fail over

Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Wed May 11 11:22:13 UTC 2011

I thought I had sent a message on this last week, but, apparently, I did
not include correct address.

Below, discussion of "fail over" as a new term, question about
figurative usage of "radio silence" and antedating of "mission-critical"
(1976-->1968-->?) [emphasis added in quotations throughout]

 From a message on ABA eDiscovery committee:

> There appears to be an interesting eDiscovery/preservation issue that
>  stands apart from the business-needs modeling (high availability,
> *failover*, service level guarantees) discussed by this linked
> article.
> What do I mean?  That term *"failover"* may likely be synonymous
> with...backup. So, where there is discoverable, relevant, ESI in the
>  cloud, there is also backup or, some degree and form of replicated
> data sets seeding the same, or other clouds.

I initially interpreted that as a noun. I appear to have been
mistaken--it's both noun and verb. Here's the text from the original CRN
Slide 3
> "It will force customers to ask more questions, put a disaster
> recovery plan in place that includes more than one provider for
> example, or *fail over* into another region. Service providers are in
> a tough spot now to do what they should have been doing since the
> beginning, and that's educating their customers with all the options
>  available to them."
Slide 4
> "The exposure here is that when leveraging the cloud, the buyer needs
>  to fully understand the technology and the SLAs that each cloud
> provider offers. High availability and data center *failover* are
> offered at different levels. Clients need to fully understand what
> they are signing up for, but also what their tolerance is for each
> system or environment that is being migrated to the cloud."

There is an assortment of cloud-related terminology as well, but these
appear to be fairly typical:

        cloud service, cloud charlatans, pseudo-cloud, etc.

Also, from Slide 11:

> Amazon came under criticism for its *lack of communication* during and
> following the cloud outage, and *radio silence* won't fly when customer
> infrastructures aren't running as promised.

"Radio silence" is interesting here--not because it's new, but because
the OED is vague on what constitutes "extended use":

> radio silence n. abstention from radio transmission; absence of radio
> transmission; also in extended use.

The four examples don't help--the first three deal with the traditional
jargon and the fourth is, at best, ambiguous. Here we have something
that is a completely unambiguous transferred usage--radio silence==lack
of communication. Is there a need for elaboration?

One of the slides mentions "mission critical"--something that OED dates,
fairly generically, to 1976. The date is off target and the origin of
"mission critical" appears to have been with NASA.

In particular, I managed to date one snippet somewhat definitively:
Appolo Accident: Hearings Before the Committee on Aeronautical and Space
Scienves. United States Senate. 1968
> Action.--Mission-critical positions have been identified and
> incumbents are being submitted for required investigation.

It's rather obvious that this is not the earliest citation, but the GB
material from the 1960s, especially government reports and papers from
RAND and JPL are so badly mistagged that untangling it all is nearly
impossible. All the RAND papers appear to have either completely wrong
dates or dates that correspond only to the earliest in the collection.
There are some hits that show 1966, 1964, 1962, but they are unverifiable.

Certainly some targeted searches within documents dealing
with the space program some time between 1960-1968 will give more
snippets and, perhaps, some history of the term. It may go back even
further. But that's a job for another time--and for someone else.


The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list