Category Archives: Maintenance

Platform-wide scheduled maintenance on Friday, November 16

We will be performing maintenance on the Ning Platform on Friday, November 16, beginning at 10 PM Pacific Time. During this time, all Ning Networks will be unavailable for approximately 15 minutes.

We’ve been proud to offer a consistently high uptime and need to perform some crucial database updates to ensure that reliability continues.

During this time:

· Your Ning Network will display a maintenance page matching your current theme customization to let your members know that your community is temporarily unavailable.
· We will update the Ning Status Blog when this maintenance begins and ends.
· The Creators Network will also be down for maintenance. We will update on Creators when all is complete.

You may want to let your members know about this downtime in advance via a Broadcast Message or notice on the Main Page of your network. Feel free to make use of the language below, filling in your network details.

Formal: We will be performing maintenance on [network_name] on Friday, November 16, between 10 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. Pacific Time. During this time, [network_name] will be unavailable. We hope this won’t be too much of an inconvenience as we work to perform some necessary upgrades.

Informal: Just wanted to give everyone a heads-up that we need to perform some simple but necessary maintenance on [network_name] this coming Friday, November 16. We’ll need to take the site down at 10 pm Pacific for about 15 minutes, during which we’ll simply show a message asking folks to check back later. Thanks in advance for your patience while we tune up the site!

Planned Downtime on July 20th for Launch of New Plans

The launch of Ning Mini, Ning Plus and Ning Pro on July 20th involves a significant update to our code base. As a result, we will need to take the Ning Platform down for maintenance beginning at 9 a.m. Pacific Time on July 20th. The maintenance may take up to two hours, after which Network Creators will be able to purchase the new plans and begin enjoying new features. Due to the nature of the maintenance, we may not be able to display individually branded maintenance pages. Networks will likely show a simple unbranded error message.

We apologize for the timing of this maintenance window. We scheduled it at this time for two important reasons. First, so we can stress-test the new code with full daytime traffic volume during the maintenance period. Second, we want to have every Ning engineer, product manager, and advocate on hand during the maintenance period and post-launch. Taking Ning Networks down is something we hate to do, but is critical in this important transition. We are committed to making the move to the new pricing plans as smooth as possible for you and your members.

Ongoing updates regarding this maintenance will be available on the Ning Status Blog.

Details on Last Week’s Ning Platform Instability

We have always prided ourselves on our uptime record. In March, we had 99.999% uptime. However, Ning Networks experienced slowness last week and brief downtime on Thursday evening. I wanted to take a few moments to walk you through what happened last week and what we’re working on to improve on situations like this going forward.

Starting Tuesday morning we saw sporadic instability in our servers, resulting in slowness that many of you experienced. Our operations and engineering teams investigated a variety of potential causes for the instability including a back-end release that was pushed out on Monday. We rolled the release back as part of our investigation and continued to look for the root cause.

On Thursday morning we believe we identified and addressed the primary cause of the instability: we had started testing a prototype to deliver real-time information to Ning Networks on Monday. We stopped the test and continued to monitor the platform. At around 8pm that day a cluster of cache servers that had become slightly unstable during the investigation started failing. At this point, we began an unplanned maintenance to restart them and it took about 70 minutes to complete the restarts and go live.

Whenever there’s an issue on the Ning Platform, we pursue the following protocol: First, our on-call engineers begin investigating what might be causing the issue. Then, for larger issues like this week, we escalate it to all-hands on deck. We also strive to get information out to you as fast as possible through several channels including the Ning Status Blog, Creators Ning Network and Ning Status Twitter account. Longer-term, we are working on an NC landing page with an announcement bar for important messages and a separate, lightweight “Report an Issue” link, which will allow NCs to quickly and simply report an issue they may be experiencing.

Following this incident, I wanted to highlight two specific areas we have identified for improvement:

  1. It took longer than we’d like to identify and fix the problem: To address this, we are continuing our work on a series of projects that will simplify the platform and improve our ability to identify problems quickly when they happen. I will share more details with you early next week.
  2. We were not as effective as we could have been in communicating both the state of the platform and what we were working on: To address this, we are reviewing our internal and external communication processes to ensure that we can give you the most accurate and timely information on what is happening.

Keeping your Ning Network online and speedy is our top priority. Thanks again for all of your patience. As always we appreciate your feedback, so please let us know if you experience any problems on your Ning Network or have ideas for how we can improve the service.

Availability Metrics for March

Keeping your Ning Network available for visitors, members and content posting is our top priority. When we looked at how we were measuring the availability of the Ning Platform at the beginning of the year, we realized that we needed to update how we measured the Ning Platform’s availability. We finalized a plan for measuring our uptime in Feb. and put it into action in March. From here on out, we’ll post regular, monthly updates of how we’re doing at keeping your Ning Network online and speedy.

To help make this data a little more meaningful, we want to provide some context. Below is a chart that shows two different metrics for the availability of the Ning Platform. The first is for only Ning Networks; the second is for Ning Networks plus (this includes signed in and signed out, the About Ning pages, etc). In March, your Ning Network was up 99.999 percent of the time. Combined, Ning Networks and were available 99.997 percent of the time.

March uptime

We strive to keep your Ning Network online at all times, but from time to time we do maintenance that requires a downtime. When that is scheduled, we’ll let you know on both the Ning Blog and Status blog.

Sri is Ning’s VP of Engineering, and works to keep your Ning Network online and speedy.

Maintenance this Friday, April 9 at 10 p.m.

On Friday, April 9, we’ll be doing some maintenance on the Ning Platform beginning at 10 p.m Pacific Time and ending 4 hours later at 2 a.m. When we perform necessary downtime maintenance, we make sure that we get a lot of key things accomplished so that we can maintain our consistently high uptime rate. During this period, we’ll be doing crucial upgrades to hardware, systems and databases to ensure Ning Networks stay online and speedy.

The maintenance will start at 10 p.m. Pacific Time and will last for 4 hours. During this time, all Ning Networks will be offline and will display branded maintenance pages. Ongoing updates regarding this maintenance will be available on the Ning Status Blog.

Aaron is an Associate Community Advocate at Ning, and is currently working on the Catalan translation for Ning Networks.

Maintenance Friday night, Feb. 5, at 10 p.m.


This upcoming Friday, Feb. 5, we’ll be doing some maintenance on the Ning Platform beginning at 10 p.m. This maintenance window will require us to take a 2 hour downtime. We don’t like to take downtime very often, so when we do choose to do downtime maintenance, we want to make sure to get a lot of key things accomplished. In this maintenance period, we’ll be doing upgrades on hardware, key systems and databases, which are all vital to keeping your Ning Network up and running in the future.

The maintenance will start at 10 p.m. PST and will last for 2 hours. During this time all Ning Networks will be offline and will display branded maintenance pages. Ongoing updates regarding this maintenance will be available on the Ning Status Blog.

Brad, a Community Advocate at Ning, is working on a trick car charger for his Palm Pre.

Final availability metrics for 2009

We’ve already released our first big feature of 2010, but before we look too far into what’s coming up, I wanted to take a minute to go over our availability metrics for all of 2009. As I mentioned in November, in July we were able to address the issues causing instability in June, and make fixing them an immediate priority.

Availability 2009

As you can see in the chart above, our availability was 99.99 percent for November, and 99.59 percent in December. The December number reflects two hours of issues that affected pages but not Ning Networks on December 7, and almost an hour of planned maintenance on December 18. Compared with our numbers from 2008, it’s clear that we’ve made great strides in keeping your Ning Network online, speedy and growing. As always, we’ll continue to announce when there’s scheduled maintenance coming up, and keep you informed of what’s happening on the Ning Platform, here and on the Status Blog.

Sri Viswanath, VP of Engineering, leads the team that makes your Ning Network even faster.

Late Friday night maintenance

This Friday evening, Dec. 18, we’ll be doing some brief maintenance on the Ning Platform, focusing on a number of hardware upgrades and improvements. The maintenance will start at 10 p.m. Pacific and will last for 45 minutes.

During this time all Ning Networks will be offline and will display branded maintenance pages. Real-time updates will be available on the Ning Status Blog. We appreciate your patience with this, and please let us know if you have any questions. Thank you!

Brad Mallow, a community advocate at Ning, is stocking up on Red Bull and candy canes for this Friday’s maintenance.

Availability metrics for 2009

We take our performance and availability very seriously and work to deliver the best possible service and experience that we can.

After identifying and fixing some of the underlying issues that were causing instability in June, we were able to bring our uptime rate up to an average of 99.92% over the past four months.

Here is the uptime for 2009 so far:

Microsoft Excel

As you can see in chart above, our availability was 99.89% for October, 99.95% in September, and 99.95% again in the month of August.

As we head into 2010, we’ll continue to strive to make everything work beautifully on your Ning Network. Thanks for your continued support!

Sri Viswanath, VP of Engineering, leads the team making your Ning Network even faster and better.