When a production computer dies

    Above: Photo of KirillM /

    BitDepth#1348 for April 4, 2022

    As businesses become increasingly digital, the architecture of the computer systems that underpin them becomes increasingly important.

    So what happens when a critical part of the network fails?

    Listen to Mark read this column.

    I didn’t plan for what happened on March 26, but there was enough paranoia-inspired cache to compensate for the failure of my IT infrastructure core, the processing workstation. Image management revolves around most of my day-to-day work.

    The system that failed was a 2009 Mac Pro tower, which is connected to everything I work on and stores five hard drives and two SSDs representing a primary storage resource of 50 TB.

    The drives are fine and I can access them in case of an emergency. A system of drive bays allows me to mount empty drives and access important files.

    However, the workflow ecosystem that the tower triggers will not be available until a replacement device is available.

    This is how I solved the interruption.


    What is lost? What is salvage? Because I don’t use complex drive schemes like RAID redundancy, the system failure leaves me with drives that can be re-counted and their digital relationship re-established.

    The new architecture will connect the disks in the same way, using only different hardware to do so. Permission issues at the operating system level will not arise.
    I’ve had no problems with RAID, which is important and often essential in enterprise and high-level creative environments, but it just didn’t work for me.

    Mac Pro Tower 2009

    How to restore functionality?

    The easiest thing to do is replace the tower. They are still in demand and expensive for their age, but not too serious.

    But in line with my experience, a colleague who also appreciated the towers of movie editing has experienced terminal hardware problems twice in the past two years.

    My own tower was made in 2009, and the last of that critically acclaimed second-generation Mac Pro was made in 2013. That system works almost non-stop, except for the lifts. supply and prolonged power failure, from December 2012 to March 2022.

    Substitute parameters.

    Many IT professionals have stories to tell about the untouchable parts of their network.

    The software cannot run on modern operating systems.

    Hardware must be connected to specific peripherals using ports that no longer exist.

    Computers are maintained to read media that nothing recently produced can understand.

    Currently, my workstation system needs to stay on Mac OS High Sierra (2017), so any new box should be able to run that OS. It turns out that most Mac hardware made after 2016 won’t run that version of the operating system.

    How will the new architecture solve the old problem?

    Any major changes to the IT infrastructure must either maintain the status quo or improve it.

    That classic Mac Mini was affordable and pleasantly compact, but didn’t have the video horsepower to drive my monitor. The third-generation Mac Pro, the so-called trash Mac, is still expensive and also expensive to upgrade.

    A pleasantly priced configuration of a late 2015 iMac is very close to the computer stuff I’m working with at a price that is, after the upgrade, the same as the starting point of a trash Mac.

    The iMac will only provide a quick boot disk, everything else will be moved to external boxes connected by high-speed cables.

    The tower-extracted drive hardware awaits a new digital home. Mark Lyndersay’s photo.

    Overwork analysis.

    strength. I expect comparable performance with significantly lower power consumption, even with an external drive case.

    Weak points. Creating an external working drive architecture makes it more modular, but also slower and more prone to accidental disconnects.

    I had no choice but to disconnect one of the two external displays because there wasn’t enough room on my desk, even with wall flexibility.

    Chances. An opportunity to rethink my workspace, because that Mac Pro is huge. The migration from the Adobe products I have charted and the use of tools that require older operating systems should be accelerated.

    Threats. New computers are not antique, but cannot be called new. Mac Pro ran 24/7 for ten years. I wouldn’t expect that from an iMac.

    My window for this new configuration is five years. I have a lot of work to do during that time.

    What I learned.

    Keeping the system modular, even when housed in a tower, allows for maximum flexibility in reviewing hardware configurations.

    Data abstraction from hardware is an intuitive decision for this system configuration, but modularity is something that is more deliberately built into future versions of workstations as well as satellite connections. crystal and its dependencies.

    That’s even more important for Mac users working with the new generation of Apple Silicon hardware, which incorporates unrecoverable storage into their beautifully designed motherboards.

    near the

    Recent Articles


    Featured Article

    Leave A Reply

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    Stay on op - Ge the daily news in your inbox