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  • A Couple Things

    Hello everyone. I wanted to post a couple things. The first is that the Family Finder matching should now be corrected. If you are still missing any matches please let me know or fill out the contact form so it can be looked into on an individual basis.

    The other thing is that there was an email that went out to group admins explaining some changes and I wanted to let you know as well. I have included the greater part of it below:

    We appreciate your patience with us through the recent bout of technical difficulties we’ve experienced. We know the last couple of weeks have been challenging with the connectivity issues and other bumps in the road, but we assure you we’re working to correct those issues and lay a foundation on which future growth can be built.

    Family Tree DNA is unique in the market since, as you know, we’re the only company that offers a full suite of DNA testing for genealogy. Maintaining and improving those discrete pipelines is a challenge, but it’s one we embrace and are committed to meeting.

    The most recent and obvious issues have involved matches disappearing and reappearing. We assure you that in those situations, the data from the lab were there and correct. The problem involved the "cache"--a temporary storage location intended to speed up access. It’s similar to your browser’s cache, but at the server level.

    The team is first focusing on resolving those caching issues, since they impact the website’s speed and stability, which is the other major issue that has affected everyone.

    Here’s a list of the primary corrective actions we’re taking:

    We are working to reduce human error by automating our QC processes. We’ve added more QC checks into our processes and will be adding more as needed.
    We are upgrading our servers to be able to handle the increased load we are experiencing. In December we doubled our capacity, but more is already needed. These upgrades may take a few weeks to complete.
    We are re-organizing our database to distribute the load among all test types so that processing one type doesn’t affect the performance of the other types. For example, uploading a large batch of mtDNA results shouldn’t cause noticeable slowdowns on the site. This network reorganization will take about 2-3 months.
    We are moving our results process to a "pipeline" using small, discrete, automated steps. This method will make it much easier to find and fix problems, and will increase processing speed. This will be done in phases over the next 2-3 months. When it is complete, we expect much better consistency and quality.
    We are working on new automated pipelines for each DNA line (Y-STR, Big Y, mtDNA, Family Finder) designed to reduce human error. Each pipeline has new quality control checks built in. As we complete each new pipeline, we'll be auditing and re-running existing results to ensure that they are correct, and ensuring that new results go through the added qc checks. This doesn’t mean we haven’t always had QC in place - just that it’s not sufficient for the volume of tests we’re running and will continue to run.

    To summarize: in the past, some of our processes relied on manual intervention, which can lead to errors. Increased levels of automation remove that element, allowing us to do a better, more consistent job in the delivery of results. Automation won't make it perfect, but it will help to ensure that we are doing things the same way every time, and that proper QA is done when we do have to fix problems.


    -Darren
    Family Tree DNA

  • #2
    Positive that this information is being posted to the forum Darren. Perhaps the next step should be to also make it available to customers who do not use the forum.

    Comment


    • #3
      Let's hope it is not again "too little, too late"

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEjLWdFK8UM at second 0:30

      Comment


      • #4
        There seems to be some progress, and it's good to be advised of the cause of some of these problems. Being completely in the dark is never good.

        There is still the looming problem of the chromosome browser not working for the 3 June batch. Since 3 June, new batches have been processed and their browsers work fine (except when comparing against the 3 June people). How is that fair? Maximum company resources should be applied to solving this issue now even if it involves diverting resources from the new customers.

        Comment


        • #5
          Darren,

          Could you check to see if the Co-Admins as well as the project admin received the email? I have never received anything from FTDNA about any of these updates.

          Thank you

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by telly441 View Post
            Darren,

            Could you check to see if the Co-Admins as well as the project admin received the email? I have never received anything from FTDNA about any of these updates.

            Thank you
            Was there an email? I know it was posted as an announcement in the Project Admins section of this forum.

            Comment


            • #7
              I did not receive any such email.

              Comment


              • #8
                I like that you posted this Darren, thank you.

                I'd enjoy it if you had a Sticky thread that only you could post in where you could put updates that would interest us. Even if it was only update 2 or 3 times a week with bullet point level information it would at least be a way to show us that progress was being made and things were being discussed. This way it's not silence or your comments aren't buried in a large thread somewhere that I may not be following or missed a page reading.

                Maybe make a new one every month, or every other month?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ech124 View Post
                  There seems to be some progress, and it's good to be advised of the cause of some of these problems. Being completely in the dark is never good.

                  There is still the looming problem of the chromosome browser not working for the 3 June batch. Since 3 June, new batches have been processed and their browsers work fine (except when comparing against the 3 June people). How is that fair? Maximum company resources should be applied to solving this issue now even if it involves diverting resources from the new customers.
                  I have two 3 June cousins, that I am not able to see in my chromosome browser and they can't see anyone in their browsers, but I can see them, if I log into my 2 cousin's accounts that were loaded after June 3rd!

                  Maybe the problem is in chromosome browsers or kits that were installed before June 3rd? They just can't recognize the June 3rd load, but can see all loads made before and after June 3rd. Maybe the June 3rd load just needs to be redone C'mon guys! It's been almost a month now

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Darren View Post
                    Hello everyone. I wanted to post a couple things. The first is that the Family Finder matching should now be corrected. If you are still missing any matches please let me know or fill out the contact form so it can be looked into on an individual basis.

                    The other thing is that there was an email that went out to group admins explaining some changes and I wanted to let you know as well. I have included the greater part of it below:

                    We appreciate your patience with us through the recent bout of technical difficulties we’ve experienced. We know the last couple of weeks have been challenging with the connectivity issues and other bumps in the road, but we assure you we’re working to correct those issues and lay a foundation on which future growth can be built.

                    Family Tree DNA is unique in the market since, as you know, we’re the only company that offers a full suite of DNA testing for genealogy. Maintaining and improving those discrete pipelines is a challenge, but it’s one we embrace and are committed to meeting.

                    The most recent and obvious issues have involved matches disappearing and reappearing. We assure you that in those situations, the data from the lab were there and correct. The problem involved the "cache"--a temporary storage location intended to speed up access. It’s similar to your browser’s cache, but at the server level.

                    The team is first focusing on resolving those caching issues, since they impact the website’s speed and stability, which is the other major issue that has affected everyone.

                    Here’s a list of the primary corrective actions we’re taking:

                    We are working to reduce human error by automating our QC processes. We’ve added more QC checks into our processes and will be adding more as needed.
                    We are upgrading our servers to be able to handle the increased load we are experiencing. In December we doubled our capacity, but more is already needed. These upgrades may take a few weeks to complete.
                    We are re-organizing our database to distribute the load among all test types so that processing one type doesn’t affect the performance of the other types. For example, uploading a large batch of mtDNA results shouldn’t cause noticeable slowdowns on the site. This network reorganization will take about 2-3 months.
                    We are moving our results process to a "pipeline" using small, discrete, automated steps. This method will make it much easier to find and fix problems, and will increase processing speed. This will be done in phases over the next 2-3 months. When it is complete, we expect much better consistency and quality.
                    We are working on new automated pipelines for each DNA line (Y-STR, Big Y, mtDNA, Family Finder) designed to reduce human error. Each pipeline has new quality control checks built in. As we complete each new pipeline, we'll be auditing and re-running existing results to ensure that they are correct, and ensuring that new results go through the added qc checks. This doesn’t mean we haven’t always had QC in place - just that it’s not sufficient for the volume of tests we’re running and will continue to run.

                    To summarize: in the past, some of our processes relied on manual intervention, which can lead to errors. Increased levels of automation remove that element, allowing us to do a better, more consistent job in the delivery of results. Automation won't make it perfect, but it will help to ensure that we are doing things the same way every time, and that proper QA is done when we do have to fix problems.


                    -Darren
                    Family Tree DNA
                    Thank you so much for this post Darren. It is good to know what is going on in the back ground!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I had about 160 mtDNA matches before, but now I have 3..I received 2 replys from FTDNA stating all matches had been restored, but they haven't..prior to losing the matches I received about 8 e-mails of notification of mtDNA matches but I can only see 2 old matches from 2008 and 1 from 2013....but then again it's not important because the mtDNA match connection could be from several thousand years ago...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Missing MTDNA results

                        I reported through the right channels that MtDNA results on my Mothers kit went missing on the HVR1&HVR2 levels - my brothers kit shows only HVR1. No response and still missing. Any chance a response might be forthcoming or that this will get fixed? Thanks!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by telly441 View Post
                          Darren,

                          Could you check to see if the Co-Admins as well as the project admin received the email? I have never received anything from FTDNA about any of these updates.

                          Thank you
                          Originally posted by lgmayka View Post
                          I did not receive any such email.
                          Never go that email.
                          Co-administrators have got to be emailed too.
                          Joe B

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I don't think there was an email. I saw it in a posting from Janine on the FTDNA project administrators' Facebook page. There was also a posting on the forum, but it was taken down after about an hour.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jbarry6899 View Post
                              I don't think there was an email. I saw it in a posting from Janine on the FTDNA project administrators' Facebook page. There was also a posting on the forum, but it was taken down after about an hour.
                              You cannot see a post from FTDNA, since it is now an announcement Technical Update by ljc (Moderator)
                              http://forums.familytreedna.com/announcement.php?f=214

                              Comment

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