side of the globe. We decided to wait over the weekend and see if the communication is reestablished. And sure enough late that evening we got a reassuring mail telling all was well.
Since it was weekend and the replication process is self healing we didn’t have to do anything, if anything was wrong in the database it would be corrected the day after by the next replication cycle. That’s the way I like to build processes, no manual monitoring or intervention needed, computers should be able to fix operational problems themselves.

This satellite ‘server’ is a tiny  Dell Optiplex 790 with an Intel I3 processor 4GB RAM and  two 1TB SATA disks, costed less than 800€.
We installed the satellite server as temporary cache 2012 to overcome the slow communication line between the HQ and the Osaka plant. I figured if it lasts a year it would  be good enough, (the network guys were just about to crank up the bandwidth). Now into the 4th year of continuous operation the computer is alive and kicking well, serving the factory guys with local response times for the cost of the electricity to run the computer. I have not seen similar features in any other Business Intelligence system. No matter how fast your high cost super duper central BI system is, you will not beat this tiny satellite at the remote branch office, noway.

Sometimes when I brag about the Data Warehouse, people tell me ‘Don’t be ridiculous you can’t be better than IBM, Oracle, SAP, Microsoft and the others’. It is very hard to prove I’m better than the competition, luckily for me, I do not need to do that, the Data Warehouse is there kicking ass with the competition. Normally I do not make a lot of fuss about myself, but sometimes it’s hard to be humble, I’m better than the big guys. That doesn’t mean I disrespect the others, far from it I have a lot of respect for what they have done, but someone has to be best, it’s simple as that. It’s not always about being smarter and having more resources, sometimes it is about having the simpler concept and execute it well.     

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