On a Wednesday afternoon last summer, a group of engineers working on the popular server monitoring service Metal were preparing to deploy a new feature that would make it easier to track down server problems.
It was one of many planned features for the service, but none had a clear, public purpose until recently.
The new feature, which was still in early development, was intended to be a “service that can serve you the latest statistics and information on the servers of other services, without your having to download and install them,” the engineers wrote in a blog post.
But after they’d begun testing it, they realized that the feature didn’t have any clear and visible purpose.
The service could serve a bunch of web sites at once, they wrote, but that didn’t tell you the full story about what they were doing.
“This is what I think Metal needs,” they wrote.
So they began looking around for other, simpler solutions.
And it led them to an old, long-forgotten web site.
When they looked it up on Google, they found that Metal had a bug.
It said that some of the sites on Metal’s list of services weren’t actually on Metal.
“That is the most frustrating thing we’ve ever had,” one of the engineers said.
“It’s a very hard bug to fix.”
The engineers quickly realized that there was an easier way to solve the problem.
They could take a look at a site that didn “count” as Metal service, and it would just show up on the Metal homepage.
The engineers were able to use that site as a “source” to build a new service.
But the new service, MetalServ, was more powerful.
It could serve all the sites Metal wanted.
So the engineers built a new tool, MetalSearch, to allow them to look for any site on MetalServ.
MetalServ’s new function also provided an easy way to check the status of all the services Metal had deployed.
It showed a page with a few icons: the number of servers that MetalServ had served; the current number of users; the time they were running Metal; and a timestamp that showed how long it had been since the last time the server was “down.”
It also had a few additional data points: The service was running on a few different machines, including machines that had been manually restarted, so it was unlikely that the servers were down all at once.
It also seemed likely that the server had recently been rebooted.
When the engineers looked up the number, they saw that Metal’s server count had jumped from five to 25, and the servers had been down for a total of 10 hours.
The problem was that it had only been down a few hours.
“You can do a lot of good with a lot less data,” one engineer said.
It turned out that Metal was reporting a total number of 537.
And when they checked the server’s status, it showed that it was still down.
“We are not reporting this as a service,” the engineer wrote.
“Instead we are reporting it as a list of servers with the status ‘down,'” he added.
It turns out that even though the server counts were showing up in MetalServ in a list format, they weren’t on the server lists that Metal served.
The MetalServ site wasn’t showing up at all.
But, in the MetalServ logs, it was showing up somewhere else.
The servers were still down, and they weren, in fact, serving new sites.
“The MetalServ report is still showing up as a separate site,” the server logs showed.
And as the engineer explained it to me, “We can see the server that was down but not being served is still not the one we are actually serving, it’s still not our default.
So if it’s not a MetalServ server, then the service is down.”
The problem is that Metal serves a lot more than just MetalServ — and the new site was serving a lot too many of those.
For one thing, Metal serves all the same web sites that Metal serviced.
And while it’s possible to create a custom server list for a specific web site, it would be very hard to do that on a system that was using a different set of servers.
Metal served all the major web sites — Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Wikipedia — for free.
The only way to do it was to create the new server list.
The engineer didn’t want to do this, and so he went back to the list of MetalServ servers.
He used that list to create MetalServ 2.0, a new, more powerful version of Metal.
Metal 2.1 was released this week, and is meant to serve more than 100,000 sites.
Metal 1.1, which is also part of the Metal service stack, has only been around for about a year, and was only designed to serve the official Metal site, but