Vess A2000 Series HA Surveillance with Milestone XProtect VMS Version 1.0

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1 Vess A2000 Series HA Surveillance with Milestone XProtect VMS Version PROMISE Technology, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

2 Contents Introduction 1 Purpose 1 Scope 1 Audience 1 What is High Availability? 2 HA Architecture for Video Surveillance 3 Enhanced HA Design with Promise/Milestone/Windows 5 Key Improvements 5

3 Achieving High Availability with Milestone XProtect Corporate Introduction The focus of this paper is to describe the best architecture for High Availability for management of a large scale video surveillance network using Milestone XProtect Corporate Video Management Software paired with the Promise Vess A2000 NVR Storage Appliance and Vess R2000 Storage System. Purpose The purpose of this paper is to aid topology planning and system management for engineers and administrators interested in using Promise Vess A2000 NVR Storage Appliance and Vess R2000 Storage System with Milestone XProtect VMS. Scope This details the advantages of PROMISE Surveillance Storage Server solution with Milestone VMS integration and the practical recommended guidance for integration. Audience This document is intended for project planners, system administrators, system integrators, technical sales personnel, supporting engineers, or anyone interested in surveillance system topology design and deployment. 1

4 Promise Technologies Vess A2000 and Vess R2000 What is High Availability? High Availability or HA is concept used in system design and service implementation, it refers to the ability to maintain a certain level of operational performance or service from a particular application in the event that some part of the system fails. An HA solution typically consists of failover clusters. A failover cluster is a set of loosely coupled servers with failover capabilities. Each system is self-contained and independent, the servers are monitoring the health of each other. In the event of a failure, applications are restarted on a different server in the cluster. Windows Server Failover Clustering is an example of an HA solution available in Windows Server OS. HA solutions use health monitoring and fault recovery in order to increase availability. If one system goes down, the application restarts on another system almost instantly. A failover cluster does not provide complete redundancy. It can only serve as a reliable way of minimizing the downtime in the event of an unplanned hardware failure. HA systems are capable of recovering from an unplanned hardware, software or OS failure because any application running on the problem server can be run on any healthy server in the cluster. Because HA design is so flexible, broad in terms of protection and cost effective, HA system design is generally preferred for engineering a robust video surveillance systems. Video surveillance systems, or segments within a surveillance system, often require some level of High Availability architecture. Often video system must function with no frame loss for 24 hours a day all year long. The video data must also be write protected, that is the data is stored with some level of storage system redundancy. Some surveillance applications also require read protection, that is the ability to immediately playback recorded video for a specific time and location, and to do this on demand, at any time, often for multiple stations. The question for systems engineers becomes how to design a system that has no recording data loss, includes data write protection, and in some cases, read protection as well. In the next section we present a typical HA setup for video surveillance application as recommended by Milestone for its popular XProtect VMS software. Following this we propose a better more reliable HA architecture that uses a resilient VMS configuration, providing better read data protection than a conventional system architecture. This proposed innovative VMS configuration and architecture utilizes video server and data storage systems from Promise Technology, with Milestone XProtect Corporate VMS. 2

5 Achieving High Availability with Milestone XProtect Corporate HA Architecture for Video Surveillance Now let s look at the main elements of the High Availability design for video surveillance applications. The diagram below displays the basic parts discussed in this document. Later we describe the Promise enhancements to the basic design. The goal is to use failover systems for recording servers, management servers (including the operating system, VMS software as well as hardware) and redundancy in the data storage (recording database). For comparison purposes, this basic design uses a Windows Server Cluster running Milestone XProtect Corporate management server, plus Milestone XProtect Corporate video servers and network RAID storage. Cameras and network infrastructure are not discussed here, though obviously these are also key parts of the design. For HA design, redundancy in networking equipment can be included as well as uninterruptible power supplies for much of the key hardware. 3

6 Promise Technologies Vess A2000 and Vess R2000 Component Management server cluster Function The management server stores the configuration of the surveillance system in a database, either locally on the management server computer itself or remotely on an SQL server on the network. It also handles user authentication, user rights, the rule system and more. The management server runs as a service on a dedicated server. The management server can be installed on multiple servers within a cluster of servers. This ensures that the system has very little down-time. If a server in the cluster fails, another server in the cluster automatically takes over the failed server s job running the management server. It is only possible to have one active management server per surveillance setup, but other management servers may be set up to take over in case of failure. The server cluster uses external SQL database installed outside the server cluster or an internal SQL (clustered) service within the server cluster. Recording server Failover recording server Recording database The recording server is responsible for communicating with the network cameras and video encoders, recording the retrieved audio and video as well as providing client access to both live and recorded audio and video. The failover recording server is responsible for taking over the recording task should a recording server fail. The media database supports various unique features like; multistage archiving, video grooming, encryption and adding a digital signature to the recordings. Archiving is the automatic transfer of recordings from, for example, a camera s default database to another location. In this way, the amount of recordings that you can store is not limited to the size of the recording database. With archiving you can also back up your recordings to another media. When you enable archiving for a camera or a group of cameras, the content of the camera database is automatically moved to an archive at intervals that you define. Depending on your requirements, you can configure one or more archives for each of your databases. Archives can be located either on the recording server computer itself, or at another location which can be reached by the system, for example on a network drive. Event server Log server The event server handles various tasks related to events, and alarms. This can be installed on the same server as the management server, it also maintains a database on an SQL server, locally or on the network. The log server is responsible for storing all log messages for the entire system. This can be installed on the same server as the management server, it also maintains a database on an SQL server, locally or on the network 4

7 Achieving High Availability with Milestone XProtect Corporate Enhanced HA Design with Promise/Milestone/Windows Now let s improve on the basic setup by adding the Promise Vess A2000 Series NVR Storage Appliance and Vess R2000 Series Storage systems. Key Improvements The Promise solution incorporates the Vess A2000 NVR Storage Appliance to handle recording server and failover recording server duties, as well as providing the primary storage for the media database. This solution creates a No Single Point of Failure hardware setup that includes scalability for NVR and storage, and test proven performance optimization and stability. The Vess A2000 Series is engineered specifically for video surveillance applications. The Vess A2600 (pictured in diagram) and Vess A2200 are NVR and storage systems, scalable for any size video surveillance implementation. Another Vess series storage system, the Vess R2600 is added for additional archive disk space; an arrangement that works very well with the Milestone multi-staging feature for media data archiving. But the addition of the Vess R2600 also enables another key improvement, the shared drives used for the Windows Failover Cluster management. See the discussion below. 5

8 Promise Technologies Vess A2000 and Vess R2000 Recording server and recording database Vess A2000 features the renowned Promise RAID data protection to ensure recorded data is not lost. Additional hardware redundancy in the form of redundant power supplies. Combined with a robust video server that has been thoroughly tested for performance and reliability with Milestone XProtect Corporate and most other popular VMS packages. Node and Disk Majority quorum configuration for the failure cluster The Promise enhanced HA design enables use of Microsoft Node and Disk Majority quorum configuration of the failover server cluster, eliminating the need to a third management server. In this setup, two server plus a witness disk created for this purpose on the Vess R2600 make up the quorum. Plus the failover servers then do not sync through the network, freeing up bandwidth and reducing failure risk do to network problems. Failover recording server Milestone includes two options for the failover recording server, standard failover to function in a cluster, and hot-standby where the server is dedicated to another single server, greatly reducing the failover time. A regular failover recording server takes over for the recording server that has become unavailable after five seconds plus the time it takes for the failover recording service to start and the time it takes to connect to the cameras. In contrast, a hot standby recording server takes over faster because the recording server service is already running with the correct configuration and only has to start its cameras to deliver feeds. During the start up period, you can neither store recordings nor view live video from affected cameras. However the failover period is no more than a few seconds even with the slower standard failover setup. Windows management server cluster The main difference with the improved HA setup for the management server cluster is that the servers are using shared volumes on the Vess R2600, one for Microsoft SQL Server which for managing the relational database needed for Milestone VMS operation, and another volume Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator (MSDTC) for management of the server cluster and other Microsoft server functions. Sharing these volumes eliminates the need for syncing these databases over the network. The two databases are secured on separate RAID volumes for added reliability. Recording database The Vess A2000 manages both the live database which includes the most recently recorded data, available for playback on demand by VMS client and management stations. In addition, the Vess A2000 maintains an archive for older video data. The archive is managed by the Milestone multi-staging function to reduce capacity requirements for older data. Additional storage capacity can be added by adding Vess A2000 or Vess R2000 systems. The Vess R2000 is ideal for storage of the oldest, final stage video data. 6

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