Dave Slusher

3 minute read

I note from answering feedback on the Developer Portal that some fraction of developers seem to be confused by the emails informing them that their Personal Developer Instance is upgrading. Usually these are patch releases such as the current update to Istanbul Patch 5 Hot Fix 1 that is presently rolling through our server farm.

1) What does this mean?

Those notices are a warning that you will have a period of downtime, somewhere between 60 and 120 minutes, and that it would be a good idea to backup important work to you to hedge against the small chance of a problem. (It is good to {{ }} to guard against losing your work if the instance is reclaimed.) However, there should be no practical effect on you. Ideally the instance upgraded when you aren’t using it and you never notice anything about it. When it has finished, all of your work should be just as you left it.

2) Can I opt out / can you wait and do it at a different time?

We have no ability to defer the instance upgrades for individuals nor to affect the timing. It is an automated system that will roll through with no input from any humans behind the scenes. A common issue raised with us is along the lines of “But I have a demo to my boss tomorrow, can you please wait?” We are at present unable to honor requests like that. We do encourage you to do exploratory work with PDI, and to feel free to use them to demo functionality to whomever you please. However, these are not full production instances and don’t have the high availability/geographically mirrored/rigorously backed up configuration of a production instance. If you find that your work is outgrowing a Personal Developer Instance, the next step is to join the Technology Partner Program which will get you full instances that do not hibernate nor get reclaimed for inactivity.

3) Why do you have to upgrade my instance?

Our server farms subscribe to a monthly patching policy which means that there is an expectation any instance family will get 12 patch releases a year. The motivation is to make sure that any security issues that get addressed by development make it into the field without waiting too long. In addition, it aids the PDI program by reducing fragmentation. For any given release family, all of the instances will be on the same point release. When that patch is released for upgrading is also the point where new instances will be provisioned with that release.

Hopefully this will clear up a little of the confusion about what these emails mean. If you have any further questions, feel free to reply.