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For action: vAMSYS system migration

George Peppard

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For action: vAMSYS system migration

(this announcement is targeted at VA staff - if you're a pilot, please wait for an announcement from your VA)

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last few months (or are one of our newer customers - in which case, welcome!) you will have heard of the large infrastructure upgrades that are currently being worked on across the entire platform to deliver a more stable experience for all our users.

Most parts of this migration can be done silently, without affecting users - this is the approach we have so far taken and will continue to take, slowly migrating groups of users onto the new systems until all users are accessing the "new" hosts, at which point the "old" host, Atlas, can be switched off one last time and retired.

However, there are a couple of parts of the maintenance in which we will be required to prevent users from accessing the platform - these are the parts of the maintenance related to the database, where we need the state of our data to remain constant for a long period of time, without any changes, to ensure no data is lost, duplicated or corrupted.

The vAMSYS platform will be UNAVAILABLE on WEDNESDAY 23RD FEBRUARY from 1600 UTC until 2300 UTC. This includes the `vamsys.io` website, Pegasus, the vAMSYS Community Forums and associated services. You will NOT be able to book flights, file PIREPs or access the platform IN ANY WAY. Flights in progress may continue to track BUT WILL NOT REPORT BACK TO THE CENTRAL SERVER.


Action required NOW:
- We recommend each VA delegates overall responsibility for communication to pilots for this outage to one person. This person should claim this communication and see it through to resolution.
- Cascade this communication to the rest of your VA staff and begin to formulate some publicity to communicate this to pilots in good time before the outage.
- Begin to determine whether pilots will be able to manually claim for lost hours and points during the outage (we recommend using our PIREP claim system), and devise a strategy for processing claims.

Action required IN GOOD TIME before maintenance, ideally BY MID-DAY ON TUESDAY:
- Cascade publicity to pilots via various channels to inform them of the impending outage. vAMSYS staff will add a global announcement banner, **VAs do not need to add alerts or notices unless they wish to add additional information**.

Important Information
- It is our experience (and that of several of our VAs) that many pilots will either not see the various forms of publicity provided, or ignore it, and will therefore request support from your VA. We would recommend implementing some method to prevent users from requesting support with vAMSYS (we recommend if you have a platform support channel in your Discord server that it is locked - there is no way to have issues with the platform when the platform is not available to pilots).
- We do not, and will not for this outage, provide first line support to pilots. Pilots that contact vAMSYS Customer Services to report the outage will only delay support for VA owners, and will receive a (to them) dissatisfactory response referring them back to your VA.
- Please do not contact vAMSYS Customer Services, via the helpdesk or Discord, to report this outage. Doing so will only delay completion - we are a small team (the team that can deal with infrastructure problems is even smaller), and time spent responding to erroneous outage reports is time spent *not* carrying out the planned maintenance.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

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George Peppard
Systems and Infrastructure Advisor to vAMSYS, ex-Infrastructure Director

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