We understand the recent site issues have caused disruptions in service to you, our loyal customers. Given that a number of members have asked for more details about the problems we’ve been experiencing recently, I wanted to write a note to all our members to give you an update.
First, let me emphasize that we are thankful for your business, and appreciate the feedback you have been sharing on our social channels, on the phone and via email. We love hearing from you and care deeply about your experience. So when something goes wrong, our engineers are immediately focused on fixing the problem. We are continually working on projects to improve site availability and performance to ensure that as our community and your trees grow, so does our infrastructure to support your activities.
The interest in family history has evolved quickly over the past few years. Our member community continues to grow, and with the complexity of our service we’ve hit a point where some fundamental architecture changes are needed to adapt our site to our member growth and evolution of our site features. In the past we have been able to add hardware to get to the next level, but now we have to make smart and purposeful changes to our infrastructure and these will take time to execute.
This weekend is an example of how our current architecture could still use some updates. There was a hardware failure that caused a single network event to disrupt the site’s performance. We’re working to upgrade the architecture to handle these types of situations, and as we work through this, you may see some intermittent site issues – but our teams are working very hard to minimize the impact on the site, so you can continue researching your family history.
For this weekend’s situation we have now restored the majority of the site’s functionality, including Search and Family Trees. We appreciate your patience as we address these issues as quickly as possible and again apologize for any inconvenience this might cause.
Keep in mind that keeping your information safe throughout this process is our number one priority. We have multiple back-up servers that house your precious family history research to ensure it is online once the site is available again.
That being said, I will reiterate a few comments I made on a Facebook post a few weeks back, which I think are important for you to know.
We are working on some updates to our sites infrastructure in order to continue to provide you with a world-class family history experience; some of the things we’re working on include:
- Re-architecting our base development framework with the goal of improved performance and availability
- Applying additional levels of database and network monitoring in order to more quickly detect and resolve problems
We will also continue to invest in new core product features to make finding your family history easier and faster, while adding record collections so that more data is available to you. We are pleased that so many people want to learn more about their family history, and as our member community grows we will continue to work behind the scenes to limit disruptions to your service as we evolve the site to grow with the addition of new members and new site features.
On behalf of all of us at Ancestry.com we thank you for your continued support, and for your business, and encourage you to keep the comments coming. And I’ll update you on the blog as we continue to make progress.
Scott Sorensen, Chief Technology Officer
Scott Sorensen has served as Chief Technology Officer of Ancestry.com since April 2013. Scott has been at the company since June 2002 and has held multiple positions including Senior Vice President of Engineering, Vice President of Search and Vice President of Commerce. Prior to joining Ancestry.com, Scott was co-founder and Vice President of Engineering and then President at Coresoft Technologies. Scott was an engineering manager at WordPerfect / Novell and a software engineer at IBM. He holds a B.S in Computer Science from Brigham Young University. – See more at: http://blogs.ancestry.com/ancestry/2013/08/31/a-message-from-scott-sorensen-chief-technology-officer/#sthash.zcPQNOl5.dpuf
Emma Pulman is a Social Media and digital Marketing Executive for Ancestry.co.uk. Based in Ancestry's London office in Hammersmith, Emma regularly tweets and posts on Ancestry's Facebook page.