One of Rick's customers was a large bank that ordered a pair of SUN E6500 servers [these were enormously expensive - certainly $50,000 each, maybe twice that. - Borepatch]. Oracle may have hosed out its hardware teams but still has this whopping PDF Reference Manual for the machines. What bruisers they were! Each needed a full rack all to itself to house a 16-slot card cage, something called a “quad fan tray”, memory module, UltraSPARC II module, media tray, a pair of power/cooling modules, an AC power sequencer and even a peripheral power supply!
Rick told us that bank put the two servers on the top floor of its building, where they hummed away happily until one morning they were discovered to have rebooted overnight.
And not just rebooted once: they'd been up and down all night like someone who'd topped off a few beers with salmonella-tainted kebab.
“The customer called and was furious,” Rick told us. And stayed that way for days, because the first technician to visit couldn't figure out what had gone wrong. Nor could other experts over the next week.You have to read through to see what was causing the problem, but it's a great story that illustrates that computing is no where near as clean and antiseptic as designers claim. That moral applies to self-driving cars as well. What are the chances that there's a mystery reboot scenario in you new ride? Me, I'm not willing to bet that there isn't.