Nuff Nuff

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Victoria Lives at Risk #7

I know its almost winter, I know that few people except those with a keen interest will be checking out the CFA website for bushfires, let alone any fires.

But once again the CFA feed for the fire locations IS NOT WORKING. The DSE Site IS working, with the same information, but if you live in Epping, Victoria, why would you check the DSE site? - When the CFA is your fire brigade?

This is not the first time and I doubt will be the last. If it is a planned outage, then notice should be posted on the site, on the relevant page.

I was informed at 19.36hrs EST, that the website has currently been down for 20 hours. It is now 20.42hrs EST and there is no notice on the site, nor has the site come back up.

If this was to happen mid-summer, I'm sure there would be an uproar, but since it's winter and little threat is posed, who cares?

I hate to say it but I care - my reasons for caring are that a site that can't work properly in winter, what hope have we got in summer when the threat is real and not imagined?

The people who run the technical side of things for the CFA need to fix this urgently as I have been blogging about every outage that I am made aware of.

Here the major outages that I am aware of and have been able to prove.

Dec 2009 - Outage #1
Dec 2009 - Reason for Outage
Dec 2009 - Outage #2
Jan 2010 - Outage #3
Jan 2010 - Outage #4
Jan 2010 - Outage #5
Feb 2010 - Outage #6

At the risk of repeating myself:-
"We must make our voices heard over the politics, over the government protectionism of public liability, we need multiple sources of information and not information that is hidden from all except a few who understand how these things work.

“Emergency Services Minister Bob Cameron says people should never rely only on the CFA website."

So tell me Mr Cameron – what do we rely on? Or do we leave our house, our business or animals to the hand of God?

Victorians have a right to know - not be kept in the dark like mushrooms. We have a right to defend if capable/able"

**It is now 7.23hrs EST 31.05.10 and the CFA website is still down, making a total of 32 hours that the CFA has been down for so far. This is not acceptable

** The site finally came back up again at 10.05hrs EST 31.05.10 - making a total of 35 hours down time


Andrew said...

People should not have to look at two sites, nor know which service covers them. One site, well maintained.

Heather said...

Thanks Andrew, you are right, one site not two. The reason for the two sites is in case one site goes down. But that will only switch the traffic from one narrow point to another and still not solve the problm.

A mirrored site, may help, but I am not sure of technicalities in relation to this.

The bottleneck during peak times is the crux of most of the problem. This time it MAY have been a hardware issue - but why was the DSE site up and CFA not?

It's hard to know what the solution is, but something MUST be done before the onset of the 2010-11 fire season.

Which is why these issues must be addressed now and not on the dawn of the new fire season.

Thanks for the input



carla said...

Being in the industry of web development myself, it's not always easy to maintain a site. There are a number of stakeholders to satisfy and technical difficulties can lead to prolonged outages. I'm sure the CFA are WELL aware of the importance and would not dismiss the outage as unimportant.

Heather said...

Carla - I would like to agree with you, but in this instance - I know for a fact that the people/persons responsible had no idea there was a problem. I was contacted via open comment and advised that no record of log errors had been received and they will look further into it.
I understand that hardware fails, that software sometimes doesn't want to talk.
Hell last night I had a combined hardware/software problem on my home PC - I understand fully - but we are talking about lives and for the governing bodies to advise that no fault has been logged - indicated the problem is deeper than a hardware/software fault.