Back to normal after data center power outage

The data center that houses Nirvana’s front-end web servers suffered a prolonged power outage last night. It took a lot longer than anyone expected (or wanted) before the thousands of VMs at their facility, including ours, were able to be brought back online. The high-level sequence of events is available here.

We’re back online now and everything is running normally.
Please accept our sincere apologies if you were unable to login this morning.

We don’t usually talk much about our infrastructure (as we figure it’s not that interesting to most GTD’ers), but given recent events I suppose this might be one of those times when people might like to know more.

Over the past few months we’ve been incrementally migrating our infrastructure to a geographically distributed and fault tolerant cloud architecture, hosted at Amazon AWS.  They are truly amazing, and we are in good company.

Our databases are already running as multi-AZ replicated RDS instances, so they were unaffected by the power outage.

In a frustrating twist of fate, we had planned on moving the remainder of our web servers to AWS yesterday, but decided to push the migration back a week (as we’ve been working a lot of Saturday nights lately and we kinda wanted a break), and Linode, where we’ve been happily hosted for years, winds up having a major outage — the exact type of event we have been working hard to mitigate by moving to our new architecture.  Arrrrgh.

Having our servers auto-scaling and load-balanced across multiple data centers will significantly reduce the chances of outages in the future.  In light of last night’s events, it can’t come soon enough.  Thanks for sticking with us, and sorry again for the unexpected downtime.

Scheduled Maintenance Saturday, March 8 at 10:00pm EST

We will be bringing our main database offline for about 30 minutes tomorrow night starting around 10PM EST (03:00 GMT).  You won’t be able to login to your account during this maintenance window.  However, you’ll still be able to use the web app and the iOS/Andrdoid apps just fine, provided you’re already logged in.  Your data will resume syncing with the cloud (and between your devices) once we bring the database back online.

Sorry for the interruption.  We’ll post updates on twitter @nirvanahq to let you know when we start and when we’re done.

Scheduled Maintenance Saturday, February 8 at 1:00am EST

We will be upgrading some of our backend systems on Saturday, February 8 between 1:00am – 1:30am EST (6:00 – 6:30 GMT). This will not affect you if you are already signed in to your account (on the web or via mobile devices), but you may not be able to login (create a new session) for 2 brief periods during this maintenance window.  Our apologies in advance for the forshadowed blip, but the upside is that we’ll be better prepared for growth on the flipside.

We will be upgrading some of our backend systems on Saturday, February 8 between 1:00am-1:30am EST (6:00-6:30 GMT). You likely won’t notice a thing if you are already signed in to your account (on the web or via mobile devices), but you may not be able to login (create a new session) for 2 brief periods during this maintenance window.

Our apologies in advance for the forshadowed blip, but the upside is that we’ll be better prepared for growth on the flipside.

System Maintenance

We will be moving some things around this evening, starting around 9 PM Eastern. Parts of Nirvana may go offline for brief windows, but if you’re already logged in before we start, chances are you won’t notice anything. Will update this post as time frames firm up.

N1 has sunset

After more than 3 years and 2 million tasks marked done, N1 has finally been put out to pasture.

For those who’ve been with us since the beginning, including the few thousand people who were still using N1 up until about 45 minutes ago, thanks for all of the feedback. You’ve helped guide the evolution of Nirvana into what it is today.

N2, henceforth to be known simply as “Nirvana” (in our dreams, right?) is now the new baseline. We are looking forward to getting back to the business of building new features into Nirvana without N1 lingering around as a boat-anchor.

We’ve made a herculean effort to transition all of the remaining N1 stragglers as seamlessly as possible, but if you happen to run into any difficulties please reach out to us over at support. Our biggest concern is folks running older versions of Internet Explorer. Nirvana targets the latest Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Internet Explorer… that means IE9. If you are running IE8 your experience will be less than stellar. If you are stuck in a corporate environment with anything less, we sympathize, and truly hope your IT department will accommodate getting you set up with a safe, modern browser such as Chrome.

So, there you have it. An end of an era. Onwards.

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What is GTD®?

GTD® rests on the principle that a person needs to move tasks out of the mind by recording them externally. That way, the mind is freed from the job of remembering everything that needs to be done, and can concentrate on actually performing those tasks.

Read more about GTD® on David Allen's website »