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Scalable Internet Architectures by Theo Schlossnagle

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Chapter 2. Principles for Avoiding Failure

Avoiding failure is a goal shared by every operations, business, and development team. Although I am more of a manager and software engineer now, my roots are in systems administration. During the dot-com bubble, I managed the systems and network administration for several large dot com infrastructures.

I may be biased (though I think I’m right) in saying that avoiding failure is more fundamental to systems administrators than many other disciplines. Why is this so? Because systems administrators are the ones awake at 3 a.m. when disaster strikes and who spend the next 36 consecutive bleary-eyed hours trying to fix the problem.

People on the business side want things desperately, but the want is incomplete ...

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