Silver Lining to Server Failure

Seeing the positive side of a failure isn't always easy, but when CPKN recently experienced a critical failure of its production server, we eventually saw a silver lining.

This past Sunday evening, staff at CPKN were notified by a client that its server was down and courses could not be accessed on CPKN's Learning Management System. CPKN's technical support staff were immediately called in to resolve the issue.

On further investigation, staff discovered that as a result of the recent surge of training for G20 security personnel, there was a ten-fold increase in demand on the system using up all available space on the hard drive. Once it reached capacity, the server shut down.

"We take this type of situation very seriously," says Brian Fleming, CPKN's Manager of IT Systems and Support. "The system is closely monitored and managed by CPKN, but when a lapse does occur we respond at once. In this case, the system was back up and running within an hour of learning about the problem."

Though CPKN regrets any event that causes inconvenience to our clients, we believe there is a good news story in all of this. Firstly, in nearly six years of operation, this is only the second time that there has been a significant disruption to access - with more than 65,000 learners registered to hundreds of thousands of course, video, and exam events across six portals, we believe that to be a pretty good track record. Secondly, on learning about the issue, CPKN's response was immediate and effective. We think this speaks volumes about our team's commitment to service. Lastly, the fact that our client contacted one of our staff people at home demonstrates just how close our working relationship with the policing community is - there's not many national organizations that establish that type of connection with its clients.

So in the end, though it's a problem we will make every effort to avoid in future, it's still a lesson we can learn from. And at CPKN, we're all about learning.