Until today I was not even aware we were using this IP geolocation service in some of our systems. I guess that you need an outage to get to know what you have.
We do queries to country.netop.org to quickly know which country an IP is from. I am not sure of all the details but it seems quite simple to use. The only catch is that netop.org mentions that they have a single server answering the queries and that it can’t take big loads.
So why do we depend on it?
Someone decided that it was simpler to use this service to add the requested feature. It was probably not highlighted in the dependencies of the system or someone did not understand the full value of the dependencies.
I am not blaming anyone because I am ready to bet that we have many more dependencies like that, some that I have put in place, that we can’t fully value until an outage hits us.
The ITIL CMDB is a useful idea to try to catch these but it is one thing to know a system to help identify these dependencies and an other to make it work in real life.