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Solaris Machine Shut Down After 3737 Days of Uptime

timothy posted about a year ago | from the those-are-some-crazy-socks dept.

Sun Microsystems 409

An anonymous reader writes "After running uninterrupted for 3737 days, this humble Sun 280R server running Solaris 9 was shut down. At the time of making the video it was idle, the last service it had was removed sometime last year. A tribute video was made with some feelings about Sun, Solaris, the walk to the data center and freeing a machine from internet-slavery."

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409 comments

So what did it do all that time? (5, Funny)

cod3r_ (2031620) | about a year ago | (#43175731)

A *nix machine being idle for 3737 days is not all that interesting.

Re:So what did it do all that time? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43175847)

Somewhere at my last job, there was a Solaris 8 machine with over 4000 days uptime, that everybody hated to do anything with, but one person loved it and refused to migrate the last service that was still on it to something more modern.

Uptime is irrelevant for an individual server, anyway. If there's fail over (and there should be if uptime is important), take it down and update the kernel for security reasons, who cares?

Re:So what did it do all that time? (5, Funny)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#43175941)

If there's fail over (and there should be if uptime is important)

i agree... if you're responsible for a single server performing a mission critical function with no fail over, you may as well just fire yourself

Re:So what did it do all that time? (5, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43176077)

Just get it in writing.
Been there done that, when it has to come down for hardware failure or something like that you can show you tried to get a backup machine, you tried to do things right.

Re:So what did it do all that time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43176099)

The last service that it performed was last year... so it probably had 3,300 days where it was actually doing something...

Re:So what did it do all that time? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43176181)

No, it was idle "only" since day 3509 (served as a hot backup if we had to restore the service from the new machines).

Oracle sucks. (5, Insightful)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about a year ago | (#43175745)

I'd just like to leave this here. Yeah, I know Linux is great and everyfink, but Solaris is excellent and better in some ways. Oracle really ground my gears when they stopped supporting OpenSolaris and OpenIndiana is going nowhere fast.

RIP Sun.

Re:Oracle sucks. (2)

Drinking Bleach (975757) | about a year ago | (#43175825)

Oracle never supported OpenIndiana, it's a distribution of illumos (the OpenSolaris fork).

Re:Oracle sucks. (5, Informative)

tnk1 (899206) | about a year ago | (#43175917)

I don't think his comment suggested anything else. You should probably parse it like this:

(Oracle really ground my gears when they stopped supporting OpenSolaris) && (OpenIndiana is going nowhere fast)

Oracle support only applies to the Left Side of the statement. The point of the statement was to suggest that with support gone, and the only alternative to the supported version going nowhere, the Solaris world is completely Shit Out of Luck.

Re:Oracle sucks. (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#43175861)

As reliable as Solaris is (was?), it's neither a record breaker nor a first. The old DEC VMS had that sort of reliability, and while I'm personally not as familiar with them, various IBM mainframe OS's are supposed to be/have been even better.

Re:Oracle sucks. (-1, Redundant)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about a year ago | (#43176351)

VMS isn't a Unix, and I don't believe you can get ahold of VMS any more. The IBM mainframes are too expensive and not open source, so there's no point in comparing them to Solaris.

What's your point exactly? My point is that Solaris is useful, even in its somewhat dodgy state (thanks Oracle for the paid update program you fucks).

Re: RIP Sun (1)

Doug Otto (2821601) | about a year ago | (#43175951)

Amen. Made a pretty good career out of Sun/Solaris. Now I spend my time dealing stupid Windows problems.

Re: RIP Sun (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43176125)

Should have switched to Linux instead.

Actually no, that would mean less work for me.

Re: RIP Sun (1)

Doug Otto (2821601) | about a year ago | (#43176231)

I do Linux too, but on a consulting basis. Unfortunately it was either take the Windows gig or be unemployed.

Re: RIP Sun (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43176315)

That sucks.
Well, based on the recruiting calls I get might be about time to start looking again.

a terrible disturbance the /src (4, Funny)

Thud457 (234763) | about a year ago | (#43176139)

Netcraft confirms Bill Joy just felt a chill like someone walked on his grave.



hey, that's three jokes there, take your pick.

Re:Oracle sucks. (2)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#43176161)

I've never really understood why Oracle had to steal RHEL's distro and rebrand it as its own, when they had a perfectly good OS in Solaris which existed not just on SPARCs, but on x86s as well. As for OpenIndiana, I don't get the point of that project since it doesn't support SPARC, and there is a plethora of OSs for x86

Re:Oracle sucks. (1)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about a year ago | (#43176385)

The point of OpenIndiana is ZFS, but FreeBSD actually releases so there's no point to OpenIndiana any more.

For a while people were hoping it'd be a nice community-dirven OS but it turned out that most of the development work was coming from Sun, and while I don't have the whole story it looks like the community fell apart and fractured while trying to get OpenSolaris to compile on GCC.

Solaris was never "supported" in the true sense (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43176395)

That's why Opensolaris even existed in the first place. So people couldn't be gouged for documentation, critical security updates, and support. I used Linux a lot before using Solaris for about 4-5 years exclusively as an OS in a couple projects. The main reason for this and I think a lot of people's favorite thing about Solaris is the ZFS filesystem. All the cool stuff it does, it's probably the best filesystem ever made so far and I really like it.

However my happy Solaris experience ended there, this coming from a Slackware user. The packaging system was crappy (had to go to some sunfreeware site to get the most basic things), The default services for Lamp on solaris 10 i think it was did not work properly.. You then had to get this thing called coolstack, which enabled a stable lamp enviornment, which evolved into some "webstack' bastard. That and the damn 'service contract' you needed to get critical security updates. The actually OS updater for critical patches caused a complete system reinstall a few times. This I could never figure out or even question anyone because you needed a 'service contract'. It was just madness. To be honest Sun is/was just as bad a Oracle as far as that shit went - The only difference between sun and oracle is that sun also made amazing hardware that seems to run forever.

So coming full circle, if Linux ever got ZFS or some such badass equivalent filesystem then it would be a perfect world for me. unfortunately I think license restrictions prevent this (though i hear freebsd partially supports ZFS now due to a difference licence)

T'ain't nothin... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43175755)

Last place I worked at still used token ring. Packet-Packet-Give baby!

Errr? (1)

Slartibartfast (3395) | about a year ago | (#43175859)

I'm not sure how uptime and Token Ring really compare. Though I will say that I haven't worked on *any* Token Ring since '94 -- and that was a Thomas Conrad bastardization that did 100 Mbit over fiber. Haven't touched the copper stuff since '92.

Tribute goes to the (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43175757)

Power designer for the DC as much as the software :)

Impressive! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43175771)

Longest uptimes I've had were ~1000 days.

Wow! (1, Funny)

NathanWoodruff (966362) | about a year ago | (#43175785)

That is 3730 more days than Windows 95 could stay up.

Re:Wow! (1, Insightful)

black3d (1648913) | about a year ago | (#43175927)

Really? Comparing it to Windows 95? You know that was almost 20 years ago, right? It'd getting kinda old. A more apt comparison (considering Solaris 9's x86 release) would be "WoW! That is 2940 days more than Windows Server 20003 could stay up!" ;)

Re:Wow! (1)

NathanWoodruff (966362) | about a year ago | (#43176409)

3737 days is more than 10 year. That is around 2002 sometime this machine was powered up. I was working for a company then that was still supporting Windows 95 at that time and had several running.

One of the support staffs duties on Friday night was to shut the windows 95 machines down because if we came in Monday morning everyone of them would be sitting at a blue screen. This is the 2001 to 2002 time frame. But it doesn't matter.... I was being funny any way. Nathan

in other news ... (0)

lytles (24756) | about a year ago | (#43175789)

a slab of concrete has been found with an uptime of 3737 years

maybe the sysadmins liked them but as a developer i hated solaris boxen. the libraries were always years old, nothing modern would compile, the cli tools were slightly incompatible with linux scripts, ...

Re:in other news ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43175869)

a slab of concrete has been found with an uptime of 3737 years

maybe the sysadmins liked them but as a developer i hated solaris boxen. the libraries were always years old, nothing modern would compile, the cli tools were slightly incompatible with linux scripts, ...

news: Solaris CLI tools are slightly incompatible with linux scripts.
In other news: People mistakenly confuse Windows 8 for Mac OS.

They are different OS'es. Why is it all that shocking that linux scripts were incompatible. Nothing modern would compile : Let me guess - linux sources?

Re:in other news ... (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#43176035)

i think the real problem was that he couldn't get his concrete slab to compile on his "solaris boxen"... maybe there were too many infinite loops of rebar

Re:in other news ... (1)

KiloByte (825081) | about a year ago | (#43176299)

Incompatibility with linux (I guess you mean GNU) scripts is understandable, incompatibility with basic POSIX requirements is not. If something works both on GNU and BSD systems, there's a fat chance it's a fault of Solaris rather than the script.

(I dislike using the name "GNU/Linux", but here the distinction matters: GNU works on kfreebsd too (ie, BSD kernel, GNU userland), and if one's crazy, even on hurd. And I strongly suspect you didn't mean Android, which uses Linux but doesn't pretend to be UNIXy at all.)

Re:in other news ... (5, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#43176101)

a slab of concrete has been found with an uptime of 3737 years

You exaggerate. The oldest concrete structure I know of is the dome of the Pantheon, and that's only been around for 1887 years. Time will tell if it was well built.

Re:in other news ... (2)

bobbied (2522392) | about a year ago | (#43176187)

>

maybe the sysadmins liked them but as a developer i hated solaris boxen. the libraries were always years old, nothing modern would compile, the cli tools were slightly incompatible with linux scripts, ...

They may be a pain to write and deploy programs on but they will run forever once you do...

Fully characterized platforms, take a LOT of testing effort and testing at this level takes lots of time. The Sparc/Solaris platform was behind the state of the art, but it was stable, stable, stable. Solaris on X86 wasn't bad, if your hardware was supported and you didn't really need the GUI to be local, but it wasn't as stable (mainly due to the hardware).

Sun did their stuff right for the most part, but got seriously hurt by Linux (Red Hat in particular) and in the long run couldn't make reliability pay well enough. Who wanted to buy new when the old stuff was still humming without a reboot 5 years later? Not me.

Got to love that sun blue...

Linux on SPARC (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#43176199)

If you are talking about SPARC based equipment, couldn't you have simply installed Linux on them, replacing Solaris? A number of Linux distros had been on Solaris since the beginning - RHEL, Debian, Caldera, et al. That way, you could have used those, and still had your favorite Linux stuff

Re:in other news ... (1)

DdJ (10790) | about a year ago | (#43176321)

maybe the sysadmins liked them but as a developer i hated solaris boxen. the libraries were always years old, nothing modern would compile, the cli tools were slightly incompatible with linux scripts, ...

Myself, I hate when developers depend on the newest versions of libraries and stuff.

I run Debian on my servers. If your app can't run on top of the older versions of the libraries, then... I just don't need to run your app, at least not for a few years yet. I'll take "stable" over "modern", please.

Impressive (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43175811)

They should of kept the server online as a way to show off the datacenter infrastructure being able to stay up as well. They could of had the server running an LED display with an uptime clock.

taken down early as a precaution (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43175819)

In another 57 years the uptime command might've had rollover issues.

Oh yeah? I once had a (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43175821)

I once had a windows machine stay up for 6 months straight! Granted, it was running 3.11...but still!

Re:Oh yeah? I once had a (1)

FaxeTheCat (1394763) | about a year ago | (#43176013)

We actually had a reasonably busy Windows 2000 mail server with Post.Office up for approx 250 days. No big deal really as Post.Office apparently was a well behaved application. As far as i remember we had to take it down due to server room power maintenance. That was before all the network worms hit so that we had to start patching it... which ended the fun...

This is news? (5, Interesting)

Fished (574624) | about a year ago | (#43175837)

I work at a Very Large Company (who must remain nameless.) We've got Solaris boxes that were last rebooted in the 90's. Yes. Really. Running Solaris 2.6, even.

Re:This is news? (5, Insightful)

bobbied (2522392) | about a year ago | (#43176265)

I work at a Very Large Company (who must remain nameless.) We've got Solaris boxes that were last rebooted in the 90's. Yes. Really. Running Solaris 2.6, even.

I am not surprised. I've seen Sparc/Solaris boxes run for very long times and even when not properly cared for have run times measured in months and years. I've had to shut down boxes to move them that had been running for 5 years. We where scared to death the disk drives would not spin back up after 2 days in the truck, but when we plugged them back in, they powered right back up. Sun built some SOLID hardware and produced a SOLID operating system.

Re:This is news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43176295)

Microsoft?

Re:This is news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43176451)

Gary? Is that you?

Uptime fetish (2, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about a year ago | (#43175839)

I will never for the life of me understand the "uptime fetish" that uneducated sysadmins have. Who the hell cares? The only people who give a crap about this sort of thing are linux fanbois. The only thing this tells me is that this machine has had an uninterrupted power supply, which is mildly impressive. Otherwise it's a Solaris box which is missing A SHITLOAD OF PATCHES. WTF, sysadmins? What kind of pro sysadmin worships at the altar of individual machine uptime? Much less a Solaris sysadmin?

Re:Uptime fetish (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43175877)

Otherwise it's a Solaris box which is missing A SHITLOAD OF PATCHES.

Apply a patch to a service and restart the service, not the whole computer. Or what am I missing?

Re:Uptime fetish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43175937)

kernel and/or driver patches

Re:Uptime fetish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43175965)

And how do you propose such with Kernel updates (not withstanding the new techniques being looked at to allow an on the fly update of the kernel)?

Re:Uptime fetish (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43176283)

not withstanding the new techniques

So you have never heard of mach I take it... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mach_%28kernel%29

The idea is everything is a module and good clean (IPC) interface between everything. You can up and down parts of the OS with no rebooting. When a computer reboots in 30 seconds it is not that big of a deal. But back in the 80s it took an non insignificant amount of time to bounce a mainframe computer. So you did not do it if you absolutely did not have to.

Sun OS which is a derivative of BSD had many elements of this sort of thing built in (not 100% though). The closest we came to having a good 'popular' mach like system was NeXT/OSX. Maybe someday we will see Hurd ;)

Linux is a full on monlithic OS with a some bits that are restartable (see modules). See Tanenbaum and Linus raging at each other over it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanenbaum%E2%80%93Torvalds_debate

Uptime has really started people talking about it at all again. When you want 99.999% uptime you can not even wait the 30 seconds for a restart...

Re:Uptime fetish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43175979)

I haven't administrated Solaris. Do you not get new kernels? Or whatever your equivalent is?

Re:Uptime fetish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43175987)

Otherwise it's a Solaris box which is missing A SHITLOAD OF PATCHES.

Apply a patch to a service and restart the service, not the whole computer. Or what am I missing?

Give him some slack. He probably a Windows admin and they are constantly patching and rebooting.

Re:Uptime fetish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43176053)

Or what am I missing?

Not sure about it for solaris, but every *buntu I've looked at will have 'must restart your computer' patches twice as often as Windows 7 does.

Re:Uptime fetish (4, Insightful)

Bacon Bits (926911) | about a year ago | (#43176135)

You have no idea if the system can start from a cold boot. And if it fails to start from a cold boot, you have no idea which of the hundreds of patches you've applied in the last 10 years is the one that is causing the boot process to fail, or if it's hardware that's randomly gone sketchy. The last known-good cold state is 10 years ago.

Power systems fail. Backup power is limited. Buildings get damaged and remodeled. For these reasons it is unwise to assume you will never need to power a system off. Even with the super hotswapping of the VAX you would occasionally need to move the system to a different building with new server rooms. If you never demonstrate that a server can safely power back on to a running state, you have no idea what state the system will be in when you do it.

Consider the system in this article for a moment. The last service was removed last year. Why was it left powered on? It was literally doing nothing but counting the seconds until it was shut down today. That's a disgusting waste of power.

Re:Uptime fetish (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43176425)

The summary is misleading. It was acting as a backup server for it's own replacement.

Re:Uptime fetish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43176207)

Apply a patch to the notepad and restart the whole computer together with all other computers in the same network. He is used to windows...

Re:Uptime fetish (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43175897)

Boy, you must be fun at parties.

Re:Uptime fetish (5, Informative)

guruevi (827432) | about a year ago | (#43176023)

You can get patches, even kernel patches without having to restart the system. That was one of it's selling points back in the day, some systems even allowed you to hot-swap or hot-upgrade CPU's and memory.

Re:Uptime fetish (1)

guruevi (827432) | about a year ago | (#43176049)

And with the right hardware, my OpenSolaris still does it. It "reboots" the kernel but never has to go through the whole BIOS thing. If you ever however have the wrong drivers (like Areca) the system is simply going to complain it can't quiesce the driver and reboot anyway.

Re:Uptime fetish (1)

pipatron (966506) | about a year ago | (#43176259)

Actually, the video shows him rooting the box with a custom compiled program as a normal user without entering any password, so it's likely not updated.

Re:Uptime fetish (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#43176037)

I will never for the life of me understand the "uptime fetish" that uneducated sysadmins have. Who the hell cares? The only people who give a crap about this sort of thing are linux fanbois. The only thing this tells me is that this machine has had an uninterrupted power supply, which is mildly impressive. Otherwise it's a Solaris box which is missing A SHITLOAD OF PATCHES. WTF, sysadmins? What kind of pro sysadmin worships at the altar of individual machine uptime? Much less a Solaris sysadmin?

While never patching a box is obviously bad practice, it being able to stay up for over 10 years is a good indication of the reliability of the system. If you were patching from time-to-time, then how long it stayed up without being brought down for any reason other than to patch it would be a useful metric.

Re:Uptime fetish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43176041)

Used to be individual machine uptime == availability. And the ability to keep running was a testament to the quality of the software and its design (as well as the hardware). Systems were meant to be used for many years (you had to to make them cost effective). Its the modern 'windows' reliability (and short life expectancy) and security circle jerk (and unix too, compared to other commercial options back then) that have made it seem 'rational' that short uptimes is good because you are patched up. Rationalization for settling on poorer grade (but cheaper) products that only need to run for a few years before being replaced.

Its better to not need constant patching; better to have a properly engineered and written OS that doesn't poop itself if it stays up too long, or allow j-random exploit to work because the developers couldn't be bothered to write it properly.

Re:Uptime fetish (1, Troll)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#43176085)

Why would "missing patches" be of concern for a Unix machine?

That sounds like the sort of thing a WinDOS consumer would need to be fixated on, not an "educated sysadmin".

Missing services patches vs kernel patches (1)

erice (13380) | about a year ago | (#43176469)

Why would "missing patches" be of concern for a Unix machine?

Missing services patches can leave one vulnerable to being hacked. Fortunately, you don't need a reboot to install those. Security related kernel patches do happen and they do require a reboot. However, these are generally of the privilege escalation variety and require specially written code to exploit. If you don't have untrustworthy people logging in to your machine it isn't a major problem if you don't have all the kernel patches.

Of more serious concern is the general lack of patches for Solaris 9. Solaris 9 patches released from November 1, 2011, will have Vintage/Extended access entitlement by default, which means that only customers with an Extended Support contract for Solaris will be able to access them. Updates to the Recommended Solaris 9 OS Patchset will cease at that time. [oracle.com]

Re:Uptime fetish (1)

Bigbutt (65939) | about a year ago | (#43176109)

The unfortunate software house where the dev teams are broken up after a project is complete. Then approvals are denied to patch systems because there are no devs to correct for any problems that occur due to the patch.

Uptime is all I have.

(FreeBSD box with 3,196 day uptime running internal DNS).

[John]

Re:Uptime fetish (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43176185)

Why would the box hosting DNS need to stay up?

Mine could stay up that long, but there are a bunch of VMs doing that task so rebooting them is no big deal.

Linux, but no real not to do the same with FreeBSD.

Re:Uptime fetish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43176121)

It is called a marvel of software and hardware.
No fanboy and dick wankery over anything else really.
Patches for things can be done for services easily. For others, a frontend server would be able to protect most systems if that was kept updated.
But in that sense, frontend servers are the ones up most and it is the backend ones that go down most often for maintenance since those are the ones that day the heavy lifting. Frontend are typically expensive-out-the-ass high-RAM machines in most setups.

Sadly that all went to Oracle now.
RIP Sun, Java, Solaris, SPARC.
MySQL can die for all I care. SQL likewise. Horrible language. If that an PHP just vanished, the software world would be in the golden age.
But Oracle are on levels worse and larger than EA, and EA are still around despite most of their recent games absolutely tanking horribly. Pretty much just burning the savings at this rate.

Re:Uptime fetish (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43176127)

If you don't care, you don't understand history. And sadly, looking at your attitude and phrasing, I got a feeling you're older than I and should know it better.

That you understand it's not worthy of worship is a mark in your favor -- but not as big as you're hoping.

It's not fanboyism. It's from the old cult of service. From taking your limited resources on a system that costs more than your pension, and absolutely positively guaranteeing they were available to your userbase.

We didn't all have roundrobin DNS, sharding, clouds in the early 2000's.

Some of us had Sun's, BSD's, Vaxen, and other systems that might be missing security fixes, but that by and large were secure as long as you made sure nobody that didn't belong on it had an account.

Kernel and driver patches? It might be a performance boost, it might be a security patch. It might be a driver problem that could cause data loss, but only if you were running a certain service. A great admin can choose which are needed. A good admin knows they should apply them all

There's something to be said about rebooting machines -- just to make sure they'll still boot. But the best sysadmins didn't need to check -- they knew.

Uptime diferentiated us from our little brothers running windows, who couldn't even change network settings without a reboot. Who had to restart every 28 days or crash horribly. Who could be brought to a grinding halt with a single large ICMP request.

In short, uptime was an additional proxy variable for admin competence (given the presence of an unrooted box).

Yeah, any idiot could leave a system plugged into a UPS in a closet and have it come out OK. But if you didn't get cracked and filled with porn, you were doing something right.

Given elastic clouds, round robin DNS, volume licensing, SAS... it's very nearly cheaper to spin up a new image and run the install scripts than reboot these days.

I'm not convinced this makes modern sysadmin practices better -- just more resilient to single-host failure.

Just the other week we had a million dollar NAS go down for nearly 12 hours (during the week) while applying a kernel update to the cluster.

If you did that in 99 on a Unix system, you'd have probably been shot after the execs showed you out the door.

Somehow, the cult of service availability has been replaced with the cult of 'good enough'

Re:Uptime fetish (3, Interesting)

arth1 (260657) | about a year ago | (#43176163)

The old adage holds true: Iffen ain't broke, don't fix it.

If the machine is in an area where security is important, certain security patches might be needed. But that's no certainty. Other patches - well, with an uptime of 10+ years, adding a stability patch which causes downtime seems rather counter-productive.

Then, experienced sysadmins, which you clearly are not, know that like the most dangerous time for an airplane is during takeoff and landing, the most dangerous time for a server is during shutdown and start. Stiction on old drives, minor internal power surges during boot that doesn't affect a running system, and much else can cause problems.

Oh, and there are also services that you may want to provide 24/7 with no downtime at all, so help you cod. You even mention one such in your nickname. But I have strong doubts whether you truly have kept that service up and running 24/7, even with failovers, if you install patches and reboot just to install patches and reboot.

Re:Uptime fetish (1)

Pecisk (688001) | about a year ago | (#43176179)

Rarely you see trollinsh behavior modded insightful, therefore I will bite.

First of all, "linux fanbois" pitched uptime feature 15 - 13 years ago when Windows stability was a joke. And feature wise Linux systems weren't less complex than Windows ones. Microsoft just did quite a number of fundamental mistakes in designing Windows 95/98/98SE/ME line and also older Windows NT versions, having graphical driver in ring 0 in example. All this made Windows usable only with regular reboots. Yes, there was carefully maintained 24/7 Windows systems, but they were rarity.

So while it maybe is obsoleted already (my Windows 7 installation for games resets video driver twice in day), obsession with uptime has some practical merits. Ask any old time Windows administrator.

Another thing is role of the server. There are some systems you really can't switch off even for kernel patches. Such systems are usually designed and configured to keep any security and stability breaches at bay. Also as someone already pointed out, you do patch software, you just don't reboot server, just upgraded services. Also it's usually means you have test system with exactly same hardware and software to test updates on.

Re:Uptime fetish (0)

javamage (1966164) | about a year ago | (#43176211)

Up for 3737 days... 3698 of which were running malware injected through an unpatched vulnerability... Longest. Malware. Uptime. Ever.

Re:Uptime fetish (1)

jgrahn (181062) | about a year ago | (#43176281)

I will never for the life of me understand the "uptime fetish" that uneducated sysadmins have. Who the hell cares? The only people who give a crap about this sort of thing are linux fanbois.

I don't care about uptime per se, but I hate to try to attach to a screen(1) session only to discover it's gone because someone decided it was somehow "good for the machine" to have a power cycle.

I don't ask for years of uptime, just no gratuitous reboots.

Re:Uptime fetish (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about a year ago | (#43176301)

The simple fact is that it ran for ten years without needing the patches. I have run Linux web server machines for 4 years with ZERO maintenance. The PSU invariably gives up the ghost after 3 to 4 years. They were never updated and never compromized in all that time.

Must of had security vulns. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43175863)

I guess it wasn't patched much.

Better than I've got. (1)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | about a year ago | (#43175895)

Router's at "Time: 14:08:44 up 335 days, 13:29, load average: 037,0.11,0.02". That's the best I've got. Longest running computer is "1:46pm up 280 days, 21:01, 3 users, load average: 0.00, 0.01, 0.00". Tho it is a roughly 15 year old machine and it's had longer runs that the current run, I doubt it's broken a thousand days straight. But 335 and 280 days is pretty good for equipment that's not plugged into a UPS.

and the big deal is ...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43175903)

Had it been a windows box, it would have been grossly negligent, and an miracle.
Solaris? Big yawn.
Maybe intresting
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uptime

3737 days in years (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43175999)

https://www.google.com/search?q=3737+days+in+years

Here's the real question... (5, Interesting)

jayhawk88 (160512) | about a year ago | (#43176001)

Did they power it back up again after shutting it off? Just to see?

Re:Here's the real question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43176297)

This machine is (was) part of a cluster. The other machine had about 4000 days of uptime when it had its power accidentally removed. Yes, it has booted without issues, it runs for 727 days now. :)
To be powered down sometimes later.

Netware 3.12 (4, Interesting)

slaker (53818) | about a year ago | (#43176019)

One of my clients had a Netware 3.12 machine on site that operated continuously about about 16 years. It was retired unceremoniously when they moved to a new location, but that machine did not in all its life have a hardware fault or abend.

Throw a bomb on GEMA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43176063)

"Unfortunately, this UMG music-content is not available in Germany, because GEMA has not granted the respective music publishing rights."

Since I moved back to Germany, that's what I see frequently when clicking innocuous links. Can someone please throw a bomb on their office and blow it up, or just burn it down??
Half an hour ago Patti Smith was unavailable, and now it is a clip on SUN Solaris. Do these fucking retards think that The World is their property?

Not a good thing!!!! (5, Insightful)

onyxruby (118189) | about a year ago | (#43176159)

Last place I was at that had server admins that bragged about /years/ of uptime quickly turned into a discovery that we had thousands of servers that had not been patched in years. Only a few systems can patch the kernel without rebooting and those are the exception, not the rule. It turned into a six month project but in the end we were patching systems that were vulnerable to 5 year old exploits (mix of *nix and Windows).

I had to make the argument that server uptime meant jack, and to make it I put forward the argument that the only thing that mattered was /service/ uptime. Frankly it is the service that needs to be always available, not the server. This is why you have maintenance windows, for the explicit purpose of allowing a given system to patched and rebooted at a predictable time without interrupting services.

If your server is really that important it will have a fail over server for redundancy (SQL cluster, whatever). If your server isn't important enough to have a failover server for service redundancy that it isn't so important that you can't have a maintenance window. Think service, not server!

The only thing that matters is service availability.

Re:Not a good thing!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43176421)

You are very right sir ....

10 Years Uptime - Usual Slashdot Contradiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43176219)

So, you guys are waxing nostalgic on this 10 year uptime thing, even throwing out your stories of boxes that have lasted longer.

In the same breath you'll slander bitcoin, because you know -- the internet might boil off into space or something. Ah slashdot, you're such an arbitrary collection of contradictions.

perhaps it got upgraded? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43176235)

from this...http://www.theregister.co.uk/2001/04/12/missing_novell_server_discovered_after/

I'm not impressed... (1)

bobthesungeek76036 (2697689) | about a year ago | (#43176257)

Take a server and change the date to 10+ years in the past. Then reboot and change the date back to today. Uptime says "3737 days". How do we know this is not smoke and mirrors???

Re:I'm not impressed... (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43176441)

Because who cares? You don't win awards for that, you don't even get respect, other than the same kind of respect someone gets for completing a 5000 piece puzzle when they could have just bought an already complete picture. It's just a story, you enjoy it for the story's sake. This guy added his own story [slashdot.org].

If you don't enjoy stories about servers, you might not be on the right website.

Truly Impressed (1)

DaMattster (977781) | about a year ago | (#43176367)

That is the stability of UNIX and the advantage of using a mature code base. Try doing THAT with Windows!
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