Amazon

New CMS Cluster Goes Live October 31

The Winlink Development Team has scheduled the switch between the current production CMS cluster (Wien, Perth, Halifax, San Diego) to the new 'cloud' CMS cluster hosted by Amazon Web Services (AWS). the switch will take place on October 31, 2017 at 1600 UT.

The new server cluster is geographically diverse and sits within the AWS management environment. This provides the Winlink team better management tools, better analytics and monitoring, better backup, automated recovery from common problems, and will mean for users even more dependability and faster performance. Just in case, we have an independent live backup CMS system in San Diego that can be put online in minutes should the whole Amazon infrastructure collapse--and that's not likely. And even if that fails, the Hybrid RMS gateway radio-only network will function to keep message routing and delivery moving.

The AWS CMS server cluster has been in continuous beta testing for almost two years. We successfully tested it under full load of the network for four hours on June 16th. We are confident that users will notice no troubles with this change. But we're always on guard: There is nothing users need to do before or after the change, but we would like any issues you come upon to be promptly reported to the Winlink_Programs_Group support group. Just click the 'Support' item in the web site menu for access to it.

Current versions of Winlink Express have a checkbox that allows users to test the beta AWS cluster. After the 'go-live' date, this setting simply becomes inoperative, and a later version of the software will see the control disappear. Users of Airmail and other third party clients should also see no effect as long as they do not use IP addresses in settings to refer to CMS sites. Make sure your settings use 'server.winlink.org' wherever your program asks for the address of a Winlink CMS. All other settings remain the same.

The outgoing CMS servers are managed by volunteer sysops Neil Hughes, VE1YZ and Don Trotter, VE1DTR (Halifax); Phil Sutherland, VK6KPS (Perth), Gerhard Kmet, OE1ZK and Michael Kastelic, OE1MCU (Wien) and Tom Lafleur, KA6IQA and Scott Miller, K6SKM (San Diego). Each CMS was hosted at facilities donated to the Amateur Radio Safety Foundation. These individuals and host facilities have served Winlink for many years with stellar performance, permitting Winlink's 99.99% uptime record since 2000. Our gratitude for their dedication and services can't be expressed well enough in words. We invite our users to send them their individual thanks, and perhaps a short story about how you found their work behind the scenes useful, even life-saving, in the past. They can be reached at [email protected].

The good news is that these valuable members of the Winlink team will continue to operate RMS gateways, and contribute their knowledge and skills to the system as WDT members.

--Winlink Development Team

Successful AWS-CMS Test

We had a successful test of the new AWS 'Cloud' CMS system on Sunday, July 16th. For nearly three hours, between 1400-1700 UTC, the new CMS was switched in to handle almost the full load of the Winlink system. Other CMS were temporarily removed from message transport and other services. Only SMTP inbound (from the internet) messages were held during the test period and delivered to production CMS servers when the test concluded. We noticed only a few items that need cleaning up. No complaints or service issues were noted by the team--or by users--during the test. This puts the new CMS system on schedule for going live later this summer. Watch for an announcement.

Thanks to all who used the system during the test. By all indications, you did not even notice! And that's good!

--Winlink Development Team

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