Etere Hardware Guidelines

Etere Hardware Guidelines

01 April 2014

Guidelines on how to configure the IT part of an ETERE System

Etere's software system provides a number of modules that can be installed on multiple servers and computer.

Every broadcast system is different, for this reason, we suggest you to submit your system configuration to your Etere Sales contact, for a complete checking and to give you suggestion how to improve the performances saving money.

The attached file (Etere Hardware Specifications.PDF File) lists the guidelines to design an Etere System. Please read the document to better understand ETERE's approach.

Etere's software solution is based on the Microsoft SQL Server architecture that provides the whole system with a rich and powerful environment, and the best performance engine. Etere's software solutions has been designed to work with all versions of Microsoft SQL Server, including the free Express Edition (the best suited for smaller installations) and the professional editions (for larger installations).
The hardware suggested by Etere for hosting an SQL Server depends on various factors such as clients number, playlist number and the fault tolerant method, however, an standard configuration that guarantees a good performance should include the following hardware:
Recommended requirements for: Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2

[Processor]
Xeon multi-core processor (2.0 GHz or faster)

[Framework]
NET 4.0 (automatically installed along with SQL Server 2012)
NET 3.5 SP1

[Operating System]
Windows 2012
Windows 2008 R2

[SQL Server]
SQL Server 2012
SQL Server 2008 R2
SQL Server 2008
Note: Please note that the list above is ordered from most to least suggested versions, SQL versions older than 8 years are excluded as they are not supported.
[Memory]
8GB RAM (or higher)

[Hard Disk]
System volume: n°2 HDD x 300GB (or bigger) configured as RAID1
SQL Volume: n°8 (or 12) HDD x 300GB (or bigger) configured as RAID10 (preferred) or RAID5 divided into 3 logical partitions (i.e. data, logs, tempdb)

[Drive]
DVD-ROM drive

[Display]
Super VGA (1024x768) or higher-resolution video adapter and monitor

[Devices]
Mouse or any compatible pointing device

[Other Requirements]
Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0 or later
Latest MS Windows and MS SQL Server service packs
Dual network gigabit adapter configured in fault tolerant
Redundant power supply (strongly advised)

[NOTES]
Any computer brand (e.g. HP, IBM, Dell, Fujitsu Siemens)
Detailed specifications on SQL Server 2012 are available on the Microsoft's webpage

This chapter is a guideline for implementing an ideal SQL Server installation, from a performance and fault tolerance point of view. Since the Etere's database must have high availability for data access, it is suggested that the PC(s) that hosts an SQL Server goes beyond the minimum hardware recommendation, in order to assure the maximum possible SQL performance, the considerations listed below are suggested:

[Disk]
Redundancy and fault tolerance can be improved by using a hardware RAID (which provides more performance that an Operating System RAID). Suggested RAID configurations includes:
- In order to improve responsive times, use fast HDD systems (7200RPM or faster),
- As reported by the tests performed by Etere, there's no difference between using SATA / SAS / SCSI / FC disks,
- The system performs better if you have a large number of small HDD instead a small number of large HDD,
- In case a large and mission-critical solution is required for an automatic SQL database switch in case of fault, Etere suggest configuring a SQL Server failover clustering solution based on the following recommendations:
* All disks to be used for external storage must be configured into a single RAID-10 disks array,
* The configured RAID-10 disks array must be divided into three (3) logical partitions for "DTC", "Quorum" and "Data" (i.e. physical database, logs and tempDB),
* Each RAID-10 cluster node's disk hosting the operating system must be mirrored,
* It's worthy mentioning that the disk configuration is held under customer's own criteria and responsibility, therefore, Etere will not take any responsibility in case of poor database performances due an omission of the customer in relation to the suggested configurations,
- In case the system is intended to host multiple databases, please refer to the related Microsoft SQL Server recommendations.
[Processor]
The performance of a database server depends, as for any other computer system, on the CPU it was designed for processing information. In these terms, Etere strongly suggest customers to take into account the following recommendations:
- Depending on overall usage, you might consider dual processors, if it is intended to use your server as more than just a database server, dual processors would allow the O/S to balance the load between the database engine and the O/S and other applications,
- It is recommended to scale up the server's processor (faster processors SQL Server will process queries faster), and in some cases also to scale out them (multiple processors may improve fault tolerance and maybe necessary for some very large databases),
- Input/Output performances are more important than CPU power since database applications can extremely Input/Output intensive, remember it when selecting a disk system by choosing the faster ones.
[Memory]
An insufficient amount of RAM can cause the SQL server to continually read data from disk instead of cached memory, this will significantly impact on query performance. In order to guarantee an optimal performance follow the next recommendations:
- Have an appropriate amount of memory to process queries more efficiently (by holding more data in the cache),
- Reserve physical memory for SQL process by specifying the 'working set size' of the dedicated SQL Server,
- Use all the system CPU for SQL to allow the entire system to have a better performance.
[Network]
- Almost half of all database-performance-related issues are related to the network on which it is shared, therefore, it is important to follow the recommendations below:
- Network Interface Cards, Routers, Hubs, and Cabling must be of a high quality,
- The network components and cabling must be professionally installed,
- Avoid WI-FI if your database is heavy-duty or even medium-duty, the connections just aren't fast enough and can be unreliable due to interference from many sources (e.g.: microwave ovens).
[Maintenance]
- A database which follows a periodical maintenance plan will provide better performances with respect to another which does not. The Etere database used by the system should meet the following recommendations:
- Perform a daily database maintenance including system backup as suggested by the ETERE user manual,
- Use a simple recovery model to have a simple backup that can be used to replace the entire database in the event of a failure or if it is needed to restore the database to another server.
[RAID Levels]
This chapter is intended to illustrate the standard RAID (redundant array of independent disks) levels typically implemented with SQL Server, including for each level a brief explanation of the major differences with respect to other levels:

RAID 0: (Stripping)
- In Raid 0 system, data gets split up in blocks that get written across all the drives in the array.
- RAID 0 has Superior I/O performance.
- RAID 0 is not fault tolerant.
- If one disk fails, all the data in RAID 0 arrays are lost.
- RAID 0 should not be used in mission critical systems.

RAID 1: (Disk Mirroring)
- RAID 1 provides a redundant copy of the selected disk.
- RAID 1 improves read performance but degrade write performance.
RAID 5: (Stripping and Parity)
- RAID 5 stripes the data across the discs and also adds parity information to provide fault tolerance.
- Parity information is distributed among all disks. - If any one of the disk fails, read performance decreases.
- Requires at least 3 disks to implement.
- Raid5 has poor write performances than Raid0 or Raid1.
RAID 10: (1+0)
- RAID 10 includes both stripping without parity and mirroring,
- RAID 10 offers better availability and performance than RAID 5, especially for write-intensive applications,
- RAID 10 is best practice to have data files and log files placed in separate disks so that you can improve performance and reduce disk contention.

[Fault tolerance]
In case your system has a Main and Backup database, Etere Backup allows you to keep booth of them synchronized, this tool is given for free by Etere to its customers and also permits to perform automatic Backup and Restore procedures, Etere Backup is easy to configure and works with all the SQL version being thus a very simple, useful and versatile failover tool.
Alternatively to the use of Etere Backup, it is always possible to use any other method to increase the database fault tolerance including the following ones (which are explained in detail in the SQL how to) document):

- DB Replica: need to be dismount every time is changed the DB structure,
- DB Backup: automatic schedule procedure can be apply, manual restore,
- DB Mirroring: it can impact heavily to the server performance,
- DB Clustering: high availability solution, automatic failover.
[GENERIC PC]
A hardware configuration able to give a good performance to a Generic Etere PC should be composed by the hardware below:
- Intel iCore or Xeon multi-core
- NET Framework 3.5
- Windows Server 2012, Windows 8 (32 or 64 bit), Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008 (32 or 64 bit), Windows 7 (32 or 64 bit)
- 4GB Ram
- System volume: n°1 HDD x 300GB (or bigger)
- DVD-ROM drive
- Super VGA (1024x768) or higher-resolution video adapter and monitor
- Free slots are necessary for additional boards (i.e: GPI I/O, TC reader, Audio/Video capture board). Type of slots depend on the cards to be plugged in, most of the cards are also available as USB
- Gigabit network adapter
- Sound card (either on-board or usb)
- Any brand: HP, IBM, Dell, Fujitsu Siemens, etc
- Latest Microsoft service packs

[AUTOMATION]
The Etere Automation module needs a standard PC composed as suggested below:
- Intel iCore or Xeon multi-core
- Windows Server 2012, Windows 8 (32 or 64 bit), Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008 (32 or 64 bit), Windows 7 (32 or 64 bit)
- 4GB Ram
- System volume: n°1 HDD x 300GB (or bigger)
- Super VGA (1024x768) or higher-resolution video adapter and monitor
- Free slots are necessary for additional boards (i.e. GPI I/O). Type of slots depend on the cards to be plugged in, most of the cards are also available as USB
- Gigabit network adapter
- Any brand: HP, IBM, Dell, Fujitsu Siemens, etc
- Latest Microsoft service packs

Etere allows running up to 8 instances of Etere Automation in the same Pc. Possible configurations are:

***Cost Effective Solution (2 automation servers)
- 8 automations per Pc,
- One Pc is used for all main automation playlists, and another one for all clone playlists,
- It is cost-effective but provides very low redundancy,
- The failure of one Pc will compromise all the automation playlists running on it. ***Suggested Solution (4 automation servers)
- 2-4 automations per Pc,
- One PC is used for hosting 2-4 automations, and another one for hosting the respective clones,
- A good compromise between cost and redundancy. ***Best Solution (16 automation servers)
- 1 automation per PC,
- One Pc is used for each automation main/clone playlist,
- In case a Pc fails, no other automation playlist will be compromised,
- Automation playlists will be managed using a true main/clone system based on independent Pc's,
- The redundancy of each single automation playlist will be drastically improved.
[DATAMOVER]
The following hardware is suggested for PC's intended to carry out Data mover operations:
- Intel iCore or Xeon multi-core
- Windows Server 2012, Windows 8 (32 or 64 bit), Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008 (32 or 64 bit), Windows 7 (32 or 64 bit)
- 4GB Ram
- System volume: n°1 HDD x 300GB (or bigger)
- DVD-ROM drive
- Super VGA (1024x768) or higher-resolution video adapter and monitor
- Gigabit network adapter
- Free USB slots for additional dongle/boards
- Free PCI slot for additional boards (i.e: FC, iSCSI adapters, etc)
- Advised redundancy on: Power supply, HDD and Gigabit network adapter
- Any brand: HP, IBM, Dell, Fujitsu Siemens, etc
- Latest Microsoft service packs

[ETEREWEB]
Etere Web can be installed in the same server where SQL is located, however it is recommended to have a dedicated server with the following hardware suggestions:
- Intel iCore or Xeon multi-core
- NET Framework 4.0 (for EtereWeb), NET Framework 2.0 (for Web Services)
- Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2008 R2
- 4GB Ram
- System volume: n°1 HDD x 300GB (or bigger)
- DVD-ROM drive
- Super VGA (1024x768) or higher-resolution video adapter and monitor
- Free slots are necessary for additional boards. The type of slots depend on the cards to be plugged in, most of the cards are also available as USB. - Gigabit network adapter
- On-board sound card
- Advised redundancy on: Power supply, HDD and Gigabit network adapter
- Any brand: HP, IBM, Dell, Fujitsu Siemens, etc
- Latest Microsoft service packs
- System volume in Raid 1,
- Dual network card configured in fault tolerant,
- - Dual power supply. For systems with hundreds of users, it is suggested to have a cluster configuration where one database server counts with multiple web servers which converge on a clustered IP address.
[HSM]
The following hardware is suggested for Data Pump and robotics control for Etere HSM:
Intel iCore or Xeon multi-core
- NET Framework 3.5 SP1
- Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2008 R2
- 4GB Ram
- System volume: n°1 HDD x 300GB (or bigger)
- Local cache: Twice the LTO data cartridge capacity on HDD (e.g. LTO5 has an uncompressed capacity of 1.5TB, therefore, local cache should be 3TB)
- DVD-ROM drive
- SAS, FC or SCSI adapter for Tape/Digital Tape Library control
- Gigabit network adapter
- Advised redundancy on: Power supply, HDD and Gigabit network adapter
- Any brand: HP, IBM, Dell, Fujitsu Siemens, etc
- Latest Microsoft service packs

[MEMORY]
The following hardware is suggested for Etere Memory:
- Intel iCore or Xeon multi-core
- Windows Server 2012, Windows 8 (32 or 64 bit), Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008 (32
Note: The OS must be one supported by the A/V capture board
- 4GB Ram
- System volume: n°1 HDD x 300GB (or bigger)
- Local cache: Depends on customer needs (e.g. use n°1 HDD x 1TB for a per-channel-capacity of 3 months @ WMV up to 1Mbps)
- DVD-ROM drive
- Super VGA (1024x768) or higher-resolution video adapter and monitor
- Gigabit network adapter
- Sound card (either on-board or usb)
- Audio/Video capture boards (i.e: for SDI video input use Decklink, for analog video input use Osprey cards)
- Advised redundancy on: Power supply, HDD and Gigabit network adapter
- Any brand: HP, IBM, Dell, Fujitsu Siemens, etc
- Latest Microsoft service packs
- Windows Media Player 9, windows Media Encoder 9, DirectX9

[MTX]
The MTX ingest/playout server requires specific hardware configurations depending on the model of the installed Matrox video card, a standard guideline is provided below for Matrox (DSXLE3 and XMIO2):
- Intel iCore or Xeon multi-core
- Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 7 (64 bit)
- 16 GB RAM (or higher)
- System volume: n°2 HDD x 300GB (or bigger) configured as RAID1
- File storage: Depends on the amount of space needed for either the ingest local archive or the playout local cache. - Storage can be internal disks or external NAS (ISCSI, FC, etc) both using SAS (preferred), SATA (6Gbps) or FC disks (minimum:7200 rpm recommended:10,000 rpm or more)
n°8 HDD (or more) configured as RAID5 or RAID10 according to required redundancy or read/write performances. - One free PCI Express x8 slot (Full length and full height for XMIO2; 3/4 length and full height for DSX LE3)
- n°2 Gigabit ethernet cards
- Advised redundancy on: Power supply
- Example servers: HP DL380 G8, Dell PowerEdge R720, etc.
[TRANSCODING]
The following hardware is suggested for PC's intended to carry out transcoding operations:
- Dual Xeon multi-core, Intel iCore7
Note: Faster processors, more cores and memory will increase performance. - Windows Server 2012, Windows 8 Professional (64-bit), Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 7 Professional (64-bit)
Note: Running on virtual OS is not officially supported, contact Etere Support for information. - 8GB Ram
- System volume: n°1 HDD x 300GB (or bigger)
- Free slots are necessary for additional boards. Type of slots depend on the cards to be plugged in, most of the cards are also available as USB
- Gigabit network adapter
- Sound card (either on-board or usb)
- Advised redundancy on: Power supply, HDD RAID1 and Gigabit network adapter
- Any brand: HP, IBM, Dell, Fujitsu Siemens, etc
- Latest Microsoft service packs
- Desktop Experience
- QuickTime
[Demo Only]
This is the simplest configuration and must be used only for demo purposes, because being this a single-Pc installation if there are too many heavy processes taking place on it, they won't allow the system to work according to the specified Frame Accuracy. ETERE installation requires the following steps:
1. Install the Free SQL EXPRESS provided with ETERE Setup, on the same PC
2. Run the setup utility to start the installation
Please note that SQL database is a basic requirement. SQL MSDE has to be installed if other SQL versions are not already running on the system. Only Etere Automation is recommended for demo purpose installations. PC performances will not be reduced too much and the expected software productivity can be experienced.
[Small Network]
Small networks with a maximum connection of 5 PC's are usually common configurations with a very good balance between quality and price, it's a simple distributed system with the lack of data backup in case of faults. In the following figure only some PC's are displayed and no networking hardware (switches, hubs) are included. Please also note that not all the serial connections with the devices are displayed. This is because the aim of this document is to display the IT design part more than the full system design.
[Small Network with Fault Tolerance]
Small fault tolerant networks are based on at least twoserver synchronized as Main and Backup. An example of configuration is shown in figure 3. In this case you can install Etere in both the main server and the backup at the same time. This kind of configuration provides a good fault tolerance, although there are SQL MSDE limitations as well. The user manual describes the detailed operations on how to:
· Install two SQL servers and two PC's in a Main and Backup mode
· Sync two databases using Etere Backup in the backup server
If wider networks are required, Windows Server 2012 and SQL Server 2012 are recommended (see the next chapter "Regular system deployment"). In this case, the system size limit depends only on the number of purchased licenses. In order to save money, a common MS XP OS running SQL MSDE can be employed; but if the Main Server crashes the system, it is still reduced to SQL MSDE limitations. You will always be able to access a maximum of 5 PCs (note that the Automation PCs are not counted because they only access the database at the start). Etere's basic architecture is represented without full system design (i.e. switches, hubs, serial connections and respective devices)

[Regular System Deployment]
The Regular system deployment is the recommended architecture for large Networks. It employs two SQL servers and two shared folders acting as MAIN/BACKUP. A supervisor can manually do the switch from one to another. This system switches automatically if the Main Server file system fails, otherwise the user can decide when to switch the process and restart Etere.
[Cluster System]
If real continuous operations are needed, the Microsoft Cluster system is recommended. The Microsoft System currently switches automatically in case of hardware failure, in this case the still alive backup system may be employed as Backup/Disaster Recovery; in this way due to the deployment of a Microsoft Cluster system, the chance of a single server failure is eliminated entirely by means of the application of a second server. The characteristics of the cluster system (system built up from several servers) is that one application (e.g.: Automation) is run by several machines in inter-operation and if any machine crashes, the remaining machines are capable of running the cluster further without interruption. An common external storage system is used for each cluster node so processes can be shared on real-time. Naturally, always remains a minimal chance of a system failure, but by installing a software solution (i.e.: Etere Backup) the entire system will be enhanced a high reliability level.

[Cluster System with Enhanced Security]
Due to its distributed architecture and its deep SQL relation, Etere is able to provide high redundancy levels for partial system failure through an embedded Disaster Recovery capability to avoid broadcasting interruptions in case of entire site crash. A Disaster Recovery implementation permits the system to rely its database server on two different sites (facilities) connected through a wan connection, and intelligently managed to enhance remarkably the level of security of the entire system with an unparalleled level of redundancy.
The ETERE System is a pure software solution and doesn't require dedicated hardware of a specific kind. Any broadcaster can freely choose his own preferred device brand to interface Etere. The only requirement is that the hardware must be compatible with MS Windows. Any device can be connected using Serial Hubs, Serial Boards and GPI.

[Serial Hubs]
A distributed Etere architecture provides networks with "distributed control", that is, by using off-the-shelf hardware ETERE Automation is able to virtualize old RS422 controls, allowing each Etere PC to control all the devices present in the network without installing an interface or a serial cabling.
As in this picture below, many PC's are able to control the same device (i.e. Master Control, VTR, etc) without any direct connection to it, resulting in less serial cabling, less connection problems, maximum flexibility, and the leverage of all benefits provided by standard fast Ethernet network. Serial devices servers provides embedded networking capabilities at high-speed for serial devices. The following Ethernet-to-RS422/RS232 hubs are suggested:
- Moxa NPort 54xx series,
- Moxa NPort 56xx series,
- Moxa Nport 6650 series including the Nport 6650-8 (RS422/232/485 - 8 ports serial device server) and the Nport 6650-16 (RS422/232/485 - 16 ports serial device server.
[Serial Boards]
Serial Boards are quite obsolete but still supported by ETERE. A serial board is about 5 times less expensive than a Serial Hub with the same number of ports. Serial Boards RS232 or 422 with 2-4-8-16-32 ports are still available on the market. Serial Boards statically Interface computers to devices. They are less flexible than serial hubs but they can be recommended for cost effective small networks.

[GPI Devices]
ETERE ensures GPI usage (i.e. General Purpose Interfaces). Actually, GPI are still used even if they are completely obsolete. General Purpose Interfaces are divided in output and input GPI, respectively Contact Closures and Input voltage. Etere suggest the following GPI Cards:
- Advantech USB-4761 (USB interface adapter)
- Quancom USB-OPTOREL 8/16/32 (USB interface adapter)
- Advantech ADAM-6060 (6IN + 6OUT)
- Sealevel System 8206/8207/8208 (USB interface adapter)
- Advantech PCL-725/730 (obsolete)
- Advantech PCI-1736/1750/1756/1760 (obsolete)
NB: Please note that Advantech cards supports 32BIT OS only. More info at (www.advantech.com)


[Router Redundancy]
In case you do not have a redundant router, Etere can be redundant on the router connection in case your router has 2 serial ports, so, to have a redundant control, the 2 serial ports will be connected to 2 Sarvaji software which run on 2 Pc's and uses 2 different Serial Hubs. Etere will take care to run the same command from the 2 ports, so if one PC or Serial Hub fails, the router will continue to be controlled normally.
[ET0558 Redundancy]
The ET0558 is a device to carry out simultaneous switching of main/backup equipment, whether controlled via GPI or via RS232, RS422, and RS485. The ET0558 can be used to bring redundancy to your system if some of the devices that compose it are not redundant, that is, if your system has the following characteristics:
- 2 automations,
- 2 playout servers,
- 1 master control,
- 1 logo generator,
- 1 crawl generator. Please note that in case your system does not meet the characteristics described above, the ET0558 device is not required. The ET0558 device is able to switch the control of all the devices control from a Main to a Backup resource. The switch between Main and Backup can be performed by ET0558 either using a GPI or a Serial device. In the figure below it is illustrated how ET0558 can easily switch a Master Control on a decoder output via GPI, or a Logo Generator through a Serial connection.
[Network switch]
The following Network Switches are suggested:
- Switch ethernet 10/100/1000Mbps
- Managed, layer 3 and VLan support
- Redundant stack
- Any brand: Cisco, 3COM, Netgear, etc

[Tape libraries and drives]
All tape libraries compatible with Microsoft Windows are supported including:
- HP All models
- IBM All models
- Quantum All models
- ADIC All models
- Oracle Storagetek (All models)
- Overland storage
- Sony Petasite
- Spectralogic (All models)
Please consult the Microsoft HCL (MS Windows hardware compatibility list) for other models.
As for tape libraries, also all tape drives compatible with Microsoft Windows are supported, including:
- HP LTO 1-2-3-4-5-6
- IBM LTO 1-2-3-4-5-6
- Quantum DLT
- Seagate LTO 1-2-3-4-5-6
- Sony DTF-2
- Sony ODA
- Sony Sait-1
- Sony Sait-2
Please consult the Microsoft HCL (MS Windows hardware compatibility list) for other models.
[Timecode Readers]
The following Timecode read cards are suggested:
- Adrienne USB - LTC/RDR,
- PCI models are not supported.
[VPN/Firewalls]
The following VPN boxes (devices) are suggested:
- Zyxel Zywall USG 100- Ethernet2ethernet
- Zyxel Zywall USG 300 or 1000 (if the system requires a DMZ)
- Cisco PIX
- Microsoft ISA server, for the best performances in Video files transfers.
It is preferable to have a VPN hardware because:
- It is more easy to setup,
- It is difficult to break,
- The hardware selected (Zyxel) is quite inexpensive,
- It is easy to disconnect ( a single cable),
- Encryption 3DES.
Some further considerations include:
- The VPN box has one internal IP address of the form 10.3.x.x with a subnet mask 255.255.255.0,
- It must have on the external a public IP address on internet,
- If only a dynamic public address is provided a DDNS subscription must be provided,
- If there is a firewall to access internet PPTP,IPSEC and GRE47 must be enabled.
RAID1 RAID0 RAID5 RAID10 Hardware
Database
Etere's software solution is based on the Microsoft SQL Server architecture that provides the whole system with a rich and powerful environment, and the best performance engine. Etere's software solutions has been designed to work with all versions of Microsoft SQL Server, including the free Express Edition (the best suited for smaller installations) and the professional editions (for larger installations). The hardware suggested by Etere for hosting an SQL Server depends on various factors such as clients number, playlist number and the fault tolerant method, however, an standard configuration that guarantees a good performance should include the following hardware: Recommended requirements for: Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 [Processor] Xeon multi-core processor (2.0 GHz or faster) [Framework] NET 4.0 (automatically installed along with SQL Server 2012) NET 3.5 SP1 [Operating System] Windows 2012 Windows 2008 R2 [SQL Server] SQL Server 2012 SQL Server 2008 R2 SQL Server 2008 Note: Please note that the list above is ordered from most to least suggested versions, SQL versions older than 8 years are excluded as they are not supported. [Memory] 8GB RAM (or higher) [Hard Disk] System volume: n°2 HDD x 300GB (or bigger) configured as RAID1 SQL Volume: n°8 (or 12) HDD x 300GB (or bigger) configured as RAID10 (preferred) or RAID5 divided into 3 logical partitions (i.e. data, logs, tempdb) [Drive] DVD-ROM drive [Display] Super VGA (1024x768) or higher-resolution video adapter and monitor [Devices] Mouse or any compatible pointing device [Other Requirements] Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0 or later Latest MS Windows and MS SQL Server service packs Dual network gigabit adapter configured in fault tolerant Redundant power supply (strongly advised) [NOTES] Any computer brand (e.g. HP, IBM, Dell, Fujitsu Siemens) Detailed specifications on SQL Server 2012 are available on the Microsoft's webpage This chapter is a guideline for implementing an ideal SQL Server installation, from a performance and fault tolerance point of view. Since the Etere's database must have high availability for data access, it is suggested that the PC(s) that hosts an SQL Server goes beyond the minimum hardware recommendation, in order to assure the maximum possible SQL performance, the considerations listed below are suggested: [Disk] Redundancy and fault tolerance can be improved by using a hardware RAID (which provides more performance that an Operating System RAID). Suggested RAID configurations includes: - In order to improve responsive times, use fast HDD systems (7200RPM or faster), - As reported by the tests performed by Etere, there's no difference between using SATA / SAS / SCSI / FC disks, - The system performs better if you have a large number of small HDD instead a small number of large HDD, - In case a large and mission-critical solution is required for an automatic SQL database switch in case of fault, Etere suggest configuring a SQL Server failover clustering solution based on the following recommendations: * All disks to be used for external storage must be configured into a single RAID-10 disks array, * The configured RAID-10 disks array must be divided into three (3) logical partitions for "DTC", "Quorum" and "Data" (i.e. physical database, logs and tempDB), * Each RAID-10 cluster node's disk hosting the operating system must be mirrored, * It's worthy mentioning that the disk configuration is held under customer's own criteria and responsibility, therefore, Etere will not take any responsibility in case of poor database performances due an omission of the customer in relation to the suggested configurations, - In case the system is intended to host multiple databases, please refer to the related Microsoft SQL Server recommendations. [Processor] The performance of a database server depends, as for any other computer system, on the CPU it was designed for processing information. In these terms, Etere strongly suggest customers to take into account the following recommendations: - Depending on overall usage, you might consider dual processors, if it is intended to use your server as more than just a database server, dual processors would allow the O/S to balance the load between the database engine and the O/S and other applications, - It is recommended to scale up the server's processor (faster processors SQL Server will process queries faster), and in some cases also to scale out them (multiple processors may improve fault tolerance and maybe necessary for some very large databases), - Input/Output performances are more important than CPU power since database applications can extremely Input/Output intensive, remember it when selecting a disk system by choosing the faster ones. [Memory] An insufficient amount of RAM can cause the SQL server to continually read data from disk instead of cached memory, this will significantly impact on query performance. In order to guarantee an optimal performance follow the next recommendations: - Have an appropriate amount of memory to process queries more efficiently (by holding more data in the cache), - Reserve physical memory for SQL process by specifying the 'working set size' of the dedicated SQL Server, - Use all the system CPU for SQL to allow the entire system to have a better performance. [Network] - Almost half of all database-performance-related issues are related to the network on which it is shared, therefore, it is important to follow the recommendations below: - Network Interface Cards, Routers, Hubs, and Cabling must be of a high quality, - The network components and cabling must be professionally installed, - Avoid WI-FI if your database is heavy-duty or even medium-duty, the connections just aren't fast enough and can be unreliable due to interference from many sources (e.g.: microwave ovens). [Maintenance] - A database which follows a periodical maintenance plan will provide better performances with respect to another which does not. The Etere database used by the system should meet the following recommendations: - Perform a daily database maintenance including system backup as suggested by the ETERE user manual, - Use a simple recovery model to have a simple backup that can be used to replace the entire database in the event of a failure or if it is needed to restore the database to another server. [RAID Levels] This chapter is intended to illustrate the standard RAID (redundant array of independent disks) levels typically implemented with SQL Server, including for each level a brief explanation of the major differences with respect to other levels: RAID 0: (Stripping) - In Raid 0 system, data gets split up in blocks that get written across all the drives in the array. - RAID 0 has Superior I/O performance. - RAID 0 is not fault tolerant. - If one disk fails, all the data in RAID 0 arrays are lost. - RAID 0 should not be used in mission critical systems. RAID 1: (Disk Mirroring) - RAID 1 provides a redundant copy of the selected disk. - RAID 1 improves read performance but degrade write performance. RAID 5: (Stripping and Parity) - RAID 5 stripes the data across the discs and also adds parity information to provide fault tolerance. - Parity information is distributed among all disks. - If any one of the disk fails, read performance decreases. - Requires at least 3 disks to implement. - Raid5 has poor write performances than Raid0 or Raid1. RAID 10: (1+0) - RAID 10 includes both stripping without parity and mirroring, - RAID 10 offers better availability and performance than RAID 5, especially for write-intensive applications, - RAID 10 is best practice to have data files and log files placed in separate disks so that you can improve performance and reduce disk contention. [Fault tolerance] In case your system has a Main and Backup database, Etere Backup allows you to keep booth of them synchronized, this tool is given for free by Etere to its customers and also permits to perform automatic Backup and Restore procedures, Etere Backup is easy to configure and works with all the SQL version being thus a very simple, useful and versatile failover tool. Alternatively to the use of Etere Backup, it is always possible to use any other method to increase the database fault tolerance including the following ones (which are explained in detail in the SQL how to) document): - DB Replica: need to be dismount every time is changed the DB structure, - DB Backup: automatic schedule procedure can be apply, manual restore, - DB Mirroring: it can impact heavily to the server performance, - DB Clustering: high availability solution, automatic failover.
Hardware
Etere PCs
[GENERIC PC] A hardware configuration able to give a good performance to a Generic Etere PC should be composed by the hardware below: - Intel iCore or Xeon multi-core - NET Framework 3.5 - Windows Server 2012, Windows 8 (32 or 64 bit), Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008 (32 or 64 bit), Windows 7 (32 or 64 bit) - 4GB Ram - System volume: n°1 HDD x 300GB (or bigger) - DVD-ROM drive - Super VGA (1024x768) or higher-resolution video adapter and monitor - Free slots are necessary for additional boards (i.e: GPI I/O, TC reader, Audio/Video capture board). Type of slots depend on the cards to be plugged in, most of the cards are also available as USB - Gigabit network adapter - Sound card (either on-board or usb) - Any brand: HP, IBM, Dell, Fujitsu Siemens, etc - Latest Microsoft service packs [AUTOMATION] The Etere Automation module needs a standard PC composed as suggested below: - Intel iCore or Xeon multi-core - Windows Server 2012, Windows 8 (32 or 64 bit), Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008 (32 or 64 bit), Windows 7 (32 or 64 bit) - 4GB Ram - System volume: n°1 HDD x 300GB (or bigger) - Super VGA (1024x768) or higher-resolution video adapter and monitor - Free slots are necessary for additional boards (i.e. GPI I/O). Type of slots depend on the cards to be plugged in, most of the cards are also available as USB - Gigabit network adapter - Any brand: HP, IBM, Dell, Fujitsu Siemens, etc - Latest Microsoft service packs Etere allows running up to 8 instances of Etere Automation in the same Pc. Possible configurations are: ***Cost Effective Solution (2 automation servers) - 8 automations per Pc, - One Pc is used for all main automation playlists, and another one for all clone playlists, - It is cost-effective but provides very low redundancy, - The failure of one Pc will compromise all the automation playlists running on it. ***Suggested Solution (4 automation servers) - 2-4 automations per Pc, - One PC is used for hosting 2-4 automations, and another one for hosting the respective clones, - A good compromise between cost and redundancy. ***Best Solution (16 automation servers) - 1 automation per PC, - One Pc is used for each automation main/clone playlist, - In case a Pc fails, no other automation playlist will be compromised, - Automation playlists will be managed using a true main/clone system based on independent Pc's, - The redundancy of each single automation playlist will be drastically improved. [DATAMOVER] The following hardware is suggested for PC's intended to carry out Data mover operations: - Intel iCore or Xeon multi-core - Windows Server 2012, Windows 8 (32 or 64 bit), Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008 (32 or 64 bit), Windows 7 (32 or 64 bit) - 4GB Ram - System volume: n°1 HDD x 300GB (or bigger) - DVD-ROM drive - Super VGA (1024x768) or higher-resolution video adapter and monitor - Gigabit network adapter - Free USB slots for additional dongle/boards - Free PCI slot for additional boards (i.e: FC, iSCSI adapters, etc) - Advised redundancy on: Power supply, HDD and Gigabit network adapter - Any brand: HP, IBM, Dell, Fujitsu Siemens, etc - Latest Microsoft service packs [ETEREWEB] Etere Web can be installed in the same server where SQL is located, however it is recommended to have a dedicated server with the following hardware suggestions: - Intel iCore or Xeon multi-core - NET Framework 4.0 (for EtereWeb), NET Framework 2.0 (for Web Services) - Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2008 R2 - 4GB Ram - System volume: n°1 HDD x 300GB (or bigger) - DVD-ROM drive - Super VGA (1024x768) or higher-resolution video adapter and monitor - Free slots are necessary for additional boards. The type of slots depend on the cards to be plugged in, most of the cards are also available as USB. - Gigabit network adapter - On-board sound card - Advised redundancy on: Power supply, HDD and Gigabit network adapter - Any brand: HP, IBM, Dell, Fujitsu Siemens, etc - Latest Microsoft service packs - System volume in Raid 1, - Dual network card configured in fault tolerant, - - Dual power supply. For systems with hundreds of users, it is suggested to have a cluster configuration where one database server counts with multiple web servers which converge on a clustered IP address. [HSM] The following hardware is suggested for Data Pump and robotics control for Etere HSM: Intel iCore or Xeon multi-core - NET Framework 3.5 SP1 - Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2008 R2 - 4GB Ram - System volume: n°1 HDD x 300GB (or bigger) - Local cache: Twice the LTO data cartridge capacity on HDD (e.g. LTO5 has an uncompressed capacity of 1.5TB, therefore, local cache should be 3TB) - DVD-ROM drive - SAS, FC or SCSI adapter for Tape/Digital Tape Library control - Gigabit network adapter - Advised redundancy on: Power supply, HDD and Gigabit network adapter - Any brand: HP, IBM, Dell, Fujitsu Siemens, etc - Latest Microsoft service packs [MEMORY] The following hardware is suggested for Etere Memory: - Intel iCore or Xeon multi-core - Windows Server 2012, Windows 8 (32 or 64 bit), Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008 (32 Note: The OS must be one supported by the A/V capture board - 4GB Ram - System volume: n°1 HDD x 300GB (or bigger) - Local cache: Depends on customer needs (e.g. use n°1 HDD x 1TB for a per-channel-capacity of 3 months @ WMV up to 1Mbps) - DVD-ROM drive - Super VGA (1024x768) or higher-resolution video adapter and monitor - Gigabit network adapter - Sound card (either on-board or usb) - Audio/Video capture boards (i.e: for SDI video input use Decklink, for analog video input use Osprey cards) - Advised redundancy on: Power supply, HDD and Gigabit network adapter - Any brand: HP, IBM, Dell, Fujitsu Siemens, etc - Latest Microsoft service packs - Windows Media Player 9, windows Media Encoder 9, DirectX9 [MTX] The MTX ingest/playout server requires specific hardware configurations depending on the model of the installed Matrox video card, a standard guideline is provided below for Matrox (DSXLE3 and XMIO2): - Intel iCore or Xeon multi-core - Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 7 (64 bit) - 16 GB RAM (or higher) - System volume: n°2 HDD x 300GB (or bigger) configured as RAID1 - File storage: Depends on the amount of space needed for either the ingest local archive or the playout local cache. - Storage can be internal disks or external NAS (ISCSI, FC, etc) both using SAS (preferred), SATA (6Gbps) or FC disks (minimum:7200 rpm recommended:10,000 rpm or more) n°8 HDD (or more) configured as RAID5 or RAID10 according to required redundancy or read/write performances. - One free PCI Express x8 slot (Full length and full height for XMIO2; 3/4 length and full height for DSX LE3) - n°2 Gigabit ethernet cards - Advised redundancy on: Power supply - Example servers: HP DL380 G8, Dell PowerEdge R720, etc. [TRANSCODING] The following hardware is suggested for PC's intended to carry out transcoding operations: - Dual Xeon multi-core, Intel iCore7 Note: Faster processors, more cores and memory will increase performance. - Windows Server 2012, Windows 8 Professional (64-bit), Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 7 Professional (64-bit) Note: Running on virtual OS is not officially supported, contact Etere Support for information. - 8GB Ram - System volume: n°1 HDD x 300GB (or bigger) - Free slots are necessary for additional boards. Type of slots depend on the cards to be plugged in, most of the cards are also available as USB - Gigabit network adapter - Sound card (either on-board or usb) - Advised redundancy on: Power supply, HDD RAID1 and Gigabit network adapter - Any brand: HP, IBM, Dell, Fujitsu Siemens, etc - Latest Microsoft service packs - Desktop Experience - QuickTime
Cluster System with Enhanced Security Regular System Deployment Small Network Hardware
Recommended Configurations
[Demo Only] This is the simplest configuration and must be used only for demo purposes, because being this a single-Pc installation if there are too many heavy processes taking place on it, they won't allow the system to work according to the specified Frame Accuracy. ETERE installation requires the following steps: 1. Install the Free SQL EXPRESS provided with ETERE Setup, on the same PC 2. Run the setup utility to start the installation Please note that SQL database is a basic requirement. SQL MSDE has to be installed if other SQL versions are not already running on the system. Only Etere Automation is recommended for demo purpose installations. PC performances will not be reduced too much and the expected software productivity can be experienced. [Small Network] Small networks with a maximum connection of 5 PC's are usually common configurations with a very good balance between quality and price, it's a simple distributed system with the lack of data backup in case of faults. In the following figure only some PC's are displayed and no networking hardware (switches, hubs) are included. Please also note that not all the serial connections with the devices are displayed. This is because the aim of this document is to display the IT design part more than the full system design. [Small Network with Fault Tolerance] Small fault tolerant networks are based on at least twoserver synchronized as Main and Backup. An example of configuration is shown in figure 3. In this case you can install Etere in both the main server and the backup at the same time. This kind of configuration provides a good fault tolerance, although there are SQL MSDE limitations as well. The user manual describes the detailed operations on how to: · Install two SQL servers and two PC's in a Main and Backup mode · Sync two databases using Etere Backup in the backup server If wider networks are required, Windows Server 2012 and SQL Server 2012 are recommended (see the next chapter "Regular system deployment"). In this case, the system size limit depends only on the number of purchased licenses. In order to save money, a common MS XP OS running SQL MSDE can be employed; but if the Main Server crashes the system, it is still reduced to SQL MSDE limitations. You will always be able to access a maximum of 5 PCs (note that the Automation PCs are not counted because they only access the database at the start). Etere's basic architecture is represented without full system design (i.e. switches, hubs, serial connections and respective devices) [Regular System Deployment] The Regular system deployment is the recommended architecture for large Networks. It employs two SQL servers and two shared folders acting as MAIN/BACKUP. A supervisor can manually do the switch from one to another. This system switches automatically if the Main Server file system fails, otherwise the user can decide when to switch the process and restart Etere. [Cluster System] If real continuous operations are needed, the Microsoft Cluster system is recommended. The Microsoft System currently switches automatically in case of hardware failure, in this case the still alive backup system may be employed as Backup/Disaster Recovery; in this way due to the deployment of a Microsoft Cluster system, the chance of a single server failure is eliminated entirely by means of the application of a second server. The characteristics of the cluster system (system built up from several servers) is that one application (e.g.: Automation) is run by several machines in inter-operation and if any machine crashes, the remaining machines are capable of running the cluster further without interruption. An common external storage system is used for each cluster node so processes can be shared on real-time. Naturally, always remains a minimal chance of a system failure, but by installing a software solution (i.e.: Etere Backup) the entire system will be enhanced a high reliability level. [Cluster System with Enhanced Security] Due to its distributed architecture and its deep SQL relation, Etere is able to provide high redundancy levels for partial system failure through an embedded Disaster Recovery capability to avoid broadcasting interruptions in case of entire site crash. A Disaster Recovery implementation permits the system to rely its database server on two different sites (facilities) connected through a wan connection, and intelligently managed to enhance remarkably the level of security of the entire system with an unparalleled level of redundancy.
Hardware Hardware Hardware Hardware Hardware
Etere Interface Devices
The ETERE System is a pure software solution and doesn't require dedicated hardware of a specific kind. Any broadcaster can freely choose his own preferred device brand to interface Etere. The only requirement is that the hardware must be compatible with MS Windows. Any device can be connected using Serial Hubs, Serial Boards and GPI. [Serial Hubs] A distributed Etere architecture provides networks with "distributed control", that is, by using off-the-shelf hardware ETERE Automation is able to virtualize old RS422 controls, allowing each Etere PC to control all the devices present in the network without installing an interface or a serial cabling. As in this picture below, many PC's are able to control the same device (i.e. Master Control, VTR, etc) without any direct connection to it, resulting in less serial cabling, less connection problems, maximum flexibility, and the leverage of all benefits provided by standard fast Ethernet network. Serial devices servers provides embedded networking capabilities at high-speed for serial devices. The following Ethernet-to-RS422/RS232 hubs are suggested: - Moxa NPort 54xx series, - Moxa NPort 56xx series, - Moxa Nport 6650 series including the Nport 6650-8 (RS422/232/485 - 8 ports serial device server) and the Nport 6650-16 (RS422/232/485 - 16 ports serial device server. [Serial Boards] Serial Boards are quite obsolete but still supported by ETERE. A serial board is about 5 times less expensive than a Serial Hub with the same number of ports. Serial Boards RS232 or 422 with 2-4-8-16-32 ports are still available on the market. Serial Boards statically Interface computers to devices. They are less flexible than serial hubs but they can be recommended for cost effective small networks. [GPI Devices] ETERE ensures GPI usage (i.e. General Purpose Interfaces). Actually, GPI are still used even if they are completely obsolete. General Purpose Interfaces are divided in output and input GPI, respectively Contact Closures and Input voltage. Etere suggest the following GPI Cards: - Advantech USB-4761 (USB interface adapter) - Quancom USB-OPTOREL 8/16/32 (USB interface adapter) - Advantech ADAM-6060 (6IN + 6OUT) - Sealevel System 8206/8207/8208 (USB interface adapter) - Advantech PCL-725/730 (obsolete) - Advantech PCI-1736/1750/1756/1760 (obsolete) NB: Please note that Advantech cards supports 32BIT OS only. More info at (www.advantech.com) [Router Redundancy] In case you do not have a redundant router, Etere can be redundant on the router connection in case your router has 2 serial ports, so, to have a redundant control, the 2 serial ports will be connected to 2 Sarvaji software which run on 2 Pc's and uses 2 different Serial Hubs. Etere will take care to run the same command from the 2 ports, so if one PC or Serial Hub fails, the router will continue to be controlled normally. [ET0558 Redundancy] The ET0558 is a device to carry out simultaneous switching of main/backup equipment, whether controlled via GPI or via RS232, RS422, and RS485. The ET0558 can be used to bring redundancy to your system if some of the devices that compose it are not redundant, that is, if your system has the following characteristics: - 2 automations, - 2 playout servers, - 1 master control, - 1 logo generator, - 1 crawl generator. Please note that in case your system does not meet the characteristics described above, the ET0558 device is not required. The ET0558 device is able to switch the control of all the devices control from a Main to a Backup resource. The switch between Main and Backup can be performed by ET0558 either using a GPI or a Serial device. In the figure below it is illustrated how ET0558 can easily switch a Master Control on a decoder output via GPI, or a Logo Generator through a Serial connection. [Network switch] The following Network Switches are suggested: - Switch ethernet 10/100/1000Mbps - Managed, layer 3 and VLan support - Redundant stack - Any brand: Cisco, 3COM, Netgear, etc [Tape libraries and drives] All tape libraries compatible with Microsoft Windows are supported including: - HP All models - IBM All models - Quantum All models - ADIC All models - Oracle Storagetek (All models) - Overland storage - Sony Petasite - Spectralogic (All models) Please consult the Microsoft HCL (MS Windows hardware compatibility list) for other models. As for tape libraries, also all tape drives compatible with Microsoft Windows are supported, including: - HP LTO 1-2-3-4-5-6 - IBM LTO 1-2-3-4-5-6 - Quantum DLT - Seagate LTO 1-2-3-4-5-6 - Sony DTF-2 - Sony ODA - Sony Sait-1 - Sony Sait-2 Please consult the Microsoft HCL (MS Windows hardware compatibility list) for other models. [Timecode Readers] The following Timecode read cards are suggested: - Adrienne USB - LTC/RDR, - PCI models are not supported. [VPN/Firewalls] The following VPN boxes (devices) are suggested: - Zyxel Zywall USG 100- Ethernet2ethernet - Zyxel Zywall USG 300 or 1000 (if the system requires a DMZ) - Cisco PIX - Microsoft ISA server, for the best performances in Video files transfers. It is preferable to have a VPN hardware because: - It is more easy to setup, - It is difficult to break, - The hardware selected (Zyxel) is quite inexpensive, - It is easy to disconnect ( a single cable), - Encryption 3DES. Some further considerations include: - The VPN box has one internal IP address of the form 10.3.x.x with a subnet mask 255.255.255.0, - It must have on the external a public IP address on internet, - If only a dynamic public address is provided a DDNS subscription must be provided, - If there is a firewall to access internet PPTP,IPSEC and GRE47 must be enabled.