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    Refworks - RCA - September 17, 2018


    This document serves as a Root Cause Analysis for the RefWorks service interruption experienced by Ex Libris customers on September 17, 2018


    The goal of this document is to share our findings regarding the event, specify the root cause analysis, outline actions to be taken to solve the downtime event, as well as preventive measures Ex Libris is taking to avoid similar cases in future.

    Event Timeline

    Service interruption was experienced by Ex Libris customers served by the RefWorks instance at the during the following hours: 

    September 17th, 2018 from 6:40 PM until September 17th, 2018 7:222 PM US Pacific time.

    During the event, the service was unavailable for the environment.

    Root Cause Analysis

    Ex Libris Engineers investigated this event to determine the root cause analysis with the following results:

    There was an unusual spike in web traffic (web requests) prior to the outage that did not clear. The high volume of requests caused the queue to backup and the service crashed.

    The team did a redeploy of the application and the site recovered.

    Technical Action Items and Preventive Measures

    Ex Libris has taken the following action and preventive measures to avoid such an occurrence in future:

    • Closely monitoring abnormal traffic spikes
    • Update and enhance logging to better monitor traffic during events

    Customer Communication

    ExLibris is committed to providing customers with prompt and ongoing updates during Cloud events. Ongoing and prompt updates on service interruptions appear in the system status portal at this address:

    These updates are automatically sent as emails to registered customers.

    Publication History

    Date Publication History



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