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News and Events

December 20th, 2010
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Upcoming Maintenance to Background Backup servers

NOTICE OF UPCOMING SERVER MAINTENANCE
December 24th – 31st, 2010
(Please read and share with other users within your organization)

(Note - a PDF of this notice is available HERE.)

In order to accommodate the anticipated growth of Background Backup in 2011, the system administrators are going to be taking advantage of the low impact period between Christmas and New Years to migrate the master and slave servers onto larger, more robust versions of the Linux-based Background Backup appliances.

We wanted to communicate the details of the maintenance plan ahead of time, so that you can review it, ask questions about it, plan for it, and just generally be aware of things that are happening. The following points outline the planned maintenance activities, the timelines involved and the anticipated impact to service, by way of occasional shut-downs of the backup servers

Schedule window for significant maintenance activities:
• December 24th - 31st, 2010

Critical points about the planned work:
• The scheduled maintenance activities will only impact the offsite Background Backup servers, and will not affect the performance, use or readiness of any onsite backup destinations or appliances.

• In order to conduct the strongest possible maintenance validation and data integrity tests, no new users are permitted to be added to Background Backup on either the 24th, 25th or 26th of December, 2010.

• No changes whatsoever are being made to any of the Background Backup service urls and links, versions of software being used, or the features and settings available for use.

• Toll-free, 1:1 phone and email support will be available, in case any urgent situations arise at any time during the maintenance window. If you have questions about the planned maintenance, please email (using your registered email address) us at support@backgroundbackup.ca. Urgent requests can also be called in, to 1-800-BUNKER1.

Overview of planned work:
• Acquire and burn-in new servers and storage (this is already underway; servers have been onsite and running in a parallel test configuration since October).

• Prior to Dec 24th, copy (rsync) an initial set of encrypted backup archives to the new appliances, while all services remain live; there will be no interruption of service whatsoever during this phase, for all users and all destinations.

• Beginning at 6:00 PM (all times Eastern), December 24th, rolling “offsite destination” service outages will occur as groups of users (approx. 100 per group) have backups to their offsite destination stopped in order to perform clean, static synchronization of their up-to-the-minute archives. During this phase, users checking the CrashPlan application will continue to see a green icon to the left of the IronGate StrongBox destination in their CrashPlan application, however the status message to the right will eventually switch to “Destination unavailable”, as your group migrates.

• After all user archives have been cloned to the new appliances, we will bring down the existing master server, and bring up the new master server. This is likely to occur in the early afternoon of December 26th, but will occur earlier if the migration completes sooner than anticipated. During this phase the green icon beside the offsite destination will turn grey, but other appliance-based or local destinations will remain green and active.

• Once the performance of the new servers has been certified and verified to our satisfaction (likely less than 30 minutes), all client installations should auto-detect the new master server, and immediately begin secure communications. Within CrashPlan, users will see the destination status dot turn green.

• As the client agents auto-discover the new servers, a synchronization task will begin, ensuring that all client archive caches on each protected machine match the actual offsite archive.

• During this synchronization process, it may look like the client is re-uploading a significant amount of data; be assured that it is merely stepping through the files and performing a thorough analysis, and that any data previously uploaded should not require actual re-transmission.

• Through the morning of December 31st, users may experience one or more brief periods of offsite-destination service unavailability, as the final aspects to configuration and turn-up are performed, before the servers are released for service.

• Watch for service updates on twitter (@backgrnd_backup), in addition to the news section at IronGate, accessible via: www.irongate.ca/wordpress/?p=38

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