An Ars Technica forum member posted this image of his Netware 3.12 server admin screen. Total uptime: 6030 days. That's over 16 years without a single reboot. Alas, the hard drive bearings were finally about to give out, so it was time to pull the plug.
This software served as a file and print server for up to 100 users. That's what it did the day it was installed, and that's what it was doing after 16 years of uninterrupted uptime. The little engine that could.
Today we might look back on software like Netware with scorn. How basic! Look at those garish colors! But we'll never achieve such uptime in the Cloud. Not even close.
Yes, the Cloud is more about elasticity than uptime. Yes, we don't seek to eliminate failure, rather we strive to automatically recover from failure. Life in the future!
Progress is a wonderful thing, true enough. But 16 years of uninterrupted uptime? It's hard not to feel just a bit nostalgic for the good old days. Perhaps progress isn't all it's cracked up to be.