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Upcoming Move of the Central Processing System to the Virtual Data Center

PublicationDate: 4/21/99
Summary: Upcoming Move of the Central Processing System to the Virtual Data Center
Author: CPS - Central Processing System (CPS)


Posted on April 21, 1999

To: Electronic Data Exchange (EDE) Participants
From: US Department of Education
Re: Upcoming Move of the Central Processing System to the Virtual Data Center

This message --

Advises you of the three-step process by which we will make the move, including the times when the system will be down;

Describes how each step will affect your ability to access the system; and

Asks you to inform your students about these brief interruptions in service.


What We Are Planning

To facilitate the integration of the Student Financial Aid Delivery system, we are moving the Central Processing System (CPS) to the Virtual Data Center (VDC) located in Meriden CT, which will eventually house all the Student Financial Aid Delivery systems. Although some downtime is necessary to prepare for, rehearse, and move CPS, we expect that this transition will be transparent to you and your students.

Many months of planning and scheduling have gone into the preparations for the CPS move. We are confident the CPS will be in production except for the limited downtime listed below. We will let you know immediately if we need additional downtime. We describe the three-step process below.


Step One: Testing

We will test CPS in a standalone environment at its current location in Iowa City as the first step in this process:

On Friday 4/23/99, CPS will halt the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 production at 12:01am Central Time to move and test production in the new standalone environment.

On Sunday 4/25/99, processing will resume.

On Monday 4/26/99, CPS will resume the normal compute schedule. CPS staff will verify the processing by performing a step-by-step review of the system's jobs and outputs before Student Aid Reports (SARs)are printed and Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs)are transmitted. We have established checkpoints to verify all processing steps. This ensures the data you receive is correct.

We anticipate no other processing suspensions due to this test. However, if we find any problems on Monday
4/26/99, we will stop production to fix and test the system. If this occurs, we will send a message via Title IV WAN and post it on IFAP and FINAID-L list serve to inform you of the production halt.


How Step One Will Affect You

CPS will make a final pickup of EDE data before 12:01am Central Time on 4/23/99 and will transmit ISIRs to Title IV WAN mailboxes by Tuesday, 4/27/99 at 7:00pm Central Time. CPS will next pick up EDE data starting at 12:01am Central Time on 4/26/99. Records sent to match on Thursday will be processed when production resumes on Monday 4/26/99. Schools can expect to receive these ISIRs on Monday, 4/26/99 at 7:00pm Central Time.

The 1999-2000 Renewal Application on the Web (ROTW) site will be unavailable from 4/23/99 at 12:01am through 4/26/99 at approximately noon Central Time. A message will be posted on the site prior to this outage and will be displayed if a student tries to access the site during the outage. Once the site is back up, students will be able to access it as normal.

The 1998-99 ROTW site, the 1998-99 FAFSA on the Web site (FOTW), and the 1999-2000 FOTW site will be available during this weekend, as will the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 FAFSA Express sites for downloading this software.

The Federal Student Aid Information Center will be unable to help callers with questions that require the operators to access the CPS on April 23, 1999. This affects both the toll free number (800-433-3243) and the toll number (319-337-5665).

Step Two: Dress Rehearsal

We will perform a dress rehearsal of the CPS migration from May 28 - 31, 1999. During the dress rehearsal we will:

Install CPS at the VDC

Test the interfaces with the Multiple Data Entry (MDE) contractor, the matching agencies, the Recipient Financial Management System (RFMS), National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), and the Title IV WAN.

Replicate the 5/28/99 compute, which was run on the Iowa City system using the VDC system. (No duplicate output will be sent to EDE participants.)

Compare the results of the two computes to ensure they are identical.


How Step Two Will Affect You

CPS will make a pickup of EDE data and run production as normal on Friday 5/28/99 with ISIRs transmitted to Title IV WAN mailboxes by 11:00pm Central Time on 5/28/99. CPS will next pick up EDE data starting 12:01 AM Central Time on 6/1/99. We will process records sent to match on Friday when production resumes on Tuesday. Schools can expect to receive these ISIRs on 6/1/99 at 7:00am Central Time.

The 1999-2000 Renewal Application on the Web (ROTW) site will be unavailable from 5/28/99 at 12:01am through 5/31/99 at approximately noon Central Time. We will post a message on the site before this outage that will display if a student tries to access the site during the outage. Once the site is back up, students will be able to access it as normal.

The 1998-99 ROTW site, the 1998-99 FAFSA on the Web site (FOTW), and the 1999-2000 FOTW site will all be available during this weekend, as will the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 FAFSA Express sites for downloading this software.

The Federal Student Aid Information Center will be unable to help callers with questions that require the operators to access the CPS on May 28, 1999. This affects both the toll free number (800-433-3243) and the toll number (319-337-5665).


Step Three: Migration

The final CPS migration step occurs the weekend of 6/3/99. CPS will halt production on 6/3/99 at 3:00pm Central Time to actually migrate the CPS to the Meriden data center. Processing will resume on Sunday 6/6/99 at noon Central Time. When processing resumes, CPS personnel again will carefully review each processing step and the output to ensure the results are accurate. We believe no problems will be found and production will run smoothly. However, if any problems are found, production will be stopped so the system can be fixed and tested. If this occurs, a message will be sent via Title IV WAN and posted on IFAP and FINAID-L list serve.


How Step Three Will Affect You

CPS will make a final pickup of EDE data before 6:00am Central Time on 6/3/99 and will transmit ISIRs to Title IV WAN mailboxes by 6/3/99 at 3:00pm Central Time. CPS will next pick up EDE data starting 12:01am Central Time on 6/7/99. We will process records sent to match on 6/3/99 when production resumes on Monday 6/7/99. Schools can expect to receive these ISIRs on 6/7/99 at around 7:00pm Central Time.

The 1999-2000 Renewal Application on the Web (ROTW) site will be unavailable from 6/3/99 at 3pm Central Time through 6/6/99 at approximately noon Central Time. We will post a message on the site before this outage that will display if a student tries to access the site during the outage. Once the site is back up, students will be able to access it as normal.

The 1998-99 ROTW site, the 1998-99 FAFSA on the Web site (FOTW), and the 1999-2000 FOTW site will be available during this weekend, as will the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 FAFSA Express sites for downloading this software.

The Federal Student Aid Information Center will be unable to help callers with questions that require the operators to access the CPS from 3:00 PM CST on 06/03/99 until 12:00 PM CST on 06/06/99. This affects both the toll free number (800-433-3243) and the toll number (319-337-5665).


Please Pass this Message Along to Your Students

During the downtimes listed above, 1-800 4 FED AID operators--

Will still be able to provide callers with general information about our student aid programs, but won’t be able to access the CPS to discuss specific information about a caller’s application

Won’t be able to perform application status checks, send duplicate Student Aid Reports, enter school changes, or view image files of applications in cases where the applicant believes that a data entry error has been made.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you or your students, and we would appreciate your assistance in informing your students about these brief curtailments of information services.


If You Have Any Questions About This Message

If you have questions about the Central Processing System move, please call CPS Customer Service at 1-800-330-5947, option 2.

Last Modified: 08/16/1999