Our Recent Server Woes

You may have noticed that our site went down a couple of times this week. Since ‘Online’ is 1/3 of our name, we take site availability extremely seriously around here. We are normally very proud of how stable Planning Center is, so having multiple issues in a week hits us strongly in the gut.

We know how much our users trust and rely on Planning Center, so we want to be upfront with you on exactly what has been going on. One of the biggest new features in Planning Center’s January 16 release was live-updating. All users accessing plans, the Matrix, or Planning Center LIVE were now constantly connected, listening for updates, so that new content would just show up without requiring a refresh of the page. Before launching, we tested this thoroughly and monitored our server usage to make sure we weren’t hitting or consistently nearing capacity and everything looked great.

Then we launched. The first week, everything seemed great. Then after being around nearly 6 years, we had more new churches sign up this January than any other month in our entire 6 year history! While this has been really exciting for us as a company, so many new users combined with all of our churches returning from Christmas break and our new live server must have pushed our servers to their limits.

Our lead developer and owner, Jeff, has already worked tirelessly to replace our live technology and switched it over last night at 10pm, which should fix and improve the live performance. In addition, we have already added another server to help handle the load and plan on upgrading our existing new server with modern, faster technology that should improve everything even more. For those who are interested, we currently have 2 Database servers, 4 web servers & 2 background servers (for media processing, mailers and miscellaneous database clean up jobs).

We really appreciate your patience and understanding on this. We are doing whatever it takes so that you don’t have to worry about this again and look forward to a rock-solid 2012.