VATSIM Releases Statement on Network Overloading

Friday, October 18, 2019

The much anticipated Audio for VATSIM upgrade has brought many past users back to the platform - so much so that, since release on Monday, the network’s servers have reached their limit numerous times.

147 users are able to connect to each of VATSIM’s seven worldwide servers, giving a maximum of 1,029 total users able to connect at any one time. This cap was previously higher with the older codec, though VATSIM promise that the limited bandwidth is only a temporary measure whilst Audio for VATSIM (AFV) goes through some teething issues.

In a statement released today, the network’s Vice-President of communications and marketing Matt Bartels runs us through some of the space-saving measures they request all members partake in over the weekend, undoubtedly the busiest time in a calendar week.

'VATSIM wants to thank you for the unprecedented interest, traffic levels, and support we have seen since the launch of Audio for VATSIM on Monday. As we head into our first weekend using our new technology, we are taking some actions to maintain the stability of the voice servers while we continue to isolate and correct an issue that arises when VATSIM exceeds just over 1,000 simultaneous connections.'

Attached below is a list of the space-saving measures the VATSIM Board want all users to follow this weekend and in the following days until server capacity returns to normal:

  • Upon completion of a flight, users are requested to immediately disconnect instead of staying connected while idle at a gate to listen to the traffic. In the same vein, users are requested not to connect to VATSIM until they are ready to file their flight plan and receive clearance.
  • If you are doing a longer haul flight and anticipate the need for an extended step away, please disconnect from VATSIM. Not only is this part of the Code of Conduct, but with limited connection availability it allows those actively using the network to connect. Supervisors have been advised to disconnect users who have stepped away whilst in an active Air Traffic Controller’s airspace and do not respond quickly per CoC B3.
  • Air Traffic Controllers are requested to  consider giving up their sessions to another qualified controller who wants to control the same position if the controller has been on position for 2 hours or more. Please ensure that the controller relieving you has successfully connected prior to disconnecting so your position does not go offline and is unable to get another controller online.
  • Air Traffic Controllers are also asked to not transmit and receive on multiple frequencies. Each controller may transmit and receive on only one frequency unless temporarily relieving another controller in the top down hierarchy.
  • Where we reach server capacity, VATSIM may suspend voice ATIS connections and observer connections in favor of having slots available for active controller and pilot connections. Such messages will be broadcast to all users on the network. Should you receive such a broadcast, Air Traffic Controllers are requested to disconnect their ATIS messages and proceed using a text only ATIS and Observers are requested to log off and reconnect as a Pilot or Air Traffic Controller or continue their observing session at a later time.

'We want all of VATSIM’s members to have an enjoyable first weekend on Audio for VATSIM and regret that we must keep these connection limits in place. However as this issue results in instability of the Audio for VATSIM infrastructure when above 1,000 users, it’s a step that must be taken to ensure all connected users have a seamless experience.'

‘The Audio for VATSIM team is working diligently to solve this issue.'

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