[Problem] Central Remote Sites

Ascent Capture Internet Server

[Problem] Central Remote Sites

Postby clayton » Mon May 18, 2009 1:48 pm

We are running K8 sp3, KTM 3.5 sp1 on a Windows2003 R2.

We need to establish both a primary and backup central site.
Both have been installed and configured and have USB license keys with the same serial.
We can install and configure 2 remote sites which communicate, synchronize and work perfectly with the PRIMARY site.

Our BACKUP primary however seems to think it's and independent site.
It is not a remote site. Where are we going wrong here?
The BACKUP site does not have any class configuration from the PRIMARY at all.

Remote sites try to load-balance between central sites, but obviously fail for the BACKUP site.
Any help or pointer on how to get this working?

Our backup and primary central servers do not share databases.
Should they? How can we replicate the configuration from the primary to backup central site?

You help and pointers appreciated.
Clayton Andrews
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Re: [Problem] Central Remote Sites

Postby rpapa » Mon May 18, 2009 6:46 pm

do a search on clustering and high availability in the forum

you need to have clustering on sql.

a few topics I found:
viewtopic.php?f=65&t=1938&hilit=sql
viewtopic.php?f=65&t=2228&hilit=clustering
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Re: [Problem] Central Remote Sites

Postby clayton » Mon May 18, 2009 9:24 pm

Thanks for those links.
I have read them and hopefully understood them.

The problem we are having is not (as far as we can tell) related to clustering, SQL or high availability.
This question is related to disaster recovery - using 2 central sites.

Anyone have some ideas where we are going wrong?
Maybe the answers to some of these questions will help me isolate the problem:

1. Do the primary and backup central sites need to share a SQL instance?
2. Does the administrator have to manually export the configuration data from the primary site and then import to the backup site?
3. Is there an automated way to have the configuration "pushed" to other central sites when publishing - or is this limited to remote sites?

We seem to have 2 PRIMARY central sites. Each seem to be independent of each other and do not share configuration data, batch classes or anything else!
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Re: [Problem] Central Remote Sites

Postby rpapa » Tue May 19, 2009 5:00 am

my bad...

I think it's with KC 8, that you can have multiple central sites.

I haven't done one... but looking at the help file, you need to add it to the list. Look at Creating a list of central sites.

Do you have an Enterprise License? I think you need it to take advantage of the Disaster Recovery Features
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Re: [Problem] Central Remote Sites

Postby clayton » Tue May 19, 2009 5:25 pm

Thanks for the feedback.

Yes, we have a Enterprise License. The site list shows both sites: BUT they both think they are the primary site...
Had another look in the documentation - see below (Not exactly explicit or exhaustive...)

---extracted from the Kofax 8: Installation Guide - Disaster Recovery ---
Site Administrator Activity

As a site administrator, you are responsible for the following areas: initial setup,
routine maintenance, and manual intervention in the case of a down system.

For the initial setup, a site administrator must configure shared and backup licenses,
set up a backup location for batches and batch classes, configure a replication scheme,
create a list of central sites, and specify upload behavior. The administrator can also
optionally export administrative data, transfer custom module configuration data,
and create custom workflow agents.
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Re: [Problem] Central Remote Sites

Postby cw823 » Tue Jun 16, 2009 4:12 am

clayton wrote:Thanks for the feedback.

Yes, we have a Enterprise License. The site list shows both sites: BUT they both think they are the primary site...
Had another look in the documentation - see below (Not exactly explicit or exhaustive...)

---extracted from the Kofax 8: Installation Guide - Disaster Recovery ---
Site Administrator Activity

As a site administrator, you are responsible for the following areas: initial setup,
routine maintenance, and manual intervention in the case of a down system.

For the initial setup, a site administrator must configure shared and backup licenses,
set up a backup location for batches and batch classes, configure a replication scheme,
create a list of central sites, and specify upload behavior. The administrator can also
optionally export administrative data, transfer custom module configuration data,
and create custom workflow agents.


I'd love to know the answer to your question as well. What you posted above is IMHO typical Kofax documentation, with little clear explanation of how exactly to use/setup their product.

Here's how Kofax would tell you to use your car to get to point A to point B, assuming you don't have keys to the car, know directions to where your going, and even know what a car is:

"At point A, drive to point B".

Awesome.
"If things were different, they wouldn't be the same"
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Re: [Problem] Central Remote Sites

Postby dkekesi » Tue Jun 16, 2009 7:32 am

While I agree that Kofax documentation is hazy at many points the steps needed for implementing a disaster recovery capable system is quite well detailed and illustrated in Chapter 6 of KC8 Installation Guide. The section extracted by Clayton is only the introduction of the chapter. One should READ and UNDERSTAND the WHOLE chapter before coming to conclusions. I agree, it takes time to comprehend and implement all that is written there, but it's not rocket science. It is good (although not required) to have some understanding of how KC and KCNS operate at a low level (what are the different directories for, where do those reside, what components access them and how, etc.).
Best Regards,

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Re: [Problem] Central Remote Sites

Postby cw823 » Tue Jun 16, 2009 7:35 am

dkekesi wrote:While I agree that Kofax documentation is hazy at many points the steps needed for implementing a disaster recovery capable system is quite well detailed and illustrated in Chapter 6 of KC8 Installation Guide. The section extracted by Clayton is only the introduction of the chapter. One should READ and UNDERSTAND the WHOLE chapter before coming to conclusions. I agree, it takes time to comprehend and implement all that is written there, but it's not rocket science. It is good (although not required) to have some understanding of how KC and KCNS operate at a low level (what are the different directories for, where do those reside, what components access them and how, etc.).


I'm on 7.5, so I haven't looked at that manual for the most part. I find these forums FAR more helpful when it comes to actually doing what is described in the manual.

That being said, I don't think the OP ever received a response that explained how to fix his issue, or maybe he fixed it and didn't let us know?
"If things were different, they wouldn't be the same"
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Re: [Problem] Central Remote Sites

Postby dkekesi » Tue Jun 16, 2009 7:37 am

Some of your questions.
1. Do the primary and backup central sites need to share a SQL instance?
No. These sites should be independent.
2. Does the administrator have to manually export the configuration data from the primary site and then import to the backup site?
Yes, as there should be no live connection between the two sites.
3. Is there an automated way to have the configuration "pushed" to other central sites when publishing - or is this limited to remote sites?
No. But you have some tools provided by the KC infrastructure to translate variables on the fly that are different at the two central sites (like image folder paths, release paths, etc).

We seem to have 2 PRIMARY central sites. Each seem to be independent of each other and do not share configuration data, batch classes or anything else!
That's the way it should be. What is the problem?
Best Regards,

Daniel Kekesi
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Re: [Problem] Central Remote Sites

Postby dkekesi » Tue Jun 16, 2009 7:41 am

cw823 wrote:I'm on 7.5, so I haven't looked at that manual for the most part.

AC 7.5 does not have the disaster recover capabilities like KC8 (there's no central site switching like in KC - well there is, it is just not documented and not that easily available as in KC8). I hope the OP is also on KC8, otherwise he will have some hard time implementing disaster recovery in a changing environment.
OTOH reading the manual helps a lot. The forums are only helpful if you have a well defined problem. General inquiries need a lot of effort to narrow down and most posters will just give up or never start bothering. You need to have knowledge to ask good questions.
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Re: [Problem] Central Remote Sites

Postby clayton » Tue Jun 16, 2009 5:03 pm

dkekesi wrote:Some of your questions.
1. Do the primary and backup central sites need to share a SQL instance?
No. These sites should be independent.
2. Does the administrator have to manually export the configuration data from the primary site and then import to the backup site?
Yes, as there should be no live connection between the two sites.
3. Is there an automated way to have the configuration "pushed" to other central sites when publishing - or is this limited to remote sites?
No. But you have some tools provided by the KC infrastructure to translate variables on the fly that are different at the two central sites (like image folder paths, release paths, etc).

We seem to have 2 PRIMARY central sites. Each seem to be independent of each other and do not share configuration data, batch classes or anything else!
That's the way it should be. What is the problem?


Ignoring the fact that you're implying that this is a simple procedure and is properly documented in the 8.0 Installation Guide:

Thanks for the response and direct answers to my questions. I do appreciate it.
My understanding of the Disaster Recovery "feature" in 8.0 is now more complete.

To summarize my current understanding:

We have a central site with HA configured. (Active / Passive)
2 USB license keys - both on separate servers and both configured and activated.
We have 6 remote sites - all configured to point to the Central Site (Primary)
Changes made to batch classes and configuration are automatically pushed / pulled to the remote sites.
Batches can be scanned at any remote site and are moved via KCN to the Central site for pdf conversion and release.
[This all works as advertised and works quite nicely]

In order to create a DR site (Backup Central Site):

Install and configure a new KC8 installation at DR site.
Manually export all configuration data from the Primary Central Site.
Copy configuration data to Backup Central Site.
Import configuration data into Backup Server.
[Repeat this process every time we change a batch class or Primary Central Configuration?]

Configure Automatic batch backup feature at Primary Central Site.
Buy 3rd party replication software. Any recommendations?
Install and configure to replicate batches between sites.

In the unlikely event that a disaster is declared at the Primary Central Site:

Manually run the KcnsRestoreBatches utility. Import batches to Backup Central Site.
Manually run the KcnsSiteSwitch.exe utility. Tell all remote sites to switch to Backup Central Site.
Wait for the site switch to be pushed to remote sites.
Re-scan all batches not replicated.
Re-process all batches.
Validate batches.

Sound about right? Anything I may have missed?

Thanks again
Clayton
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Re: [Problem] Central Remote Sites

Postby dkekesi » Tue Jun 16, 2009 10:11 pm

Your list seems to be quite complete to me. Right now I do not see anything that you missed.
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