Cover by Joel Spolsky

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part nineRevising Software

thirty-fiveFIVE WHYS

TUESDAY, JANUARY 22, 2008

At 3:30 in the morning of January 10, 2008, a shrill chirping woke up our system administrator, Michael Gorsuch, asleep at home in Brooklyn. It was a text message from Nagios, our network monitoring software, warning him that something was wrong.

He swung out of bed, accidentally knocking over (and waking up) the dog, sleeping soundly in her dog bed, who, angrily, staggered out to the hallway, peed on the floor, and then returned to bed. Meanwhile Michael logged on to his computer in the other room and discovered that one of the three data centers he runs, in downtown Manhattan, was unreachable from the Internet.

This particular data center is in a secure building in ...

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