Surviving the Digital Heatwave: Lessons Learned from Singapore’s Datacenter Meltdown


Today, we're unpacking a real-world tech drama that unfolded in Singapore, offering a stark reminder about the vital role of Disaster (DR) planning and the often overlooked, yet crucial element of regular testing.

In the heart of Singapore's digital infrastructure, a datacenter critical to the operations of DBS and Citibank began to overheat. This wasn't just a minor glitch; it was a serious problem, the kind that (HA) setups usually manage to shrug off. But here's where things went sideways.

Both banks had DR sites in place – a tick in the box for preparedness, right? Not so fast. When the time came to switch to these DR sites, DBS faced a misconfiguration issue, while Citibank ran into connectivity troubles. These aren't just minor hiccups; they're the kind of problems that turn a safety net into a tightrope.

The key takeaway here isn't just about having a DR site; it's about ensuring it works when you need it most. This brings us to the crux of today's lesson – the absolute necessity of regular, thorough testing of your DR plans.

Think of it like this: having a DR plan without testing it is like having a fire escape that you've never walked down. You don't know if it's clear, if there's a locked gate at the end, or if it even leads to safety.

Regular testing of DR plans is what separates a smooth transition during a crisis from a chaotic scramble. It's the difference between a well-rehearsed evacuation and a panicked stampede. For DBS and Citibank, the lack of effective testing meant that when disaster struck, their theoretically robust DR plans couldn't deliver.

This incident in Singapore shines a spotlight on a common oversight: the gap between having a DR plan and having a tested, reliable DR strategy. It's a wake-up call for all organizations to not just invest in DR but to rigorously and routinely test these systems. After all, the best DR plan in the world is only as good as its last successful drill.

So, as we wrap up this tale of tech woes, let's take it as a lesson in the importance of not just planning for disaster, but actively preparing for it. Test, retest, and then test some more. Your future self will thank you when the heat is on.

Stay safe, stay prepared, and keep testing!


This article was originally published by Clustering For Mere Mortals. You can find the original article here.