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US On-Demand Servers Issues

Unfortunately we have problems with one of our file servers and have to temporally switch to the reserved one. As a result you may experience difficulties with the login to Targetprocess. We are working on the issue and will bring back the application working capacity asap.

Please check http://status.tpondemand.com for updates or follow our Twitter account https://twitter.com/targetprocess

UPDATE: Accounts are operational again, all attachments are  recovered.

Targetprocess On-Demand Accounts Now Use HTTPS Connection Only

This post is to let you know that all Targetprocess On-Demand accounts are now using only a HTTPS connection. This change will go unnoticed by most users since any required redirects will be performed automatically, but we wanted to let you know why we are making this change.

Certainly, using an SSL/HTTPS makes the connection more secure.  However, this is not the only reason why we decided to implement this change. Some important infrastructure changes are included to the 3.2 release, such as switching to websockets and enabling the SPDY protocol.  These changes require that an HTTPS connection works reliably.

For you, this means better connection, faster load times (especially, the first load) and the ability to have more than 6 tabs of Targetprocess 3 open.

For us, switching to a more modern framework means we can deliver cool features easier.

We know that some of you use custom plugins, reporting services, mashups, integrations, etc. These should not be affected by this change, since we still allow HTTP requests for the REST and SOAP APIs. However, we do recommend updating them to use HTTPS as well. If something goes wrong, please contact our support team.

The changes do not affect local installations (aka On-Site). We do not force HTTPS with On-Site, but it might be a good idea to turn it on as well.

2 of our servers down since 1 AM EST (servers are up already)

Here’s what we received from our hosting provider:

Our data center which is owned by Verizon Canada is having a global outage and they are in complete dark right now. None of their backup power flipped over. We have a backup generator and UPS that should all automatically pick up.

They will be releasing a statement apologizing for the issue once all is said and done that you can extend to your clients. We can also talk about compensation at that time.

For the time being we are anxiously waiting on power to be restored, we will update you as soon as we have more from Verizon.

We will update you about the status.

UPDATE: 6 AM EST

Power is restored, our datacenter is having trouble with the network but the problems should be resolved shortly.

They have 24 hours of UPS and 24 hours of diesel fuel onhand. The issue was the flip did not work properly and did not flip over to an alternate power source. Power has been restored for quite sometime but they are having troubles getting their networking equipment going.

We use the top datacenter in Toronto, most of the banks use the same one as us.

We have had constant communication with them every 10 minutes, this issue is effecting multiple other large clients of Verizon as well. They won’t issue an ETA but say it could be any minute.

All of the servers are on, we are just waiting for them to fix connectivity. I will make sure you have something to give to your clients that explains the issue in detail.

UPDATE: 8:12 EST

Some of Verizons(datacenter) routers were damaged in the power surge. They are reloading the configuration on those devices. They won’t issue an ETA but are working on it with all hands on deck.

We have numerous staff at the datacenter and keep phoning for updates frequently.

I don’t have a firm ETA but I would think by the amount of man power working on this for the past few hours, it should be fixed any time.

UPDATE: 9:20 EST

We received an ETA from the datacenter of 1 hour. We were in the process of moving the equipment to our 2nd datacenter but given the new ETA. We will give it the hour before moving.

UPDATE: 10:47 AM EST

Servers are back! Please let us know if you have any problems.

UPDATE: 1:15 PM EST We received update from our hosting provider with some explanations:

At 11:30PM on Monday, January 9th the Verizon datacenter lost complete power. Normally this would not be a problem as they should failover to Verizon’s UPS or generator. For reasons that have not yet

been explained to us, none of the alternate power sources picked up. This caused the entire datacenter to lose all power and lights. We had someone onsite by 12AM on Tuesday, January 10th to investigate the issue.

At this time numerous other large customers of Verizon also arrived, demanding answers about the situation. We knew very little until the power was restored at roughly 2AM. We were then able to power all servers and equipment and ensure everything was in a healthy condition. Verizon announced at this time they were having “internal network problems” that they were trying to resolve and did not have an ETA as to when it would be fixed.

We escalated the case along with the other companies using the facility. Verizon was unable to provide any ETA or information on what was wrong until roughly 10AM EST. The issue was found to be 4 cards in a Cisco gateway were damaged as a result of a short circuit within Verizon. We were told 4 cards were being rushed to the facility and we would be back online in roughly 1 hour. All systems came back online at 10:45AM EST.

It was very difficult for us to provide much information to our clients during the outage because the issue was not with our equipment or infrastructure directly.

Verizon will be making an announcement and providing more detail in the coming days.

UPDATE: Jan 13

We’ve received official email from Verizon

Dear Verizon Canada customer:

On Monday, January 09 at 11:02 PM EST Verizon’s network connections in
the Toronto data center experienced a service interruption. This
incident was triggered by numerous utility voltage fluctuations followed
by a total loss of utility power. Verizon backup power systems came
online as designed but a failure occurred during the transfer to
generator power.

At approximately 11:20 PM EST the power in the Verizon colocation
facility failed. By this time Verizon field engineers were on site to
investigate the power incidents. Utility power was restored at
approximately 11:31 PM EST which also restored colocation power.

Residual problems with the UPS systems were observed. Verizon field
engineers engaged vendor and third party assistance to restore full
functionality. At approximately 12:00 AM EST the UPS came back on line
and the power systems were fully restored throughout the facility.

At about 12:30AM commercial power returned and site was transferred
back.

Verizon observed problems within the network infrastructure and began
troubleshooting. At approximately 03:00 AM EST it was determined that
there were multiple hardware failures in the switching infrastructure.

At 06:49 AM EST network field technicians were dispatched to replace
hardware.
By 08:49 AM EST the incidents were escalated to level 3 engineers.
At 09:37 AM EST it was determined that additional hardware was required
from another Verizon site within Toronto.
At 10:32 AM EST all faulty hardware was replaced.

Network services were fully restored at 10:41 AM EST.

********

Corrective actions were planned and an emergency maintenance was
performed on January 12th 2012, at 12:00 AM EST to bypass the power
equipment which failed during the transfer to generator power. Verizon
procedures have been adjusted to improve the speed of escalation for
network infrastructure devices at this facility.

What People Say About Teams Board Area

Here is what people say about our new Teams Board area released in TargetProcess v.2.21.

  • The relatively simple overview is just great.
  • The simple fact that this really is a KanBan board with assignment swimlanes. Been waiting for this!
  • The overall feature is very good, well thought out. Kudos.
  • The board is very nice as a tool for standups
  • Using it for daily stand-up, is great view into what people are doing!
  • Overview of all projects in one place, I’ve been struggling with this in TP for over a year!
  • Overall, that’s a major improvement. We are using scrum and I was hoping to have a good task board as this one.
  • Great use of drag and drop, very intuitive.
  • Great feature to be able to zoom in and out for detail or for high-level scope on stories.
  • I really like this idea. Very helpful from a project management point of view. Great Job with this!
  • Nice tool to set priority on product backlog item presenting many projects with bugs and features all in the sample place with intuitive drag and drop: WoW!
  • Overall, I love it! This is a great way to view everything at a glance and the ability to drill in is prefect. More feedback as I use it

Kanban: Why 3 States in Cumulative Flow Diagram

We have implemented cumulative flow diagram in TargetProcess v 2.15 as a tracking/reporting chart to get a quick overview of user stories in To Do, In Progress and Completed state:

cfd_default2

Why we have only 3 fixed states for cumulative flow diagram while all the states for User Stories and other entities are customizable? We could have enabled showing the count of User Stories in all the customized states, be it 6 or 7 or 8 states. But the visual diagram would have been too clogged this way. We would have had to either follow the reporting stats meticulously,  replicate all the states and counts in the digram and lose the visual UX of this chart, or to get it down to 3 basic  states such as ToDo, InProgress and Completed (all the customized states are just a variation for those 3 states, one way or another) and retain a good info-design.

Some people asked us to enable more detailed views in cumulative flow digram and we will consider implementing this in the future.

You’re welcome to submit your requests on cumulative flow diagram and other features to TargetProcess HelpDesk or to TargetProcess UX Group.

What Features Should be Improved/Updated in Next Releases?

Continue to post survey results. Here is the list of what should be improved in TargetProcess.

Feature Relevant
customization 79%
integration 74%
agile planning and tracking 96%
QA 83%
reports and dashboards 81%
people allocations 75%
collaboration 77%
help desk 55%
email integration 52%
time tracking 68%

Interestingly, agile project planning and tracking is on the top. The main goal of the tool is to provide agile project management, but still this area demands most improvements on customers’ opinions. It proves nicely that the main focus should be perfect.

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