Between now and the end of Passover, I’m sharing excerpts from my book “The Four Questions Every Monitoring Engineer is Asked“. It blends wisdom and themes from Passover with common questions (and their answers) heard when you are setting up and running monitoring and observability solutions.
“Then came the angel of death; who killed the butcher, who had slaughtered the ox, who had drank the water, who had quenched the fire…”
At the end of the night, after all the wine has been drunk and the last bit of matzah has been eaten; after ending the seder with the declaration of hope that we all meet l’shana haba’ah b’yerushalayim (“next year in Jerusalem,” or “in an age of universal peace and unity”); even as some of your guests dig in the closet for their coats to begin the long trek home, while others begin to clear dishes and look longingly toward their beds; there are still those who linger at the table and continue to share Passover ideas, whose themes carry far beyond this one holiday.
The instigator of this song is something small. Just a little goat purchased for a few coins. Immediately, there are unanticipated reactions to this seemingly trivial start: A predator comes and eats the goat, then a higher-order predator comes onto the scene. Then things take a metaphorical turn. It seems like there’s always another shoe to drop, or in this case, a stick to fall on the unsuspecting hindquarters of the dog. Only after events progress do we see how inextricably entwined everything is. And once the dominoes begin falling in earnest, when there’s no stopping them, only then is it clear that nothing short of a miracle can stop things from continuing to ever more tragic ends.
How many times in IT have we watched as small errors are ignored, and that things have to get worse before they can get better.
“It was only one firewall…”
“It was just a small application subroutine…”
“It was a tiny cabling error…”
In computing, it has never been truer: Everything in your environment, no matter how small, has the potential to affect—and be affected by—anything and everything else.