Backups and Back...Ups! KRUU's Mission Control, Vault and other robots.

Friday evening around 10pm, the computer that is the main program source within the main on-air production studio (aka as Mission Control) experianced a hardware fault. Specifically the motherboard in the computer started to fail, resulting in system instability and usability issues (for example, the mouse stopped working!). With only a slight impact to the broadcast, Caleb Flynn (KRUU Director and tech master) replaced the machine with a backup (one of two backup machines that are generally availible at the station) and brought Mission Control back UP! within minutes.

Impact of this failure was reletively small, and was relatively easy to fix because of the network structure that KRUU has deployed at the station. All the important program material is stored on the Vault, a highly fault-tolerant server, and all workstations (mission control included) connect to the Vault on boot up, and store all program-related files there as part of normal operations.

Because of this the workstations at the station can easily function as backups for each other, with a simple switch out of computer or componants if a failure is experianced. The vault is a particularly important piece (as you might expect), so we also have a complete backup machine for the Vault as well. 

So... while machine failures may not bring the station down, they do have a larger impact if not replaced quickly. In the last 6 months, we've experianced the failure of one Vault machine, and now the 2nd production workstation. While we're totaly peachy and on the air right this second, we are in fact operating in a slightly vulnerable state. If the current Vault system were to have a failure, we would still be able to stay on the air, but there could be short-term effects (48-hours to a week) to program material. The same goes for mission control, we have one more back-up machine that could be switched out quickly, but after that... any failure becomes far more complicated to recover from.

When funds allow, we'll be moving forward with the following hardware priorities:

1 - Replace failed Vault componants, upgrade existing vault to match. (Because these machines back each other up, we try and keep identical hardware on each). In addition to performance upgrades, the planned hardware upgrades are more efficient, and will provide power savings over time. Here's a list of the needed equipment w/ urls to the componants:

Vault
Item Quantity Amount Extension
Motherboard 2 $372.99 $745.98
Ram 2 $175.99 $351.98
System Drive 4 $84.99 $339.96
Storage Drive 6 $134.99 $809.94
Total $2,247.86

2 - Replace failed production workstation with new hardware, and upgrade existing machines to match.  In addition to performance upgrades, the planned hardware upgrades are far more efficient, and will provide a significant power savings over time. Here's a list of the needed equipment w/ urls to the componants:

Production Workstations
Item Quantity Amount Extension
Motherboard 5 $83.99 $419.95
Ram 5 $187.99 $939.95
System Drive 5 $84.99 $424.95
Case/Power Supply 5 $79.99 $399.95
Total $2,184.80

Current example of Workstations in production
Stay tuned, or help us raise the funds to do this work.