Skip to main content


Showing posts from January, 2011

$100 million dollars per mile and no redundancy?

“Light-rail service throughout downtown Minneapolis was halted Thursday for about four hours because of a downed wire that powers the trains from overhead…”Apparently there is no redundancy. I’m not thinking about this because I care about the commuters who were stranded, but rather because of how it relates to network and server redundancy and availability. My group delivers state wide networking, firewalling, ERP and eLearning applications to a couple hundred thousand students and tens of thousands of employees.Availability is expensiveWe hear about it when our systems suckWe have no data that can tell us how much an outage costs. We are an .edu. Our students don’t switch vendors if they can’t access our systems for a few hours.In that environment, how do you make a cost vs. availability decision?Anecdote: Years ago (cira 2001) we found a carrier that would offer us OC-3 (150mbps) for what was essentially the same price as the incumbent telco (Qwest) would charge us for two T1’s (3m…