Lowell Deeds

The latest on real estate recordings and new technology from the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds in Lowell

December 17, 2008

masslandrecords problems persist

by @ 4:31 pm. Filed under Registry Ops

No solution to the performance problems on the masslandrecords site - in fact, no one is even sure of what’s causing the problem. While it’s certainly no consolation, this is not the first time something like this has happened. Here are some blog entries from February 2004 written in the midst of a similar problem:

Monday, February 02, 2004 - More problems with the website. . . It turns out there was some kind of power surge or region-wide telephone outage in Boston that effected the state office building at One Ashburton Place (just across from the back of the State House). Everything seemed to bounce back very quickly, everything that is, except for the registry of deeds Internet server.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004 - The information I wrote last night about the registry website was wrong - it’s still down.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004 - Here’s the latest information we have on the website: When the state office building suffered an electrical power surge on Monday, it caused the battery backup on the server to kick in. The battery isn’t designed to sustain operations. It’s purpose is to provide enough power for the server to shut itself down in a controlled manner when there’s a power problem. That way, when the power’s restored, the server can be restarted. That is what happened. Unfortunately, the disks that store all the data and images are separate from the server. Somehow, when the server was restarted, something caused everything on the disks to be wiped out. Supposedly, the technicians have restored the connection between the disks and the server. Now the data and images must be loaded from the backup tapes.

Thursday, February 05, 2004 - Despite promises that our website would be back in operation by 4 p.m. today - 6 p.m. at the very latest - here it is 10:15 p.m. and still no service. The wait is agonizing.

Friday, February 06, 2004 - The “search records” feature of the website was back in operation at 8:30 this morning. The last document that appears is Instrument Number 7636 which was recorded on Tuesday, February 3. More recently recorded documents will be added to the site over this coming weekend and all should be restored to normal operation by Monday morning.

Saturday, February 07, 2004 - The website seems to be working OK although we haven’t confirmed that records created since February 3 are available. We will continue to monitor the site’s operation through the weekend. Monday morning, we’ll extensively test the system to ensure everything is available. As for what caused this problem in the first place, it seems that it was a series of problems which, if taken separately, would not have had a major impact. When taken together, however, they caused a major disruption to the system. Well, we can only apologize so much. Our users are undoubtedly more interested in hearing what we’ve done to ensure that this (or some similar failure) does not happen again.

Monday, February 09, 2004 - The website is back in operation although it seems heavily sedated. It’s working so slowly that a number of users have reported that it takes so long to retrieve data or images that they are forced to exit the program and start again.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004 - The piecemeal approach to restoring the website just isn’t working.

Friday, February 13, 2004 - Even though it’s Friday the 13th, we received good news today. The search records portion of the website seems to be functioning very well with search results and document images popping up quickly.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004 - The website seems to be working just fine. Tomorrow night we should have some details about what happened to cause our recent outage

Wednesday, February 18, 2004 - We had a meeting with our computer company (ACS) to review the events that resulted in the two week long disruption of our Internet records search capability. If this were the investigation of an airplane crash, the cause would be human error not mechanical failure. The design of the system is actually very good and there is much redundancy to guard against foreseeable and unforeseeable problems that could disrupt service. But the best system in the world will fail if the human beings responsible for it don’t follow the correct procedures and that’s pretty much what happened here.

[powered by WordPress.]


Recent Posts:


search blog:


December 2008
« Nov   Jan »


21 queries. 0.620 seconds