STORY OF THE WEEK
Dear Public, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to all of you for all your admirable patience and support extended, while due to unexpected technical challenges and certain limitations, recently the online application form submission programme has slowed down. We sincerely regret the inconvenienced caused to all of you. On the brighter side, many of you did not give up and have successfully submitted your online application forms even during the period when the technical problem persisted. We are sincerely extending our heartiest gratitude to those 5499 applicants who had successfully submitted their Application Forms from 10th July 2015 to 15th July 2015 battling the disruption faced in the system.
The Online Application is designed and maintained by internationally known IT giant WIPRO, and is continuously working for incorporating your valuable feedback to improve the service delivery.And finally, we have mostly overcome the nightmare.We, the Team NRC, owe our esteemed applicants a detail account of the reasons for the under performance of the online website experienced for past couple of days, and would also like to humbly share the efforts undertaken to address the issues:
To start with, let us inform you the reasons for the snag -
- Initially, huge latency of more than 500ms observed in the Internet connection leading to slowness of the software. (“Latency” means the very tiny breaks (ranging from a fey milli seconds (ms) to 500 milliseconds) in Internet connection which leads to data loss resulting in “Oops”, “Session time-out” etc.)
- The hugetraffic of 1000+ concurrent usersas the response from our esteemed applicants was very heavy.
- Some of the software codes were giving exceptions leading to errors. This happens almost in all software applications, particularly, the heavier software.
Why did we have to go through it? Or Why could we not avert it -
- Let us assure the public that no compromise has been done in arranging the State of the art infrastructure at all levels. All the servers including Web-Server and Database Server are of Dell make, the Database is of Oracle and the Storage is of EMC. Inspite of putting in place such robust infrastructure the disruption has happened as the system couldn't be allowed to go through any amount of testing before opening it to the public due to the severe pressure of timelines to start Application receipt. The real load in the application could not be tested before online deployment due to lack of time as the NRC Updation process is racing against time to present the state with an updated NRC by January 2015 as directed by Honourable Supreme Court. We had to put up the system in a very short notice preventing us to do enough testing before public launch.
We would like to share that such disruptions are not unheard of. You may like to know that -
- Any IT system always goes through its own stabilization period which it takes months for the system to be stable for going live. It is a continuous improvement cycle. It is commonly noticed that even top IT giants like Microsoft, Oracle, Apple, IBM etc also go through their own development life cycle. Public must have witnessed Version upgrades from all these top IT Giants which for any software to address bugs from time to time. Similarly, upgrades are being done continuously in the NRC Online software program also.
But this can’t be an excuse to let our biggest support system, the applicants, down. We immediately got into the job and -
- Deployed technical teams across the world to address the issues. Technical teams and experts having more than 15 years of experience in Oracle, Linux, Apache are in Guwahati to analyse the issues and take corrective action. Experts across the world - more than 50 Level 2 & Level 3 software developers in India and many more domain experts of higher levels (Levels 3 & 4) globally from Oracle of USA, Red Hat of USA, and other service providers in India have been continuously working to give better service to the NRC Online clients.Performance tuning of Database and Webs Server has been done. Code review for exceptions is being done and more fine-tuning is in progress. Systems have been deployed to ensure that any exceptions in the system reported in the future are immediately addressed through bug fixes in future. Solution architects are working on design optimization for better performance.
- The system is being monitored 24x7 by technical teams’ onsite and offsite.
All rigorous works paid off and the present status is:
- With all the efforts, fine-tuning has been done at Database, Web Server and Application layers. Application bugs have been provided with hot fixes and bandwidth latency has also been stabilised at below 50ms. In short, we have done all possible technical advancement to improve the user experience in submitting theApplication Form online. However there could be more bugs that may come up in future like in any other software, but we would want to assure you that we shall not leave any stone unturned to resolve it with minimum disruption of services.
- Indisputably, development and maintenance of the NRC Online software program has to face severe challenges due to extremely heavy loads for long periods, criticality of availability of systems, crucial data security requirements etc owing to the sensitive nature of the project. As such, the software solutions have to handle huge complexities and that too in a very short span of time. NRC authorities have deployed the best available resources for handling these issues and have been able to make a turnaround. Even in the peak days of the crisis, online applications and registrations continued as is evident from the following graph :
Lastly, the competency of any organization is not determined by the quantum of the problems generated but how quickly the turnaround is provided.
Updation of the NRC for Assam is a collective goal. Let’s row the boat together!