HA questions

Ascent Capture Internet Server

Re: HA questions

Postby cw823 » Fri Aug 07, 2009 3:39 am

For the central site I would do MS clustering if I could, but I don't see any documentation on how to do that with the central site, and I guess if I could use MS clustering for the central site then I would use the new server F to cluster it with B.

Or am I just crazy? We really don't have enough traffic to warrant two web servers, I'm just trying to get a redundant solution for the central site at this point. Central site runs ACIS and release ATM
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Re: HA questions

Postby dkekesi » Fri Aug 07, 2009 4:05 am

Clustering the KC servers and clustering the web servers where KCNS runs are (or can be) two totally different things. You can have one KC server that gets the data from multiple web servers running KCNS (they do not even need to be clustered). Or you can have a cluster for KC (here you need a cluster) that receives data from a single web server running KCNS.
As far as I can remember Kofax used to suggest a web server for every 50 remote sites, but sites with lot of traffic can make even this a bottleneck. OTOH we have KCNS installations over 80 sites with a single server that runs KC+KCNS+IIS+Recognition Server+PDF Generator+Release (not even clustered, only internal redundancy is used). No performance problems and it is a 4 year old 2 CPU 4 core system with 4 GB RAM and processes 10K pages each day. Of course your policy may require HA.
BTW: you do the clustering the same way for a central and a remote site. The only difference is that you also install KCNS (in your case) after the KC servers are configured.
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Re: HA questions

Postby cw823 » Fri Aug 07, 2009 4:11 am

dkekesi wrote:Clustering the KC servers and clustering the web servers where KCNS runs are (or can be) two totally different things. You can have one KC server that gets the data from multiple web servers running KCNS (they do not even need to be clustered). Or you can have a cluster for KC (here you need a cluster) that receives data from a single web server running KCNS.
As far as I can remember Kofax used to suggest a web server for every 50 remote sites, but sites with lot of traffic can make even this a bottleneck. OTOH we have KCNS installations over 80 sites with a single server that runs KC+KCNS+IIS+Recognition Server+PDF Generator+Release (not even clustered, only internal redundancy is used). No performance problems and it is a 4 year old 2 CPU 4 core system with 4 GB RAM and processes 10K pages each day. Of course your policy may require HA.
BTW: you do the clustering the same way for a central and a remote site. The only difference is that you also install KCNS (in your case) after the KC servers are configured.


And we only have 1 remote site ATM, and I don't see that changing going forward. We're on AC 7.5; so I CAN do a clustered central site then? I guess that would be my preference, we don't have enough load to need a clustered ACIS solution, and I don't want our central site to be limited to one server as if that server goes down we'd be SOL.

So if I can get the extra server, I can cluster the new one with my old ACIS server, brand new MS clustering, then setup that cluster as a new central site and point the remote site (also a MS cluster) to that new central site.

So how does the install change then for a central site? I mean, the current MS cluster we have is a full server installation on one node, then a workstation installation on the other node, with both nodes running recognition and RSA. Would the central site be installed in similar fashion?
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Re: HA questions

Postby dkekesi » Fri Aug 07, 2009 4:17 am

You said you have only one remote site. How many Kofax workstations are there on that site?
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Re: HA questions

Postby cw823 » Fri Aug 07, 2009 4:37 am

dkekesi wrote:You said you have only one remote site. How many Kofax workstations are there on that site?



Our remote site is a AC 7.5 SP5 MS cluster, and including the second node of that cluster there are around 7-9 active workstations at any given time.
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Re: HA questions

Postby dkekesi » Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:41 am

You got quite an oddball configuration there. A support nightmare... If you are sure that you'll have no other remote sites in the foreseeable future I'd drop the central site altogether and release from the remote site's server cluster to the back end system(s) directly. Now you have a central server (which you want to "upgrade" to a cluster) that does not do anything useful, but complicates the system.
I would do the clustering of the central site only if you see any new sites coming up. You'll probably need to reinstall the complete central site anyway to do the clustering. Until then turn your remote site into a server installation that does the release as well. It will be far easier to manage and see through.
I know this is not a direct answer to your question but if your goal is HA then this is the easiest and cheapest solution for your scenario. Also once you removed the central site server from your production environment you'll have time to experiment with central clustering and you'll not risk any downtimes (transition to a clustered central site will be safer).
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Re: HA questions

Postby cw823 » Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:47 am

dkekesi wrote:You got quite an oddball configuration there. A support nightmare... If you are sure that you'll have no other remote sites in the foreseeable future I'd drop the central site altogether and release from the remote site's server cluster to the back end system(s) directly. Now you have a central server (which you want to "upgrade" to a cluster) that does not do anything useful, but complicates the system.
I would do the clustering of the central site only if you see any new sites coming up. You'll probably need to reinstall the complete central site anyway to do the clustering. Until then turn your remote site into a server installation that does the release as well. It will be far easier to manage and see through.
I know this is not a direct answer to your question but if your goal is HA then this is the easiest and cheapest solution for your scenario. Also once you removed the central site server from your production environment you'll have time to experiment with central clustering and you'll not risk any downtimes (transition to a clustered central site will be safer).


Our cluster running recognition and RSA is located in our data center, the central site (+ acis) is in a data center about 3 hours way, which is why we are using ACIS. Now I'm certain we have significantly smaller volume than the average customer.

So you're suggesting to get rid of the central server, but I'm not sure how I would do that. Are you saying that my current cluster in our datacenter would be the new central server and we would run everything from there? Then we would still have ACIS in the remote data center?
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Re: HA questions

Postby dkekesi » Fri Aug 07, 2009 6:08 am

What you use now looks like the following: remote site does scan, recognition, RSA. Central site does receive via ACIS and does the release. Am I correct?
If I am, then my suggestion will look like this: remote site does scan, recognition and release. Period. As simple as that. Forget ACIS, forget RSA. You can even shut down the central server. You'll not need any of them for now.
The method I'd follow is something like this. You'll need to roll back your remote site into a a non-remote site server so that you could run the Administration utility (I know it can be done without reinstalling, but you'll need to ask Kofax about the exact method... I think it's a registry setting that says if the server is a remote site or not). You'll need to move and attach the dongle onto that server (the primary leg of the cluster or if you have an enterprise license you got two dongles and both legs of the cluster can be configured as primary and backup license servers) and configure the license servers. You'll need to install the release scripts that are installed on the central site to the remote site's sever. Also export then import all batch classes to the remote server. Create all user and group permissions. All these can be done overnight after careful planning and testing, so that end user's do not notice anything but that the bathes are not disappearing after Recognition but after a new queue (Release) is seen. Possibly you'll need to open up firewall between remote site's server and the back-end system's server.
After writing down all this, it is indeed some work. Now I'm getting unsure if I'd do it at all :roll:
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Re: HA questions

Postby cw823 » Fri Aug 07, 2009 6:41 am

Wow that's alot to process, but I see your point. We were always told that acis was a requirement given the fact that our data store is across a WAN. We had an issue when the moved (read: broke) the SAN that the SQL database (cluster) was on so I utilized a VM in the interim.

But our biggest question with no longer using ACIS is the WAN.
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Re: HA questions

Postby dkekesi » Fri Aug 07, 2009 7:30 am

Then you were told wrong (or the consultant wanted to sell you more licenses :wink:). ACIS is needed only if there are Ascent Capture modules inside the capture process that work across WAN. For example scan and recognize at a remote site, transfer batches then validate and release centrally. Your case could also be a nice candidate for ACIS if you had multiple sites. In that case a central release-only solution would be a good option (one place to maintain, less issue with firewall, etc.). But since having one remote site AND central site is only doing release, there's no reason why the release process could not take place at the remote site, requiring no AC at the central site at all. It does not matter (in case of a correctly written release script) who does the transfer via the WAN... either ACIS or the release process... it makes no difference (release is also run as a background service so users will not notice anything).
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Re: HA questions

Postby cw823 » Mon Aug 10, 2009 5:07 am

I have a test VM setup now as a central site, I'll have a few workstations test using that and verify that release doesn't have any sort of odd WAN bandwidth issues when releasing.

Then I'll have to point the workstations to this new VM so I can reconfigure the current remote site MS cluster. I will probably remove and reinstall on the cluster instead of trying to make the remote site a central site unless I come across an easy "how-to" on that process.

Thanks for your input, it is appreciated
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