Archive for April, 2011

Amazon Outage

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

(April 21, 8:45AM) Starting around 2AM, April 21, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud N. Virginia started to experience some issues. We host TimeWellScheduled on this cloud system and so had some interruptions. This has caused ALL clients using this service to go down. We are watching amazon closely and will post when we have an update.

We are also taking pro-active steps to avoid this in the future. We will be working on an enhanced offline capability as well as cross-cloud load balancing.

Updates You Can Expect

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

A few new items we’re working on right now:
- over-night shift handling (final testing)
– new daily scheduling method, lets you drill into a day and tweak each schedule
– additional features on the mobile application
– hourly rates to so you can see schedule costs
– timecard editting can be done at a per minute level

Unexpected Service Issues

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

(April 17, 6:34PM) Today we experienced an unexpected outage on TimeWellScheduled service from 12:30pm to approximately 3:30pm.

Clients that were using TimeWellScheduled in Offline Mode continued to be able to punch in and out without any difficulties. To enable it for your business log in as administrator, choose Manage My Business – General Settings – and enable “Allow offline mode when internet goes down”.

Our Internet presence is hosted on Amazon’s cloud computing infrastructure. A routine server update and reboot caused the outage. Our team has determined the exact cause, and added maintenance procedures to check for similar events proactively in the future. For a little more detail, here’s some NerdSpeak: Although this does not happen often, every once in a while a reboot of an Amazon EC2 instance will cause a new IP address assignment, and in this case it was one of our domain controllers that was assigned a new IP address on reboot. If this does happen again in the future, our maintenance process will pick it up immediately and make necessary updates where required without causing any downtime.

As far as cloud service availability in general goes, keep in mind that your Internet Service Provider, or a major backbone could be affected with downtime. For this reason we strongly suggest that your Punch In/Out stations run in Offline Mode to allow for continuous business operations at your location.

Thank you for being our client!

SecurityNow!

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

This (YouTube) video link is to a prominent and well-respected podcast on the topic of security, as its name suggests: SecurityNow!

Recently there was a widely publicized RSA security breach and their formal Open Letter describing very little here:

http://www.rsa.com/node.aspx?id=3872

Steve Gibson assesses the above communication piece as well as other news and has an excellent summary on his blog here:

http://steve.grc.com/2011/03/19/reverse-engineering-rsas-statement/

Nerds On Site standardized to the Yubikey (www.yubico.com) as a two-factor authentication device, and we’re obviously pleased to share that Yubico does not suffer from the same single point of weakness as RSA did.

No need to take our word for it, but check out the Yubikey and consider it for your two-factor authentication for punch-in and punch-out processes in environments where appropriate.

iPad App Coming Soon

Friday, April 1st, 2011


Here is a sneak peak at the prototype for the iPad app we’re working on. With the front facing cameras, we will have an option which will take a picture of the employee to prevent buddy punching.