MIS Systems Thread, Hosted SIMS outage - anyone affected? in Technical; We're a High School in Norfolk and have recently migrated to SIMS through our LEA's recommended setup. This comprises a ...
12th July 2011, 10:24 AM #1
Hosted SIMS outage - anyone affected?
We're a High School in Norfolk and have recently migrated to SIMS through our LEA's recommended setup. This comprises a hosted solution that we connect to via a remote desktop setup.
All well and good until it fails. The component that manages user accounts and handles logins has bittn the dust and hasn't worked since last week. Not just Norfolk affected, apparently the issue is nationwide. Made all the more fun since i've got a timetable to finish off and can only do it through the hosted instance of NovaT...
Is anyone else affected? Is this a common occurence with the hosted service?
12th July 2011, 11:45 AM #2
Suprised a high school is hosted. I would have thought you would have hosted it locally. Are you a small high?
12th July 2011, 11:57 AM #3
Norfolk have procurred SIMS as the LEA preffered MIS in Norfolk and that tender specified SIMS to be provided as a hosted service.
12th July 2011, 12:18 PM #4
Surely you could still take the SIMS license\database and host it locally - at the cost of the school - ie server\power\etc? I suppose they could say they won't support you, but would this be allow? I would say no, but they could say they cut out all support for hardware issues etc.
Anyway, hope it gets resolved soon.
12th July 2011, 12:31 PM #5
Taking the hosting in house is something our business manager is investigating. To be honest we all would have preferred it that way, but the difference in cost was huge (something like £20000 to £30000 saving when going hosted, if memory serves) and so the decision was made. Not been a happy process so far - in effect we were encouraged to be an early adopter and went ahead, despite trifling issues like user accounts that couldn't possibly be made to work in the timeframe we were given for migration... Ho hum!
Just to be balanced - i think a lot of the blame for problems experience lays with the LEA, not Capita.
12th July 2011, 12:46 PM #6
Not becoming an Academy any time soon are you
12th July 2011, 12:56 PM #7
We have our Sims Licenses through the LEA (has been this way for over 10 years i believe). all schools host onsite and then SLG is hosted externally and connected to use over the wan for the Data from sims.
So i assume that the sims license can be done in the way you want but all depends on how they have licensed from Capita.
12th July 2011, 12:59 PM #8
I've heard no rumblings to that effect, so stop trying to scare me!
Not becoming an Academy any time soon are you
Last edited by cheredenine; 12th July 2011 at 12:59 PM.
12th July 2011, 01:01 PM #9
I suspect there are many such wierd and wonderful ways to sort it. Norfolk seem to love a centralised service, though, so hosting really caught their attention. They also wanted to tie it in with their Norfolk ID plan for a single sign-on to multiple services, which is why we had trouble with user accounts to start off with..
Originally Posted by glennda
12th July 2011, 01:07 PM #10
The norfolk product is a hosted service so under that there is no option to allow the school to have it internally hosted themselves unless they buy it themselves from Capita and pay for the support etc... which reduces the economies of scale.
Originally Posted by matt40k
12th July 2011, 02:47 PM #11
Are you allowed to get a backup copy to then run your own test server onsite. It might be out of date, but at least core information is available on site for emergencies. For example, we rely on our heavily for medical info and parent contact numbers. There must be a legit way to set up a local cache, that isn't just exporting a load of data to spreadsheets.
With nova-T you can set up a local install on your PC or laptop, and this wouldn't require much, then at least you can work offline. Presumably the support team can access the sims instances and data, it's just the remote access that is hosed. If you can get the novasatellitesetup and a copy of the latest file from your support team, you should be able to continue with your work.
12th July 2011, 03:00 PM #12
First line support is probably provided by the LEA who would have the same remote access to the systems.
13th July 2011, 08:13 PM #13
This is what happens when wrongly a Windows apps is used for hosted/cloud deployment
Originally Posted by plexer
You are right! Norfolk sought out a hosted/cloud based MIS but has chosen 'Windows based MIS'. This is what fundamentally is flawed. No one should jump the gun and start blaming 'hosted'/cloud concept! Norfolk has chosen right approach for the right era but type MIS! One needs to look under the bonnet. We have given two analogy on this in other thread in layman's language.
Windows app under hosted/cloud = DOS under Windows:
In the 1990s when Windows replaced DOS, some software vendors tweaked their DOS applications to sell them under Windows without true the benefits of the Windows GUI, multi-tasking, multi-threading and host of other underlying features etc..
Now 20 years on, in 2010s Windows suppliers will be trying to repeat the history and sell their Windows based applications as “Cloud” solutions where terminal services is under the browser without the true benefit of the Cloud and at the expense of performance, higher server costs, flexibility, dynamism, larger carbon foot-print and underlying host of features etc...
Windows Office 2010 v Office 365 on the Cloud
Most people have used Microsoft Office products and will be familiar with Office 2010. Yet Microsoft has not promoted Office 2010 for use on the Cloud even though billions of dollars of investment has gone into the product. Neither have they tried to offer hosted web extensions to Office 2010 and call it ‘Cloud deployment’.
Microsoft has launched Office 365 as a ground up browser based product, optimised for Cloud deployment. This is clearly the way forward for vendors of true Cloud applications. There is a very clear difference between running a browser based software application on the Cloud and running a Windows application with high server overheads and claiming that it is a “Cloud solution”.
More technical explanation:
There is significant additional complexity and hardware resource thrown into the infrastructure so to work around the fact that the MIS in use is a Windows application designed to be installed and run 'locally' and yet Norfolk is attempting to run it in 'hosted environment' for over 1,000 of concurrent users across 100s of schools!!! More hardware, more resource and more complexity means more reasons for things go to wrong and less resilience and less reliability.
Browser based software versus Windows based software on the cloud
Browser based MIS products on the cloud make the most efficient use of the set up and structure of cloud hosting services. Certainly the previous generation MIS software which was built on Windows systems is nothing like as efficient as browser based software when using the cloud, because Windows systems in this environment are unnecessarily resource hungry. This is because web and Windows applications work very differently.
Web applications typically have a single logical instance of the software application (i.e. the MIS software) running on the central Cloud server. The executing code of the application is shared with all users and this could mean all of the schools in a local authority. As users log in and out of the Cloud, ‘sessions’ are created to hold the data relating to that user i.e. person in a school.
Compare this to how a Windows application would work on the Cloud. In the first case none of the users are sharing the same software application instance as in browser. For each user the Cloud host needs to create a compelete 'private virtual environment' in order to execute each separate application instance for just that user. The Cloud must also hold that user’s data separately. In the process of accessing any Windows based MIS software on the Cloud, a large operating overhead is required compared to any browser based MIS software. Often a virtual desktop is created and the user will have in effect a ‘virtual machine’ at their disposal. In summary, for the Windows application to run, there is extra sessional processing power required and extra centralised processing power required for any virtualised environment. This bloats the infrastructure that is required and therefore the cost, as the only solution is to purchase extra and more powerful hardware.
However the possibility of Windows based application running in a Cloud environment was never considered at the design, development and testing stage of Windows and so performance is not necessarily predictable in what is an alien environment for Windows.
13th July 2011, 08:27 PM #14
SIMS .net is an N tier architecture that is no more designed to be "run locally", than a browser based MIS. That you don't understand the difference shows you really don't know what you are talking about. Perhaps you could persuade BromcomTechnicalExpert to post instead, if you have any.
Originally Posted by BromcomPublicRelations
13th July 2011, 08:34 PM #15
The problem in Norfolk was highly regretable but down to indentity management going wrong rather than hosted SIMS.
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