Tuesday, December 06, 2011


I was intrigued by the idea of failover clusters in SQL Server 2008. If one node fails, the SQL Server will failover to the next node in the priority queue, and the end user doesn't even notice the change, maybe a small blip for few seconds. The ability to maintain robust state of the system for continuous good quality service is what has been the main objective of database servers, as has been for any and every other system ever made.
At an individual level, I feel the idea of failover can make a BIG difference in one's life. What confused me as a kid now makes sense. I used to wonder as to why people involve themselves in so many activities. They have their job, then their hobbies, then maybe some social activities as well, along with spending time with their friends and family. The way I see it, each of these activities is like a node in the failover cluster. The primary node is the job; if one has a bad day at job, then one can rejuvenate by falling back on the other nodes, hobbies, other activities, friends/family. You may think, if the second node also fails then one will fall back on the third node, and so on, hence the more nodes, the merrier!

Time, has always been a constraint so there's always a limit to the number of 'nodes' one can have in one's life. In fact, these nodes in our lives that help us failover is created in reverse order. First, we have a family, then we learn to make friends. After that we start a hobby and involve ourselves in some social activities by contributing whatever we can, as a kid. Then we start doing some part-time job or internship, and after graduation, we get a bigger/better job. After this, job becomes the main node and we fall back on things, generally in the reverse order, although for many people, friends and family are more reliable as failover node than their hobbies but the reason I keep friends/family as last option because I know that in each of our lives, even if everything else leaves us, they will always be there.

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