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When a long-running server needs to be rebooted, what are the most important tools? Remember, reboots on many systems can be weeks, months, or even years in between. So a reboot is not a normal occurence for the machine.

So what would the best tools to have on hand? Paper and pen. Take extensive notes of everything that happens out of the ordinary as the system comes up – things to fix, things to watch out for, and so on. Recording how much time it takes may not be a bad idea. Watch for services that are not required and shut them down as needed.

When debugging the reboot process, make sure to get evidence of a completely clean startup before considering the job done. The job may look like it is done, but if a reboot exposes a failure in configuration or other problems, then it’s not done – and you won’t know unless you reboot.

Also when you reboot, make sure that all subsystems are up and running. Often, important subsystems are not set to automatically start up – in case the system crashes, the idea is to keep the system off-line until the reason for its demise is fully known. So don’t forget these important subsystems and start them up after booting – whether the system is Caché or Oracle or some other.

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