Last September technicians met in Kuala Lumpur where they discussed one full day about the future of CIS-Net tools and services. They mainly focused their discussions on 3 major areas:
The first topic on their agenda was the famous ‘Common Cache’ used as a failover, which will change societies’ life in terms of CIS-Net response times and nodes performances. The common cache (or buffer), available since October 2013, is regulated by the updated FastTrack Service Level Agreement. It is supplementing the Schedule Maintenance Facility that has been successfully qualified by four volunteer societies and the WID Centre in 2012. It is currently being deployed in production for an enhanced availability of CIS-Net nodes. A Business Implementation Plan, where each node will need to indicate its preferred options in terms of contributing model and dates to go live, should be circulated soon to all contributing societies.
Another hot topic was the migration of FastTrack architecture to the Cloud in order to reduce dependencies to physical infrastructure and to strengthen the Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP). Using this cloud-based architecture would allow system operations and administration tasks to be automatically triggered according to a predefined schedule or by request from either an administrator/user or from another automated process. Due to the distributed nature of the FastTrack system, these tasks will be either performed centrally when they relate to shared components of CIS-Net, or locally in societies if they relate to a specific contributing node to the network.
Briefly stated the Cloud-based solution should address the following key weaknesses of our system:
- Hardware issues/general availability;
- Lack of redundancy (hard + soft);
- Facilitation of disaster recovery;
- Hardware obsolescence;
- Resources to support physical infrastructure;
- Costs of double implementation.
Lastly CIS-Net Technical Liaisons discussed and agreed on the weekly bulk Quality Assessments process as part of the project on Documentation Clean up and Integrity. This was also discussed in parallel among CIS-Net Business Liaisons who agreed on the following business rule that was actually approved by the CIS-Net Steering Committee: ‘Every node Administrator must run the initial bulk DCI Data Quality Assessment on their node and subsequent incremental assessments on minimum weekly basis’.
Each of these three major topics would deserve a long, but probably too much technical, article. If you or somebody in your society needs further information on one of these topics please feel free to contact me. I will be delighted to provide all necessary details if requested.
Didier Roy, Technical Director
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