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Comment Re:It won't last (Score 2) 377

> You're lucky. I work in an IT-related position on a network that controls infrastructure.
> If it goes down, downtown might not have water...

Which is why regulated utilities were (and those that still exist, still are) required to file staffing analysis and plans with their regulators - because it has been known since at least the days of the construction of the Pyramids that it is not possible for human beings to work 8000 hours per year no matter how vital their contribution is, and it is the responsibility of the service provider to have reasonable staffing/coverage plans in place.

sPh

Comment Re:WHAT?! (Score 1) 377

=== Being on salary, which in most cases also means being "exempt", explicitly means you are NOT on the clock. It explicitly means that they are not required to pay you overtime.===

If we are speaking of the United States, that is true up to an undefined point revolving around the word "reasonable". An agreement to take an exempt position is not an agreement to perform work for the employer for 8,760 hours per year; employers have found themselves on the wrong end of a Dept of Labor lawsuit for believing that it is.

sPh

Comment Why would the feds object? (Score 1) 244

>> It is an utterly appalling invasion of privacy with immense potential for
>> manipulation and privacy theft that requires immediate federal intervention.'"

Why would the Federal Gov't intervene? Seems like a capability tailor-made for use in surveillance by three-letter agencies.

sPh

Comment Re:Depends on the people (Score 1) 185

===
If you have rushed, underqualified people do the maintenance, then sure, it decreases reliability. If you have careful, non-rushed and competent people doing it, I doubt very much that the same is true.
===

Go read some of the original references on Reliability Centered Maintenance, particularly the Nowlan & Heap report referenced upthread by multiple posters. Your basic assumption has been shown to be very often incorrect in practice.

sPh

Comment Re:Illuminating web page (Score 1) 185

Add some really heavy-duty math to that with "Mathematical Aspects of Reliability-Centered Maintenance" by H. L. Resnikoff ! Way over my head. But the basic idea is simple. In a reasonably well-designed system with reasonably reliable components, you have the least information about that which interests you the most: failure rates. Making standard probability-distribution failure analysis virtually impossible (even if one discards the questionable "everything has a bathtub failure distribution" assumption).

sPh

Comment Re:In between maybe? (Score 3, Informative) 185

===
Back in the early 90s, I inherited from a friend a fear of rebooting, turning off, or performing maintenance on a computer. Half the time he opened the case, the computer would become unbootable or never turn back on.
===

Neither you nor your friend are alone in thinking that:

AD-A066579, RELIABILITY-CENTERED MAINTENANCE, Nowlan & Heap, (DEC 1978) [this used to be available for download from the US Dept of Commerce web site; now appears to be behind a US government paywall (!)]

A more recent summary:

http://reliabilityweb.com/index.php/articles/maintenance_management_a_new_paradigm/

sPh

Comment Re:Maintenance and prevention are not always the s (Score 2) 185

===
No, it's not preventative. It does nothing to prevent the problem. It detects the problem earlier (before, say, a business user does). That's monitoring. It's proactive, not reactive - perhaps that's what you mean?
===

It is deeply unclear whether what is traditionally termed "preventative maintenance" (intrusive work involving disassembling, eyeballing, software probing, etc) actually improves reliability over conditioning monitoring tests followed by break-fix work as described by the parent post. More PM, more procedures, more teardowns, and so forth are the standard prescription for improving reliability but there is metric tons of evidence the universe just doesn't work that way.

sPh

Comment Reliability Centered Maintenance (Score 4, Interesting) 185

===
"Is preventive maintenance on data center equipment not really that preventive after all? With human error cited as a leading cause of downtime, a vigorous maintenance schedule can actually make a data center less reliable, according to some industry experts.'
===

It isn't just human error: the very act of performing intrusive tasks under the theory of "preventative maintenance" can greatly reduce reliability of systems built of reasonably reliable components. This was studied extensively by the US airlines, US FAA, and later the USAF in the 1970s when the concept of reliability centered maintenance was developed for turbine engines and eventually full airliners. Look up the classic report by Nowland & Heap. Very much counter-intuitive if one has been trained to believe in the classics of "preventative teardowns" and fully known failure probability distribution functions, but matches up well to what experience field mechanics have been saying since the days of the pyramid construction.

sPh

Of course, today there is a huge "RCM" consulting industry, 7-step programs, etc that bears little resemblance to the original research and theories; don't confuse that with the core work.

Comment Re:Only "troubled" if you're not Lockheed Martin (Score 1) 509

I should note too that if you read through the history of the National Bureau of Standards you will find that they started producing precision materials and electrical components in bulk quantities during WWI because no private manufacturer could meet the necessary standards, and actually kept a fairly substantial manufacturing operation through the missile age of the 1950s before finally turning it over the Air Force and various private industries.

sPh

Comment Re:Only "troubled" if you're not Lockheed Martin (Score 1) 509

> Heck, the Army never built and supplied the guns, Jeeps, etc
> that they utilized.

Ah, you might want to google "Rock Island Arsenal" and read up a bit on its history. That's just one among many. And while much of that work was contracted out, even in the early days (by which I mean starting with the Continental Congress), there was also the principle of doing much key work and some volume work in-house to maintain the knowledge that is crucial for successful outsourcing.

sPh

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