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Routine Annual Disaster Recovery Process Is Better Than Ever

As part of our annual disaster recovery protocol, this year we performed a live transition of our entire catalog of public web services - from our primary data center to our alternate data center. This test included,,,, and to name of few of the approximately 85 services involved.

I am pleased to share this year’s test process involved almost no manual intervention steps. This is a marked improvement compared to seven years ago, when many manual intervention steps were necessary. What our test proved is that if our primary data center went dark, nearly all services would recover automatically with almost no downtime.

We attribute this improvement to continued advancements in our service architecture. This has resulted in more resilient coding practices aided by a higher level of release automation, test automation, and configuration management.

By design, new services are now being architected with advanced service-level automation. As a result, while the portfolio continues to increase in size, its robustness also continues to increase.

We hope that we never have to confront a disaster. That said, we have a plan and it’s running smoothly should we need it.


    Domain Name System
    Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."