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Release It! by Michael T. Nygard

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Chapter 2Case Study: The Exception That Grounded An Airline

Have you ever noticed that the incidents that blow up into the biggest issues start with something very small? A tiny programming error starts the snowball rolling downhill. As it gains momentum, the scale of the problem keeps getting bigger and bigger. A major airline experienced just such an incident. It eventually stranded thousands of passengers and cost the company hundreds of thousands of dollars. Here’s how it happened.

It started with a planned failover on the database cluster that served the Core Facilities (CF).[9] The airline was moving toward a service-oriented architecture, with the usual goals of increasing reuse, decreasing development time, and decreasing operational ...

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