What Does Calling an Application Mission Critical Mean


  • Service Provider

    People like to use terms like this, often while doing things that we would normally consider to be extremely risky and bad practice.

    • The more important a system is, the more important following best practices is. Mission critical doesn't make something an exception to the rules, it makes the rules even more important.
    • The more important a system is, the more important regular patching and maintenance are.
    • The more important a system is, the more important that weekly or monthly reboots happen. Systems making millions a minute always have regular reboots.
    • Avoiding planned downtime is planning for unplanned downtime.
    • If an application is mission critical, then the platform on which it runs must be able to be brought down for maintenance trivially. The more important the workload is, the less dependency you can have on the OS, hypervisor, storage, server chassis, etc. * * Trivial workloads can go offline because of a chassis failure, mission critical ones need to be transparent to that level of failure.

  • Service Provider

    Since @Tim_G and I were involved in a discussion with a guy today calling systems we'd considered "silly, unimportant systems" from how they were treated, I figured a little list would make sense.



  • @scottalanmiller I completely disagree with everything you say, ever and always.

    ;-)



  • Mission critical systems shouldn't be stuck to a single piece of hardware. They have to be able to be fluid, and ran where-ever whenever.

    But never should they never be brought down. That is an issue in and of it's self, built up from fear that if it goes down it will not come back up.



  • Mission Critical Application = Company literally making money while running, company literally losing money while down.

    Imo anyways.



  • @scottalanmiller said in What Does Calling an Application Mission Critical Mean:

    Since @Tim_G and I were involved in a discussion with a guy today calling systems we'd considered "silly, unimportant systems" from how they were treated, I figured a little list would make sense.

    I understand what you are saying when you tell someone this, but normally it just comes off as snobbish and arrogant.

    Instead, why not simply explain why their system is less than normal availability, possibly offer a way to get it to normal, and then if asked, provide how they can get it to HA?



  • @Tim_G said in What Does Calling an Application Mission Critical Mean:

    Mission Critical Application = Company literally making money while running, company literally losing money while down.

    Imo anyways.

    No such application should exist in the world today, besides the stock market. . .



  • @Dashrender said in What Does Calling an Application Mission Critical Mean:

    @scottalanmiller said in What Does Calling an Application Mission Critical Mean:

    Since @Tim_G and I were involved in a discussion with a guy today calling systems we'd considered "silly, unimportant systems" from how they were treated, I figured a little list would make sense.

    I understand what you are saying when you tell someone this, but normally it just comes off as snobbish and arrogant.

    Instead, why not simply explain why their system is less than normal availability, possibly offer a way to get it to normal, and then if asked, provide how they can get it to HA?

    People never want to be questioned, it's the same issue @frodooftheshire is having on that topic about the laptops there. They just get defensive when asked questions. Usually with nothing to backup their stance or rational for being defensive.



  • @DustinB3403 said in What Does Calling an Application Mission Critical Mean:

    @Tim_G said in What Does Calling an Application Mission Critical Mean:

    Mission Critical Application = Company literally making money while running, company literally losing money while down.

    Imo anyways.

    No such application should exist in the world today, besides the stock market. . .

    Say what? Really? not one?


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said in What Does Calling an Application Mission Critical Mean:

    @scottalanmiller said in What Does Calling an Application Mission Critical Mean:

    Since @Tim_G and I were involved in a discussion with a guy today calling systems we'd considered "silly, unimportant systems" from how they were treated, I figured a little list would make sense.

    I understand what you are saying when you tell someone this, but normally it just comes off as snobbish and arrogant.

    Instead, why not simply explain why their system is less than normal availability, possibly offer a way to get it to normal, and then if asked, provide how they can get it to HA?

    Because someone who feels that "good IT" is snobbish and arrogant isn't likely going to understand "availability". As we've shown in that thread already. It's not that it is arrogant, it's that it feels that way to someone who is doing things that badly.

    The actual issue is that the OP in question was actually being snobbish and arrogant, trying to claim that their system was so important that they couldn't follow the normal good advice that we give. It's only then sounds arrogant to point out that this can't be true because he revealed that they had attempting to inflate their self importance and actually looked silly.



  • @DustinB3403 said in What Does Calling an Application Mission Critical Mean:

    @Tim_G said in What Does Calling an Application Mission Critical Mean:

    Mission Critical Application = Company literally making money while running, company literally losing money while down.

    Imo anyways.

    No such application should exist in the world today, besides the stock market. . .

    It doesn't have to be directly related... it can have an indirect effect on monetary loss or gain.



  • @Dashrender said in What Does Calling an Application Mission Critical Mean:

    @DustinB3403 said in What Does Calling an Application Mission Critical Mean:

    @Tim_G said in What Does Calling an Application Mission Critical Mean:

    Mission Critical Application = Company literally making money while running, company literally losing money while down.

    Imo anyways.

    No such application should exist in the world today, besides the stock market. . .

    Say what? Really? not one?

    Application (software) yes. No software developed within the past few years should be less then "normal availability" by design.


  • Service Provider

    @DustinB3403 said in What Does Calling an Application Mission Critical Mean:

    @Dashrender said in What Does Calling an Application Mission Critical Mean:

    @DustinB3403 said in What Does Calling an Application Mission Critical Mean:

    @Tim_G said in What Does Calling an Application Mission Critical Mean:

    Mission Critical Application = Company literally making money while running, company literally losing money while down.

    Imo anyways.

    No such application should exist in the world today, besides the stock market. . .

    Say what? Really? not one?

    Application (software) yes. No software developed within the past few years should be less then "normal availability" by design.

    Software is not really designed for uptime much at all. Mostly that comes from other components, the IT side, not the SE side.



  • @scottalanmiller said in What Does Calling an Application Mission Critical Mean:

    @Dashrender said in What Does Calling an Application Mission Critical Mean:

    @scottalanmiller said in What Does Calling an Application Mission Critical Mean:

    Since @Tim_G and I were involved in a discussion with a guy today calling systems we'd considered "silly, unimportant systems" from how they were treated, I figured a little list would make sense.

    I understand what you are saying when you tell someone this, but normally it just comes off as snobbish and arrogant.

    Instead, why not simply explain why their system is less than normal availability, possibly offer a way to get it to normal, and then if asked, provide how they can get it to HA?

    Because someone who feels that "good IT" is snobbish and arrogant isn't likely going to understand "availability". As we've shown in that thread already. It's not that it is arrogant, it's that it feels that way to someone who is doing things that badly.

    The actual issue is that the OP in question was actually being snobbish and arrogant, trying to claim that their system was so important that they couldn't follow the normal good advice that we give. It's only then sounds arrogant to point out that this can't be true because he revealed that they had attempting to inflate their self importance and actually looked silly.

    If you open the statement after someone posts about their setup with - huh, that's less than the home line, then you are snobbish and arrogant.
    Of course I haven't read the post, so I don't know how you opened it.



  • @DustinB3403 Excuse me?


  • Service Provider

    Take a hello world example. You can whip this off in a "never fails, zero bugs" SE mode in a few minutes. It's flawless, it always works.

    Now make that work in an HA mode with zero downtime... and it all falls on IT, not the coders.


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said in What Does Calling an Application Mission Critical Mean:

    @scottalanmiller said in What Does Calling an Application Mission Critical Mean:

    @Dashrender said in What Does Calling an Application Mission Critical Mean:

    @scottalanmiller said in What Does Calling an Application Mission Critical Mean:

    Since @Tim_G and I were involved in a discussion with a guy today calling systems we'd considered "silly, unimportant systems" from how they were treated, I figured a little list would make sense.

    I understand what you are saying when you tell someone this, but normally it just comes off as snobbish and arrogant.

    Instead, why not simply explain why their system is less than normal availability, possibly offer a way to get it to normal, and then if asked, provide how they can get it to HA?

    Because someone who feels that "good IT" is snobbish and arrogant isn't likely going to understand "availability". As we've shown in that thread already. It's not that it is arrogant, it's that it feels that way to someone who is doing things that badly.

    The actual issue is that the OP in question was actually being snobbish and arrogant, trying to claim that their system was so important that they couldn't follow the normal good advice that we give. It's only then sounds arrogant to point out that this can't be true because he revealed that they had attempting to inflate their self importance and actually looked silly.

    If you open the statement after someone posts about their setup with - huh, that's less than the home line, then you are snobbish and arrogant.
    Of course I haven't read the post, so I don't know how you opened it.

    I don't agree. Saying that something below the home line is mission critical is snobbish and arrogant. Pointing out how it is being treated can only seem arrogant if you are bringing emotional baggage to the table. Otherwise, it's just simple analysis and has no artefacts of arrogance. In most cases, workloads are supposed to be where they are. There is no arrogance in honesty.



  • @frodooftheshire said in What Does Calling an Application Mission Critical Mean:

    @DustinB3403 Excuse me?

    Nothing to be excused for. You can not join in on the conversation. But you are clearly trying to defend a stance, without supporting evidence of your stance.


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said in What Does Calling an Application Mission Critical Mean:

    Of course I haven't read the post, so I don't know how you opened it.

    The opening was that he claimed his system, which was not patched or maintained, was "mission critical and could have no downtime." That's a conflicting statement. If it could not go down, then it needed to be patched and it needs systems that allow it to be patched without taking the application down.

    So no matter what, the opening was arrogant and came across as self righteous - the "my workload is so important that it is more important than all of the rest of IT's workloads and the rules of IT don't apply to us." He led by making claims of superiority and tying it to the excuse of "Being special."



  • @DustinB3403 What stance am I defending? That maybe some people prefer different operating systems because the tools they need to use are easily accessible? You were the one who claimed I was wrong without providing any source of proof. Go to NAB - see how many of them are running Ubuntu or Mint. Talk to people who work in post production. Go on the video editing forums. I've been part of providing production/post production work flows - from the black magic design video mixers to the servers running the batch video transcoding.


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said in What Does Calling an Application Mission Critical Mean:

    If you open the statement after someone posts about their setup with - huh, that's less than the home line, then you are snobbish and arrogant.
    Of course I haven't read the post, so I don't know how you opened it.

    Another way to think of it is that their embarrassment is not a result of my arrogance.

    They had emotional baggage because their scenario was, honestly, embarrassing. Instead of embracing that, they tried to raise the stakes by trying to sound extra important rather than just admitting failure and mistakes. Saying something needs to be mission critical but they screwed something up is one thing and results in direct help. Saying something needs to be mission critical and using that to excuse treating it exactly the opposite... well the only useful help there is helping them to determine if they understand the terms that they are using. Since their words and actions are in conflict, we have to help them work through determining what is "true". And in this case, it does not appear to be just the IT guy, but the company itself. The company seems to put no priority on the application and/or the IT guy is failing to do his job in explaining the risks and costs.



  • @scottalanmiller said in What Does Calling an Application Mission Critical Mean:

    @Dashrender said in What Does Calling an Application Mission Critical Mean:

    If you open the statement after someone posts about their setup with - huh, that's less than the home line, then you are snobbish and arrogant.
    Of course I haven't read the post, so I don't know how you opened it.

    Another way to think of it is that their embarrassment is not a result of my arrogance.

    They had emotional baggage because their scenario was, honestly, embarrassing. Instead of embracing that, they tried to raise the stakes by trying to sound extra important rather than just admitting failure and mistakes. Saying something needs to be mission critical but they screwed something up is one thing and results in direct help. Saying something needs to be mission critical and using that to excuse treating it exactly the opposite... well the only useful help there is helping them to determine if they understand the terms that they are using. Since their words and actions are in conflict, we have to help them work through determining what is "true". And in this case, it does not appear to be just the IT guy, but the company itself. The company seems to put no priority on the application and/or the IT guy is failing to do his job in explaining the risks and costs.

    That's all well and good - but you know you're dealing with human beings, right? Most aren't as purely analytical as you. ;)

    At the same time, I agree that we (IT people in general) need to put our egos aside and solve a problem.


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said in What Does Calling an Application Mission Critical Mean:

    @scottalanmiller said in What Does Calling an Application Mission Critical Mean:

    @Dashrender said in What Does Calling an Application Mission Critical Mean:

    If you open the statement after someone posts about their setup with - huh, that's less than the home line, then you are snobbish and arrogant.
    Of course I haven't read the post, so I don't know how you opened it.

    Another way to think of it is that their embarrassment is not a result of my arrogance.

    They had emotional baggage because their scenario was, honestly, embarrassing. Instead of embracing that, they tried to raise the stakes by trying to sound extra important rather than just admitting failure and mistakes. Saying something needs to be mission critical but they screwed something up is one thing and results in direct help. Saying something needs to be mission critical and using that to excuse treating it exactly the opposite... well the only useful help there is helping them to determine if they understand the terms that they are using. Since their words and actions are in conflict, we have to help them work through determining what is "true". And in this case, it does not appear to be just the IT guy, but the company itself. The company seems to put no priority on the application and/or the IT guy is failing to do his job in explaining the risks and costs.

    That's all well and good - but you know you're dealing with human beings, right? Most aren't as purely analytical as you. ;)

    Right, but that's his job. Condescending to him isn't the right response.



  • @scottalanmiller said in What Does Calling an Application Mission Critical Mean:

    @Dashrender said in What Does Calling an Application Mission Critical Mean:

    @scottalanmiller said in What Does Calling an Application Mission Critical Mean:

    @Dashrender said in What Does Calling an Application Mission Critical Mean:

    If you open the statement after someone posts about their setup with - huh, that's less than the home line, then you are snobbish and arrogant.
    Of course I haven't read the post, so I don't know how you opened it.

    Another way to think of it is that their embarrassment is not a result of my arrogance.

    They had emotional baggage because their scenario was, honestly, embarrassing. Instead of embracing that, they tried to raise the stakes by trying to sound extra important rather than just admitting failure and mistakes. Saying something needs to be mission critical but they screwed something up is one thing and results in direct help. Saying something needs to be mission critical and using that to excuse treating it exactly the opposite... well the only useful help there is helping them to determine if they understand the terms that they are using. Since their words and actions are in conflict, we have to help them work through determining what is "true". And in this case, it does not appear to be just the IT guy, but the company itself. The company seems to put no priority on the application and/or the IT guy is failing to do his job in explaining the risks and costs.

    That's all well and good - but you know you're dealing with human beings, right? Most aren't as purely analytical as you. ;)

    Right, but that's his job. Condescending to him isn't the right response.

    Where did I or anyone ask you to condescend to him? Tim didn't call his setup names, he simply pointed out how not patching wasn't a mission critical setup. He got the same points across that you did without insulting him.


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said in What Does Calling an Application Mission Critical Mean:

    @scottalanmiller said in What Does Calling an Application Mission Critical Mean:

    @Dashrender said in What Does Calling an Application Mission Critical Mean:

    @scottalanmiller said in What Does Calling an Application Mission Critical Mean:

    @Dashrender said in What Does Calling an Application Mission Critical Mean:

    If you open the statement after someone posts about their setup with - huh, that's less than the home line, then you are snobbish and arrogant.
    Of course I haven't read the post, so I don't know how you opened it.

    Another way to think of it is that their embarrassment is not a result of my arrogance.

    They had emotional baggage because their scenario was, honestly, embarrassing. Instead of embracing that, they tried to raise the stakes by trying to sound extra important rather than just admitting failure and mistakes. Saying something needs to be mission critical but they screwed something up is one thing and results in direct help. Saying something needs to be mission critical and using that to excuse treating it exactly the opposite... well the only useful help there is helping them to determine if they understand the terms that they are using. Since their words and actions are in conflict, we have to help them work through determining what is "true". And in this case, it does not appear to be just the IT guy, but the company itself. The company seems to put no priority on the application and/or the IT guy is failing to do his job in explaining the risks and costs.

    That's all well and good - but you know you're dealing with human beings, right? Most aren't as purely analytical as you. ;)

    Right, but that's his job. Condescending to him isn't the right response.

    Where did I or anyone ask you to condescend to him? Tim didn't call his setup names, he simply pointed out how not patching wasn't a mission critical setup. He got the same points across that you did without insulting him.

    Where do you get the impression that I insulted him?


  • Service Provider

    If telling someone that their setup is not mission critical when they say that it is is itself considered to be insulting, then how was Tim informing of him not also insulting? By that logic, both your and Tim's posts informing him that that is not MC would have been equally insulting.


  • Service Provider

    Here is my quote: "You cant say that AND say mission critical. This makes the business see this server as a hobby, no words that they say match the actions that tell the real story of the priority that they have given the system. Important to patch now, yes, of course. But mission critical? That's only possible if the mission itself is seen as being unimportant - below the home line."

    Nothing insulting here. Only pointed it out first. The server is below the home line, which is an important distinction that this cannot be classified as a well maintained hobby. None of this was about him, other than him repeating false information from the business, which is absolutely critical, as we know, that honesty, accuracy and semantics are the core of IT. You can play around with terms, that's how bad things happen. If this is their mission critical, how could they ever discuss something if it really mattered?

    I pointed out that the business' actions, not his, told a different story than the words used.

    If he felt that this was insulting, it could only have happened if he was carrying guilt about this or other emotional baggage that was not included in his or my posts.


  • Service Provider

    I was quite clear in explaining that the business saw the system as a hobby and that he could not use terms like mission critical about a system that was being treated as it was. Businesses are not subject to emotional needs or being offended. The business is what it is, apparently a hobby.


  • Service Provider

    If you go further in the thread, you'll notice that my next post, which is actually the OP of this post, was not "things you did wrong" or anything of the sort. We had already sorted him as far as what to do about his patches. This post was "things to discuss with your management that THEY are getting wrong and need to understand." Nowhere was HE at fault or blamed (other than repeating the false classification of the server) but he was empowered to go to the business and explain to them that they either need to act like a business or accept that they are not mission critical.



  • You definitely provided the requested assistance, but you seemed to go out of your way first to tell him how wrong the thinking is.

    I'm fine with giving your opinion on the wrongness of the setup, but why not wait to have a conversation after the problem is resolved, not beforehand?


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