To ensure that we continue to deliver a fast, stable experience as we grow, we will move to a new cloud provider in September. That means that calcapp.net will be powered by servers run by a different company. (Most companies like ours don’t run their own servers today, as specialized cloud computing companies are able to do that better and more cost-effectively.)
We have quite a bit of experience migrating your apps to keep up with changes we make to Calcapp. We have managed to evolve Calcapp with close to zero downtime since our beta launch in early 2016. Given the immense changes we have made to Calcapp based on your feedback since the launch, this is something we take great pride in.
However, moving to a new cloud provider presents a new set of challenges. In other words, we will work hard to minimize downtime, but as these are uncharted waters for us, there may be downtime.
The good news is that apps built with Calcapp are quite resistant to downtime. They work offline, which normally means that your apps continue to work even if you’re offline. On the flip side, they continue to work even if we are offline. Chances are that you’ll be able to access your apps even if we suffer downtime. (Though Calcapp Creator, the app creator, will be unavailable.)
Our plan is to install our software on the servers run by our new provider. We will then test Calcapp in that environment to make sure that everything works well. Once that has happened, our old servers will be put in a read-only mode during a transition period, meaning that they will still be willing to serve apps, but they won’t allow you to make any changes. At this time, we will have moved all your data to the new servers.
When you run apps, visit our website or use Calcapp Creator or Calcapp Connect, you directly or indirectly interact with our website calcapp.net. This domain name is connected to our servers through something called DNS, or the Domain Name System. DNS is responsible for looking up a domain name and translating it so that your computer can communicate with another computer over the Internet. To ensure that looking up domain names is efficient, the information that DNS stores is distributed, meaning that it is stored by lots of computers. These computers take time to update their information, which is a problem when you’re switching cloud providers.
In other words, there may be a period of time in September when you try to access our services and you reach the servers run by our old cloud provider, which, again, will only be willing to serve apps so that they can be run, but won’t allow you to make any changes. Everything will start working again automatically, so you can start making changes yet again, but there will be a delay. This delay should technically only last an hour (as we have asked DNS to not rely on old information for more than an hour), but may last longer.
We’ll update this blog when we know when we will be ready to make the switch.