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September 11 - 2023 - SmartLink Outage

Mike-VA3MW
Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin

We want to inform you that we are currently addressing a SmartLink issue that could potentially affect your ability to access your remote radios. Please be assured that our dedicated team at FlexRadio is actively working to resolve this matter. We will keep you updated on our progress as we work towards a solution.

Please keep an eye on this posting for any updated status.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Comments

  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin

    Friday AM - Update. This was also emailed to all of our user install base.

    Our servers are still working at 100% to resolve the required TLS calculations. More and more users are returning to being online.

    Regarding our SmartLink Outage

    On 9/11 around noon CDT, we began to receive reports of trouble using SmartLink. This outage was caused by a Root CA certificate expiring that our SmartLink SSL cert depended on. In layman’s terms, this meant that a secure connection to the server could not be made.  

    The discovery of the root problem occurred around 3AM CDT 9/12, roughly 15 hours after the initial reports. Fortunately, we were already in a position to update our cert and the supporting root CA cert because of lessons learned from prior years. Actions taken earlier in the morning on 9/11 helped accelerate this work. The new certificates were in place on the SmartLink server by 4AM CDT 9/12.

    Unfortunately, there was one more step required as radios were still not communicating with the server due to the new root CA not being in our cert bundle in the radio. SmartSDR v3.5.9 and v2.10.1 were developed to address that issue and pushed through internal and Alpha testing. With their release around 3PM CDT 9/12, SmartLink is functional again, though the server was extremely sluggish.  

    With the SmartLink service functional, our attention has turned to the sluggish response of the SmartLink server. This has caused a fair bit of confusion for folks that updated their software and still experienced timeout errors. Through some investigation, it has become clear that radios running earlier versions of SmartSDR attempting to connect to the SmartLink server are driving most of the server load.  

    This isn’t a terrible surprise as the TLS connection negotiation is a CPU intensive process and the radio will continue to attempt to connect upon a failure. We will continue to investigate ways to mitigate this problem on the server side, but the best way that you can help is to update your software (and radio) to the latest version.

    Rest assured that steps are being taken to avoid problems like this from happening in the future. We are committed to providing the best radio experience possible and we understand the frustration such an outage causes to our customers and apologize for the inconvenience.

    **Action Required:**

    If you have never used SmartLink or created a SmartLink login, there is no action required on your behalf.

    In order to help, we are asking you to upgrade to the latest version of SmartSDR. 

     This can be either v2.10.1 or V3.5.9. 

     If you have already taken the time to update SmartSDR on your PC and also upgraded the firmware on the radio, we thank you very much.  

     For those SmartLink users, you will be required to be at v2.10.1 or v3.5.9 in order to continue to use SmartLink.

     If you are a MAC or iOS, make sure that SmartSDR for MAC and also SmartSDR for iOS have been updated. 

    1.  **Visit our Downloads Page:** Go to our official downloads page at https://www.flexradio.com/ssdr/
    2. **Select Your Software Version:** Choose either SmartSDR v2.10.1 or v3.5.9, depending on your current version in use.
    3. **Install SmartSDR:** Download and install the selected software version.

    If you need a review on how to do so, this video should help: https://youtu.be/yr1CWw9NgPM?si=rgII1fmfFqXxtSwS 

    At FlexRadio, we are committed to your security and satisfaction. By keeping your software up to date, you not only enhance your device's security but also ensure that you have access to the latest features and improvements.