Sunday, September 25, 2011

High availability, epilepsy, functional MRI, and DB2 commands

In the past I had written a couple times about epilepsy and some computer-related aspects. Today, I want to point you to some more interesting aspects of your brain and high availability. As written earlier, one of my sons has epilepsy which was caused by a brain tumor. Last January, my son and I had a very interesting session in the hospital where a functional MRI (fMRI or fMRT) was performed. The reason has to do with the high availability of the brain.

What happens when you use DB2 with HADR or pureScale and one machine fails? If all is configured right and it indeed works, tasks should move over to one of the machines still up. When a child has epilepsy, depending on the type and seriousness, parts of the brain can get damaged. However, the brain is flexible and to some degree self-repairing. As a result, the functional "processors" of the impacted area can move to a different part of the brain. In DB2 you can monitor the HADR environment and query the state of the pureScale cluster: Who is primary, who is in peer state, on which machine are what services active? But how do you find out where in your brain the speech center is located (actually one of many)? The solution that helped in our case was to perform a functional MRI. It showed where important parts were located and whether it was safe later during surgery to operate in those areas where planned.

Conclusions: DB2 is simple to administrate compared to planning brain surgery.

BTW: Many hospitals use DB2 for patient records and much more.