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VLA issues update

Posted on: September 23, 2020

VLA staff posted this information on their site this morning.  I wanted to be sure you saw it so you had all the information we have about what the problems have been.

Thank you,

Mark Graler

VLA Update – 9.22.2020 Message from: Mark Masloski (VLA Director)

First, I would like to apologize for the inconvenience that our VLA system caused you today (and in the past weeks). We understand the frustrations from students, schools, and parents and assure you that we are doing everything possible to prevent any future inconvenience. Primary issues have been identified Frontline Education, the organization that provides the technological framework for our VLA platform, has identified the source of the problem.

The source of the problem is an internet line saturation issue. There were over 10,000 connections to the firewall coming from VLA users. To immediately address this issue, Frontline Education has made some changes to their routing - they are moving their internal VPN traffic off this line to increase the bandwidth for VLA as much as possible. Once the internet line was overloaded, we should have restarted the web server and the SQL server at the same time to prevent connection issues from the application to the database. These changes helped with the connection issues/performance; however, caused problems with saving. We restarted the SQL server which has resolved the saving issues.

Correcting the technological issue Firewall: The immediate correction was accomplished today. Frontline Education is moving all their VPN traffic of the line to give VLA all the bandwidth. This will decrease the likelihood of line saturation. However, more corrective measures are also planned to minimize this issue further. Bandwidth: JCESC and Frontline are in the process of expanding the bandwidth. We should have more details about that timeline in the next day or so. Server: JCESC and Frontline will be moving the server into a larger area. This process started mid-August, but we currently do not have a hard date when this will be finished.

Communication from JCESC about any future technological issue: To alert users of issues and to provide updates, we will use:

Constant Contact: We will send a Constant Contact message to all schools involved.

Alert on VLA onboarding Page: We will include a message on the onboarding VLA page.

Student Contact App: We are currently investigating the use of an application to alert students individually. We will share our decision as we make it.

Again, on behalf of the entire VLA team, I want to apologize for the inconvenience and stress this has caused your school, staff, students, and parents.

We are committed to relieving the issue as quickly as possible and are available for further questions or concerns. Mark Masloski