Keith Combs' Blahg

Ramblings from another nerd on the grid

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Karma

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Experience teaches us a lot.  You tend to get a sixth sense about certain situations.  I started to feel the bad karma about ITPROADD-62.  It’s a massive SQL Server session where we show how to build a clustered SQL Server environment inside Virtual Server VM’s.

It all started when I realized the session never shipped to anyone… interesting.  I requested the disks, but of course I wouldn’t be able to look at the session until I get off the road last Friday.  You know how Friday’s are, you’re lucky to get anything accomplished.  I did however manage to unpack all of the images to an external drive.  22gig worth of VM’s. 

As usual, work is eating into another weekend.  I think that has happened far too often the past nine months.  Guess what?  I’m getting ready to go dark on the weekends.

During the Virtual Server R2 setup for the VM’s I notice we are using shared SCSI bus devices.  They are required but this also means you cannot use UNDO disks.  So I know I need to make another copy of the 22gig.  I copy to another external drive.  My test runs work fine but I offer some feedback about the session, length, speaking points, etc.  Mr. Baker disagrees with some of my assertions.  More karma.

So I go to copy my master Vm’s from the repository drive to the demo drive.  The repository drive fails after a couple of attempts.  This happens about 15 minutes before webcast number one today…  Karma

Fortunately, I have three machines running at the time, so while I am delivering a webcast on SMS troubleshooting, I am also feeding another machine the DVD set again, and unpacking the VM’s to a personal drive.  That goes well.  Good Karma?

During the 30 minute break between the two webcasts, I start the copy of the freshly minted VM’s from my personal drive to the demo drive and head to the bathroom for a quick shower.  I come back and observe the copy is progressing nicely and will finish in time for pre-webcast share testing.  More good Karma?

No way man…

So I start things off and am feeling pretty proud of myself for pulling the rabbit out of the hat.  I get through demo one and start into demo number 2.  At this point we’re configuring the first node of the cluster and I notice the wizard doesn’t create the quorum disk correctly.  I think this is odd because it has worked perfectly on the three practice runs I did. 

ALERT ALERT

My sixth sense is going wild.  The giant mushroom cloud forms over my house in Texas.

So I continue and start setting up node number 2.  I configure the wizard settings and click NEXT to start the real work.  Nothing.  Nada.  My machine locks tight.  So tight in fact, the only recovery is what I like to call the “disruptive OS failure”.  Or, more commonly referred to as a hard power off and back on.  

BAD KARMA.  EVIL KARMA.  SUCKY KARMA.  POOCHEE KARMA.

So I login real quick on another machine and start driving the slides while I make a feeble attempt to reboot, restart virtual server, start the VM’s and see if they are in a state that will allow is to move forward…  You can guess the rest.

So after four years of doing this job, and never having had to cancel or interrupt an event due to a software or hardware failure, the ITPRO Murphy’s Law Bad Karma Genie finally caught the kid.

<From the imortal words of Khan>

               No... You can't get away... From
               hell's heart I stab at thee...
                       (amid the pain)
               For hate's sake... I spit my last
               breath at thee!
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  • Yikes.  Well, could be worse... or, maybe not.  You use alot more VM's than I do but of all the ones's I've used, I only did undo disks on 2 and both of them had a habbit of crashing often and hard (one time taking my work PC with it along with 1 disk of my raid).  Coincidence?

  • Ouch! Good luck man!

  • Some days your the dog...Some days your the hydrant. Maybe it just wasn't your day to be the dog. :)