2008-04-05 23:27:56

Downtime communications database ...

Yet another little "somethin' somethin'" I've been putting together in my spare time is a downtimes communications database and web portal for declaring downtimes based on servers, clusters, regions, processes, etc. I know there's quite a few products out there already that can do this, but ... 'eh, this is what I do for fun.

The premise is pretty simple ... my company is all about data. It's a market research company, so if you don't have the data, you don't have a product to sell, in a nutshell. This means that any sort of downtimes impacting the availability of data access has to be minimized as much as possible.

The problem, of course, is the complex issue of data ownership. Who is responsible for what data, and needs to be informed of downtimes. By utilizing a communications manager, you can centralize the communications and focus them away from the engineers performing the work. A comms manager, however, doesn't necessarily have the information regarding data ownership for the impacted services. This situation is further exacerbated by phenomenal growth, introducing new data owners at a very high rate.

In this scenario, you need a normalized database with a high grade of referential integrity, linking servers, services, downtime coordinators, communication managers, clusters, regions, and so forth, together into an easy to manipulate fabric.

For this particular project, I chose fairly standard tools ... Python, MySQL and Apache. The Apache/Python interface allows you to select the type of downtime reports that you want to generate. At the moment, it prints out a simple HTML page with all of the requisite data owner and coordinator information, however, the next iteration of the project will include PDF files. The goal is to produce an output which can be attached to Change Management documentation, and included as part of the official change process.

I love this stuff!

Tags:   web, python     |    Perm Link:   Downtime communications database ...

James Conner