Maintenance Alert: Feb 6th 11am-4pm Pacific Time

Posted by Andrew Sinkov on 04 Feb 2010

Posted by Andrew Sinkov on 04 Feb 2010

Evernote has grown very quickly over the past year, and it’s time to give our servers and facilities a major upgrade to ensure that we can keep growing without a hitch!

We will be performing some maintenance on the Evernote Service on Saturday, February 6th from 11am through around 4pm Pacific Time (1900 to 2400 GMT). We’ll be bringing up servers as they’re ready, so some users will have access to their accounts sooner than others. We’re sorry for any inconvenience that this downtime will cause.

What to expect

Once the maintenance period begins, you will no longer be able to perform any operations that require access to the Evernote Service. These include, synchronization, image recognition, emailing to/from Evernote, and the @myEN Twitter integration. Desktop versions of Evernote will continue to function.

How will I be affected?

Different platforms will be affected in somewhat different ways. Here’s what to expect:

  • Evernote on the desktop

    If you use Evernote on Windows or Mac, then you will see the smallest disruption. You will still have access to all of your notes, but you will not be able to sync any new content until the service comes back up.

  • iPhone and iPod Touch

    If you are a free subscriber, then you will be able to create notes, view your favorites, and see any notes that you had previously viewed or created on the device. If you’re a Premium subscriber, then you will be able to access any/all notebooks that you’ve previously marked for offline access. In either case, you will not be able to sync any new content. Please anticipate any notes that you’ll want to access during the downtime and either view them, favorite them, or download the notebook(s) that contain them before Saturday.

  • Android, Palm Pre, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile

    If you use Evernote on a device listed above, then you will be able to create new notes, but will not be able to access any of your existing notes.

  • Evernote Web and Mobile Web

    Evernote Web will be completely unavailable during the maintenance period.

Why we’re doing this

Our goal is to ensure that you have the best possible experience using Evernote. This was true when we had 10,000 users and it’s true now that we have 2.3 million. Saturday’s upgrades will help us continue to do so for years to come.

We’re excited about the shiny new Evernote!


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29 Comments RSS

  • Jeff

    Um, OK….this is the LEAST favorite thing Evernote has ever done for me…

  • Nathaniel

    While I appreciate the need to do server maintenance and upgrades it again raises the issue of a linux desktop client. I have transitioned all my computers from windows over to some flavour of linux and as a result I access your services solely from the web as I am not interested in messing around with wine.

    Again I’m not complaining about the service outage as I realise it is required from time to time. I’m simply saying if there was a linux client available it would make the outage easier to deal with

    Many thanks

  • rob parn

    Ok – quit your whining. At least, you can work all day, just with your Windows / Mac Client. Wait till Sunday and see “how much” you can bust the Servers?

  • Russ

    Thanks for doing this on the weekend! And thanks for the heads up. I totally understand you guys have to have downtime every now and then.

  • Andy Cook

    This is fine by me if it is part of the strategy to fix issues with note display on the Windows Mobile client since creating notes is the only thing I can do at the moment anyway….

  • Jake

    Follow the link to get time conversion for your specific time zone

  • Matt

    No Jeff… actually the servers crashing because too many users tried to access it at the same time would be the LEAST favorite thing Evernote could do to you. If that happened, the service would probably be down a lot longer than 5 hours.

    Really though? You can’t go 5 hours without Evernote? Play a video game, watch some TV, read a few magazines, and unplug from the Internet… I wouldn’t want to be around you when the power goes out.

  • Eric F

    This is more of a general question, because it sounds like Evernote only stores my data on a single server. If that server were to be damaged or crash, would my data on the Evernote servers be lost?

    • Andrew Sinkov

      @Eric, that a great question.

      Evernote stores all of the data for groups of users on independent servers that we refer to as “shards”. Each shard is made up of two separate boxes that have internal redundancy for all data (mirrored on pairs of disks). Your data is also continually replicated from the primary box in each shard to its peer, so that we always have at least 4 separate copies of your current data, supplemented by nightly backups and weekly offsite data storage.

  • David

    This highlights another fundamental problem with the new email-from-evernote “feature”. If I have to use their service to email information and the service is down….
    Please bring back the old way of emailing notes; or give us a choice.

  • Sean

    Welcome to Cloud Computing!

  • Awesome-O

    @Jeff: Which part? Maintaining their infrastructure, or warning us about the downtime? Beats a fail whale.

  • Chris Wadge

    As one of the IT staffers at Evernote, maybe I can help clear things up a bit. As Andrew already said, your data is redundant at the disk level per machine, but also at the machine level. On top of that, we also have full offsite backups. So, usually hardware maintenance wouldn’t cause any downtime at all. In this case, we’re doing infrastructure upgrades, and we felt it was best to just dedicate one contiguous block of time to getting it all accomplished at once. We don’t anticipate any more disruptions like this one going forward.

  • Scott

    good luck with the outage window and thanks for rolling out the fix (on the Windows client) for the black screen coming out of hibernation.

    Adding to the “things to do while Evernote is improving” thread: It will probably take people out east at least five hours to dig out from the snow that is in process now…

  • evern00b

    I’m glad you guys sent out an update over twitter so I expected this. Also, I hope the changes don’t break anything!

    But how do you guys make sure that EVERY evernote user gets that warning message? I didn’t see any warning box to click on regarding evernote server maintenance or anything like that in my client. I’m not requesting that feature either, however … if this becomes something that’s commonplace (hopefully that wont happen) that might be a good idea to have a way of updating ALL users other than posting it on the evernote website.

    Maybe send out a “server maintenance” email or something?

    Just a thought. Keep up the great work!

  • Cheryl F. {The Lucky Ladybug}

    Why would you schedule maintenance on a weekend during the day? Poor planning! Why not during the week late, late night when most people are asleep?!?

  • roy

    Guess this kills the ‘ever’ part of Evernote. Don’t know why I was expecting 24/7 service or why this couldn’t be done from 1am to 5am Sunday morning.

  • Bobo

    could have picked a better time. how about midnight? really bummed out.

  • Dallas

    For some reason, I never saw a notification of this event until I tried to sync. While I understand the need, I would have preferred it to be done during the early morning — 2-6 AM — some of us work on the weekends! :-(

  • Mark

    This is just a suggestion for future upgrades, but perhaps a block of time from 11PM-5AM would have been better? I realize Evernote is global someone will always be affected during normal hours, but since your in CA and probably have a huge userbase in the U.S., it would have had less impact on most users.

    I only suggest because we also had to recently upgrade servers within my company and shifted to after hours to do so. It wasn’t much fun being up through the night, but sometimes you gotta do what ya gotta do.

  • Samatva

    Was there an e-mail notification? This is one of the few types of commercial e-mail that is welcomed! I recently moved my e-mail to a new server, so should have solved any issues receiving mail, but got nothing about this outage.

    Also, it *is* possible to incrementally roll out the upgraded servers – i.e. have all the servers up and running, then disable one account (or a few) at a time on the old system and bring it back up on the new a few moments later – it’s harder that way, but less down time per user.

    Lastly, but most importantly, whether I do a rolling switch or en-mass switch, I *always* to it in what is the middle of the night for the majority of my clients – maybe starting as early as 11pm, but usually after midnight. Sysadmins are paid well enough to pull the occasional night shift!

    It’s not that this service is vitally important, but for me to use it more, I have to be able to depend on it… getting to the grocery store today with no access to my shopping list was a minor annoyance, but a major confidence shaker.

    Notify us and minimize disruptions.

    My 2 cents’ worth,

  • chad

    I have to say bad decision on timing…this couldn’t have waited until the evening?

  • Glenda

    Does “shiny new Evernote” = “shiny new features” too (drool)? (Even if it = “shiny new servers” and that’s all, I’m still grateful. I agree with Russ.)

  • Paul Cone

    It would have been nice if I knew about this before I just typed my huge to-do list into Evernote and then left the house, unable to get it on my iPhone. Late at night would’ve been less disruptive.

  • CLewis

    Ok, wouldn’t it have made sense to roll out this update at midnight when pretty much nobody is using their accounts? I rely heavily on Evernote on my Palm Pre. So I went off to do errands, and when I arrive, surprise, Evernote is offline. So while I appreciate the upgrade in terms of sustainability, I definitely think you guys should think how to minimize pain when this happens. If that requires an all-nighter, so be it, that’s the price of being No. 1, isn’t it?

    (I have some moral background for this, I’ve been a premium customer for almost a year now).

  • Jeff

    @ Matt……Evernote…down…I’m…curled…up….in….fetal…position….on…..floor….catatonic….state….please…Evernote….come back!….need…to regain…..composure and sanity…..can’t live…4 hours…without….my…evernote!!

  • Roger

    I would really have appreciated email warning on this one, guys. Take note for the next time. I’m a Premium user.

  • Cheryl F. {The Lucky Ladybug}

    Why would you schedule maintenance on a weekend during the day? Poor planning! Why not during the week late, late night when most people are asleep?!?

    Why should users be required to read the blog to learn about outages? There should be a better way to get the word out!!

  • evermulla

    two days later and everything works fine.

    i have read all the comments and have nothing to say.

    just these two quotes:

    quit your whining
    (rob parn)

    you gotta do what ya gotta do

    well said.
    thanks to the evernote-staff who did the job.