Does your highly available solution depend on a bit of rusty kit?

I heard second ( or third hand) about a customer involved in distribution who found a little problem with his highly available system.

They had great software that made sure that avocados and aubergines can be sent to Arundel; Blackberries and Blackcurrants sent to Blackpool, and chives and chickory sent to Chichester.  The software would give instructions to the packers where to store the vegetables, and which order to put the trolleys into the container, so when the container was delivered the right goods were in the right place in the container.   This made unloading very efficient.    Things happened automatically, or instructions were sent to tablets telling people what to do.   There was almost no paper involved in the distribution.

Paper was used by the drivers, who would come to the shed to get instructions as to which container to collect, and told where to go, so the the delivery did not go from Arundel to Chichester by way of Blackpool.   The teeny weeny problem they had was when the printer got old and finally stopped working.  They could not print out the drivers instructions, and so the drivers did not know where to go to.   They could not route the printing to another printer as other printers were not configured to CICS.  As a result they had a day when they could not deliver the containers, and their perishable contents had to be thrown away.


So remember the end to end solution is truly end to end ….  not just the walls of your machine room.


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