The Boomi product release cycle is the heartbeat of our Agile release management. We believe it is essential to continuously deliver new enhancements as quickly as we can, so our customers and partners can take immediate advantage of them. The release management cadence is every month (except December), and the schedule is published on our Trust site.
Currently, our monthly updates trigger a maintenance window and some of you may have concerns about that, especially if you are in the EMEA or APJ regions. We are working on several initiatives to minimize this maintenance window, and potentially eliminate it in the future. The critical areas of focus are:
- AtomSphere platform maintenance window and plan to minimize downtime
- Flexibility to apply pending release updates to Atom and clustered (Molecule and Cloud) runtime
I want to share some insights on the maintenance window as well as key improvements in terms of flexibility and improved messaging that are coming in our October and November 2016 releases.
Managing AtomSphere Platform Updates
We often get asked why AtomSphere platform updates are scheduled during the week and not on the weekend. We have considered this option. We want to make sure each AtomSphere platform update is non-eventful, and you have the opportunity to perform any process regression testing you may have planned during the workweek. We also want to make sure our full staff is available in the unlikely event of a release related issue.
What goes on during the AtomSphere maintenance window?
On the back end, the AtomSphere application platform (platform.boomi.com) consists of various clustered nodes. We apply the new release and restart each node one at a time. The AtomSphere platform restart happens in a rolling fashion of those clustered nodes. Unless required due to the nature of the changes in the release including underlying technology changes, we don’t restart all of the platform nodes at once. If a full restart is required, the platform displays a maintenance page. But again, for most releases you will not see the maintenance page due to our ability to perform a rolling restart.
However the platform updates will have an impact on your working in the front end UI.
So...you may ask how exactly:
How can I be better informed about maintenance windows?
Beginning with our November 2016 release maintenance window, you will see a real-time banner message within the UI to update you about the AtomSphere release process. Shortly before maintenance activities begin, you will see a real-time message informing you that the AtomSphere platform is undergoing maintenance and updates are being applied, instructing you to save your work.
The banner will remain visible throughout the actual release maintenance, and only after maintenance is completed will the banner message go away. We schedule 4 hours for the maintenance window to account for a worst case scenario, but actual maintenance typically requires only a few minutes. With the new banner message, you will know exactly when maintenance begins and ends, so you can get back to your work as soon as it’s done!
Flexibility available for release updates to Atom/Molecule/Cloud Runtime
Dell Boomi offers a “Release Control” period to provide you with flexibility and control in validating and applying updates to your local Atom/Molecule/Cloud runtime.
Key points about Release Control
- Release Control provides pending release updates two weeks before every new release.
- You can choose to apply/schedule the pending release updates to your hosted Atom/Molecule/Cloud runtime at a convenient time before the actual release.
- We automatically apply the pending updates to the Test Atom Cloud two weeks before the new release to support “zero footprint” regression testing effort. The production Atom Clouds are updated on the new release date.
- It’s made available in your account automatically and announced through the Notification Menu.
- You can regression test your processes with new code to verify bug fixes on the test runtime side, and then apply the updates to your production runtime as well.
- If there are no code changes between Release Control and the actual release, no updates will be made available to your runtime during the monthly maintenance window.
- If there are code changes between Release Control and the actual release, we’ll notify you and make a new Release Control available.
- For complete details, read more about Release Control.
Can I schedule when to apply Release Control changes?
Until now, Release Control scheduling was not available to all accounts. With the October 2016 release, Release Control scheduling will be enabled for all accounts. You can schedule a day and time within the two-week Release Control period to apply the pending release changes to your runtime.
For more details on scheduling, applying updates, and rollback, see Scheduling Release Control updates. Also, see the recent support we added for rolling restart of the nodes within your hosted molecule or cloud runtime, so not all nodes will be restarted at once.
How do releases affect my processes running in the Atom Cloud?
There will be no impact to your process execution during the maintenance window. You do not need to manually stop and resume scheduled integration jobs around the maintenance window. The release is applied to the Atom Cloud in a rolling manner so your integration processes running in the Atom Cloud will continue to run uninterrupted. Occasionally, depending on the scope of the updates, scheduled and listener processes may experience a brief interruption during those few minutes. For a deep dive on process execution behavior before and during updates, please see Understanding Atom Runtime Pausing During Restarts and Updates.
Hope these insights are useful. Please let us know your feedback. We’ll continue to keep you posted on this topic.