Since aXcelerate began supporting RTOs with managing their student data more than 12 years ago, one of our advantages is that we have held all client data together in one database. This has made it easy for us to scale the system until this point and focus on adding features rather than spending this time on server administration tasks.
However, one disadvantage of using a single database, is what is known as "the noisy neighbour" effect. This occurs when an account in the system executes an operation that requires a lot of server power such as a large AVETMISS report. The strain put on the servers then causes other users in the system to experience slowness in their accounts.
The solution to this problem, without vastly increasing server and license costs, is to split up our clients' data into smaller databases that will provide a much more reliable, scalable user experience. Taking these steps proactively will ensure that we maintain our high standard of reliability, speed, and accessibility for the system as more users join the aXcelerate community.
Some clients have more data than others and the plan is to spread the data evenly. By partitioning clients with a larger number of users, it is far less likely that any user will feel the noisy neighbour effect. You can see in this model that once the data is separated, there will be more room to grow.
- The overnight reporting warehouse job will be quicker. The warehoused reports will be online for longer and available earlier each morning.
- Reporting wait queues will be shorter.
- Workflows reliant on the report queue will be completed closer to the scheduled time.
- Better security for your users with options such as Multi-Factor Authentication.
Tip: As shown by the red partition in the image above, it will be possible for an RTO to have a database of their own. aXcelerate can increase database server capacity as we need, however, as this capacity increases, our operating costs will also increase. Any users who would like a dedicated server for their account will need to absorb the additional costs into their license fees. If you are interested in this option, please aXcelerate Support for more information.
Migrate your Account
In order for clients to move to a new database, we're assigning new URL subdomains for each RTO. This means that in future, links to your aXcelerate system will appear to more closely resemble your website domain. E.g. A training company called Super Training will be able to access aXcelerate from "supertraining.app.axcelerate.com". Confirming your subdomain name will be the first step in the migration process.
- aXcelerate assigns a subdomain for your RTO based on your current website or email domain
- A key contact from your account confirms the new subdomain in aXcelerate from your System Settings
- aXcelerate configures your subdomain in AWS and notifies you when this is complete
- At this point, you will need to transfer all APIs and hard-coded links (if applicable) from "admin.axcelerate.com.au" to "yournewsubdomain.app.axcelerate.com" (NOTE: your new subdomain will end in '.com' and NOT '.com.au'.)
- Once everything is transferred, click Confirm Migration
- Once confirmed, aXcelerate support sets a date for your migration. It will be scheduled on a Friday or Saturday night after 9 pm
- aXcelerate then disables your account temporarily, copies your data to a new database and then will switch your account on. This may take several hours.
Tip: aXcelerate will automatically update any of your links within aXcelerate (e.g., Resource library documents linked in a template or assessment) to your new subdomain.
Any API integrations, or links to aXcelerate, outside of aXcelerate (i.e., links aXcelerate cannot access to update), using the “admin.axcelerate.com.au” domain, will need to be changed to your new subdomain when it is ready to be used.
Note: On the 17th of June release, aXcelerate allocated your organisation a subdomain based on email addresses in your system settings. The key contact for your account must go into system settings and confirm this domain. You will see the notification at the top of the page. There will be an email update and more information on this page when we're ready to proceed with the next step.
Warning: Migrating to a subdomain will be mandatory to complete in the future. If you do not act within the allotted timeframe, you may experience issues in certain areas of the system. Please refer to the FAQ's for further information.
As part of migrating aXcelerate from a single database, we will also need to migrate users to a centralised identity provider. We have chosen to use AWS Cognito. This service will handle user authentication. You will still have individual aXcelerate user accounts to manage roles and permissions.
aXcelerate will handle this migration for you, however, as part of this migration, it is a requirement that usernames need to be unique across all of aXcelerate. This means some users will be assigned a new username if they share one with an existing user in a different account. Users will be notified of this upon login.
Tip: For any users who have had their username changed, the original username will continue to work for a limited time but will eventually require the unique username to be used.
Note: There will be more information to come regarding changes to User logins that will be listed in this article.
Subdomain Migration FAQs
What if I do not migrate my account to a subdomain?
aXcelerate began rolling out these infrastructure changes in 2020. Changes will continue to occur throughout the first half of 2021, and we are hoping to tie this project up before the end of the year. Failure to act on your part may result in the following:
- Clients not being able to book onto courses through your website
- Students not being able to access links on your website
- Custom API integrations stop working
- Links sent through templates being broken
- Links to access to student or trainer resources being broken
- Users experiencing sub-optimal performance when using aXcelerate
- Workflow automations may stop working
How was the suggested subdomain for my organisation chosen?
We looked at the domains of email addresses in your aXcelerate system settings. If we found a consistent domain match on the email addresses, we used this. We also replaced the dot "." with a dash "-" for two-part domains. We generally require each client to have ownership of the website domain we have suggested as a subdomain, however, we can make exceptions to modify it, e.g. we can remove the ".asn" for websites that have a two-part domain.
How do I change the subdomain that has been assigned to my account?
If you would like to change the subdomain that has been generated for your account, please contact aXcelerate support and let them know what the subdomain should be. Please ensure that you raise any concerns about the name of your subdomain before confirming that your account is ready for migration.
Will the generic aXcelerate URL continue to work for my users?
Users in your account of any type will still be able to use the general admin.axcelerate.com.au URL to access the system. They will also be able to use your subdomain: "[yourdomain].app.axcelerate.com" to log in once it has been configured. The only area that the general URL will not work is for API integrations after you have been migrated.
Will aXcelerate help us find where we have used the admin.axcelerate.com.au domain?
Yes, we will complete a 'search and replace' in templates, resources, assessments and email content. If there are any other areas you feel should be included, please let us know via the Support Centre.
We are unable to assist with this step in areas outside of aXcelerate (e.g., a hard-coded link to aXcelerate found on your website).
How much will my own server cost?
The cost of having a dedicated server for your organisation will depend on many factors (e.g., learner numbers, average requests, number of logins, amount of reporting or workflows, API use etc.), so it is impossible to provide an amount without detailed scoping. We expect an entry-level server for a small client making limited requests to cost around $8000.00 per annum. Please note that server costs are in USD, so pricing will depend on the strength of the AUD relative to the USD. If you are interested in having this enabled for your account, please contact aXcelerate support so that we can evaluate your account and provide you with further information about the associated cost.
What will happen to staging (stg.axcelerate.com.au)?
We are still in the process of finalising details regarding what URL the staging server will move to, or whether it will even move at all. We will update this FAQ with more information once we are further into our development.
Do I have to worry about email and SPF records?
No. Mail will still come from our mail server on the axcelerate.com.au domain. Email will work as it does currently so no action is required.
What happens once I have confirmed my Subdomain?
In some months time, we will let you know that your subdomain is ready for migration. At this point, you will need to update all of your external links pointing to "admin.axcelerate.com.au", to your new subdomain.
Once this is complete, you will navigate to the system settings, and choose "Confirm Migration" on a form that will appear in a similar format to the one used when approving your subdomain.
Following this, aXcelerate will set a date for your migration, which will be scheduled on a Friday or Saturday night, after 9pm. On this date, your account will be temporarily disabled, the migration will occur, following which, your account will be reactivated, ready for use.