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FYI-- apologies for the duplication

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From: "Bruce C Johnson" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, March 03, 2006 9:46 AM
Subject: Follow up on yesterday's Cataloger's Desktop availability problems


Colleagues:

I would like to report back to you on where we are with yesterday's
Cataloger's Desktop availability problems.  There were actually two
different but inter-related problems that I will briefly explain.

1.  Cataloger's Desktop is jointly developed with a contractor in Kentucky.
The service is physically hosted by a sub-contractor, also in Kentucky.
Yesterday morning, the sub-contractor's hosting server became overloaded
with traffic going to some of the other services they host. Two effects of
this were (a) some Desktop subscribers were unable to get past an access
bottleneck, which would generate a "Service not available" error message; or
(b) the Desktop site has protocols in place to monitor system performance.
These routines check to see whether the service is responding normally, and
if there is an inordinate delay they can interpret the problem as the
underlying NXT software needing to be reset.  This would also cause the
subscribers to have unacceptably long response times, while not actually
triggering a error message.

FIX: Adjustments have been made to the hosting service to make Cataloger's
Desktop-related traffic top priority, so that regardless of whatever other
traffic the hosting service is experiencing, it should not affect Desktop.

2.  Concurrent with problem (1) above, the Cataloger's Desktop access
control hardware was experiencing problems, which intermittently prevented
some people from using the product, and making response time unacceptably
long for others.

FIX: The contractor has made some adjustments to the access control
hardware, and is going through the event logs so see if additional
adjustments can be made to ensure that this does not recur.

   Finally, there are a couple of changes coming in the next couple of weeks
that should significantly improve system reliability and response time:

A.  We are finalizing work on a simplified interface for Cataloger's
Desktop. As a part of this effort, the product's templates have been
re-engineered to load and re-paint screens more efficiently.  My own
personal observation is that the initial logging in process takes a little
longer (because graphics are being pre-loaded), but that going from one
screen or function to another is much faster.  The net effect is that
subscribers should experience a significantly brisker work environment.

B.  The size of the sub-contractor's internet connection (known to the
techies among us as the "pipe") is being tripled this month.  This will
dramatically improve the hosting service's ability to cope with demand
surges.  The net effect is that it should improve both speed and
reliability.

   I apologize for not getting back to you sooner, but I thought you would
appreciate an explanation of the issues and what is being done to address
them.  Although Cataloger's Desktop has had essentially 100% availability
since the initial Beta testing period, we recognize that we must continue to
make efforts to improve service speed and reliability.  Please contact me
offlist if you have any questions or concerns about the above.

Bruce


Bruce Chr. Johnson
President-Elect, Association for Library Collections & Technical Services
(ALCTS)
a division of the American Library Association

and

Library of Congress
Cataloging Distribution Service
Washington, DC 20540-4911 USA

202-707-1652 (voice)  [log in to unmask]
202-707-3959 (fax)