Richard Bucker

The perils of shutting down a complex system

Posted at — May 1, 2015

I suppose I could be talking about any complex system, however, in this instance I am referring to computers; both server and desktop. And there are so many adjacent questions:

In some of these cases it’s obvious that the process should receive a signal and then save some state and terminate.  But what if saving state is not practical? In particular modern CAP-type databases are not ACID and may or may not be responsive or reliable after a shutdown.

This is a complex topic and get expensive when you consider the costs of rebooting a mainframe or a cluster of computers. Companies like Stratus solve part of the problem by implementing redundant and highly available hardware and they are dependent on a reliable and stable operating system and userspace. It’s up to the programmers to maintain the reliability of the platform in their own software.


Good luck