Questions Related to April 11-12 Testing
NFC will be testing in the new data center again on the maintenance weekend of April 11 -12. Production URLs will be used for this test, HOWEVER, no data transmitted during the test window will be retained. Any data transmitted during this window will be considered test data and discarded.
What are the time frames for the testing?
- Access to the current data center will not be available from 7AM CDT on Saturday until 5PM CDT on Sunday.
- Test window begins at 9AM CDT on Saturday, April 11th and continues until 3PM CDT on Sunday, April 12th.
- Anything transmitted within the test time window will be considered part of the test. Anything submitted outside of that window will be processed in the current data center. If you submit something Friday night, it will be processed in the current data center.
Will there be a notification sent out as soon as the switch has been flipped so we can begin testing on Saturday?
No. Assume testing is ready at 9 AM CDT.
How do customers test their printers?
Many people are concerned about printing standard reports that contain PII if they are not in the office to pick them up. If you have access to your printers or can print something that does not have PII, please send a job to your printer.
How do customers notify NFC of success or issues?
- Connectivity issues should be sent to YOUR AGENCY NETWORK SUPPORT GROUP.
- After they have confirmed connectivity through your network, the network support group should open a ticket through EMAIL to OSC.ETIX@USDA.GOV
- CONFORMATION OF SUCCESSFUL CONNECTION should be sent to OSC.ETIX@USDA.GOV
Do customers need a test plan for this weekend?
- Customers should plan to check connectivity to all of the things that you normally use when you work with NFC’s systems. Customers should login to each of the systems they use at NFC, including mainframe applications and WEB applications. You should test and confirm connectivity at all access points, TN3270, SFTP, FTP, ConnectDirect, WEB Services.
- Given the current situational remote access, customers should confirm that they can reach the current NFC systems during the week prior to the test.
- NFC is performing the functional validation of the systems. Customers should concentrate on access to user interfaces.
Are you looking for a test summary after we complete testing Saturday?
Yes, please email your summaries to OSC.ETIX@USDA.GOV
Do you have a timeline/schedule planned for the full migration?
The final cutover will happen the weekend of April 25 -26, 2020. All systems and environments will be moved over this maintenance weekend. NFC expects to have all systems available in the new location by the beginning of business April 27th. External testing will be allowed the two maintenance weekends prior to the cutover, which are March 28, 2020, and April 11, 2020.
Who are you contacting in each Agency?
Agency contacts have been culled from ISAs, firewall contacts and responses to the request for contact memo distributed. Updated information will be distributed to those subscribed to receive updates from NFC (see NFC Home Page).
Will there be an impact to RUMBA?
RUMBA will function if the communication paths have been established and tested.
What is the impact of this in general?
Anything that uses an IP address instead of a name to connect to NFC applications will have to be changed. For example, if you connect to mvs.nfc.usda.gov (the host name) you will not have to change anything. If you connect to 220.127.116.11 (the IP address) you will have to change, preferably to mvs.nfc.usda.gov.
What is the new remote connection product that will be implemented?
The replacement solution involves Secure Pulse and soft token credentials. Customers currently using the desktop VPN product have been contacted by NFC’s security staff and will receive further instructions.
What action do customers need to take now?
Every agency should have been contacted by now. If you do not think your agency has been contacted, check with your ISSPM first and then have them follow the instructions on the customer notifications to reach out regarding the data center migration.
- Customers can begin configuring their applications to utilize host names instead of IP addresses wherever possible. This will limit the amount of work that has to be tied to the migration and test dates. These changes can take place now.
- Customers with VPNs should have their new VPN into the new data center built and ready for testing prior to the cutover. This new VPN will exist in parallel with the existing VPN into the current data center.
- Customers with firewall rules allowing access to NFC applications and/or NFC access to remote printers can be updating their rules to allow the new IP addresses that have been provided in addition to the current addresses. After the cutover, the old addresses can be removed.
- Customers should be coordinating a test plan to ensure connectivity into the new data center which will be executed during the test weekends specified.
- Customers needing the list of existing and new IP addresses can send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.