Milestone XProtect Corporate High Availability with Synchronous Replication and Failover

Evidian SafeKit brings high availability to Milestone XProtect Management Server, the CCTV video surveillance system. This article explains how to implement quickly a Milestone cluster without shared disk and without specific skills. A free trial is offered.

How the Evidian SafeKit software simply implements Milestone XProtect Corporate high availability with real-time synchronous replication and failover without shared disk

How the Evidian SafeKit mirror cluster implements Milestone XProtect Corporate high availability with synchronous replication and failover?

On the previous figure, the server 1/PRIM (Windows) runs Milestone XProtect Corporate with its SQL database. Users are connected to the virtual IP address of the mirror cluster. SafeKit replicates files opened by Milestone XProtect Corporate in real time (the SQL database). Only changes in the files are replicated across the network, thus limiting traffic (byte-level file replication). Names of file directories containing Milestone XProtect Corporate database are simply configured in SafeKit. There are no pre-requisites on disk organization for the two servers. Directories to replicate may be located in the system disk. SafeKit implements synchronous replication with no data loss on failure contrary to asynchronous replication.

In case of server 1 failure, there is an automatic failover on server 2 with restart of Milestone XProtect Corporate. Then, when server 1 is restarted, SafeKit implements failback with reintegration of Milestone XProtect Corporate database without stopping Milestone XProtect Corporate on server 2. Finally, the system returns to synchronous replication between server 2 and server 1. The administrator can decide to swap the role of primary and secondary and return to a server 1 running Milestone XProtect Corporate. The swap can also be done automatically by configuration.

Configuration overview of Milestone XProtect Corporate high availability with synchronous replication and failover

With SafeKit, you can configure either a farm application module or a mirror application module according the high availability architecture suited for an application. For Milestone XProtect Corporate high availability with synchronous replication and failover, the right module is the mirror module.

Configuration overview of Milestone XProtect Corporate high availability with synchronous replication and failover

The configuration files for Milestone XProtect Corporate high availability are given  for Windows here.

They include:

1. the Milestone XProtect Corporate stop and start scripts,

2. the configuration file userconfig.xml which contains:

Deployment of Milestone XProtect Corporate high availability with synchronous replication and failover requires no specific IT skills:

    • install Milestone XProtect Corporate on two standard Windows servers
    • install the SafeKit software on both servers
    • install the milestone.safe module

SafeKit configuration files on Windows and for Milestone XProtect Corporate high availability with synchronous replication and failover

Installation instructions

userconfig.xml

<!DOCTYPE safe>
<safe>
<service mode="mirror" defaultprim="alone" maxloop="3" loop_interval="24" failover="on">
  <!-- Heartbeat Configuration -->
  <!-- Names or IP addresses on the default network are set during initialization in the console -->
  <heart pulse="700" timeout="30000">
    <heartbeat name="default" ident="flow">
    </heartbeat>
  </heart>
  <!-- Virtual IP Configuration -->
  <!-- Replace
     * VIRTUAL_TO_BE_DEFINED by the name of your virtual server 
  -->
  <vip>
    <interface_list>
        <interface check="on" arpreroute="on"> 
	  <real_interface>
               <virtual_addr addr="VIRTUAL_TO_BE_DEFINED" where="one_side_alias" />
          </real_interface>
        </interface>
    </interface_list>
  </vip>
  <!-- Software Error Detection Configuration -->
  <errd polltimer="10">
    <!-- SQL Server process -->
    <proc name="sqlservr.exe" atleast="1" action="restart" class="prim" />
  </errd>
  <!-- File Replication Configuration -->
  <!-- Adapt with the directory of your SQL Server database and logs
  -->
  <rfs async="second" acl="off" nbrei="3">
	<replicated dir="C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL12.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\DATA" mode="read_only" />
	<replicated dir="C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL12.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\Log" mode="read_only" />
  </rfs>
  <!-- User scripts activation -->
  <user nicestoptimeout="300" forcestoptimeout="300" logging="userlog" />
</service>
</safe>

start_prim.cmd

@echo off

rem Script called on the primary server for starting application services 

rem For logging into SafeKit log use:
rem "%SAFE%\safekit" printi | printe "message"

rem stdout goes into Application log
echo "Running start_prim %*" 

set res=0

rem TODO: set to manual the start of services when the system boots

net start "MSSQLServer"
if not %errorlevel% == 0 (
  %SAFE%\safekit printi "SQL Server (MSSQLServer) start failed"
) else (
  %SAFE%\safekit printi "SQL Server (MSSQLServer) started"
)

net start "Milestone XProtect Management Server"
if not %errorlevel% == 0 (
  %SAFE%\safekit printi "Milestone XProtect Management Server start failed"
) else (
  %SAFE%\safekit printi "Milestone XProtect Management Server started"
)

net start "MilestoneEventServerService"
if not %errorlevel% == 0 (
  %SAFE%\safekit printi "MilestoneEventServerService start failed"
) else (
  %SAFE%\safekit printi "MilestoneEventServerService started"
)

net start "Milestone XProtect Data Collector Server"
if not %errorlevel% == 0 (
  %SAFE%\safekit printi "Milestone XProtect Data Collector Server start failed"
) else (
  %SAFE%\safekit printi "Milestone XProtect Data Collector Server started"
)

set res=%errorlevel%

if %res% == 0 goto end

:stop
"%SAFE%\safekit" printe "start_prim failed"

rem uncomment to stop SafeKit when critical
rem "%SAFE%\safekit" stop -i "start_prim"

:end

stop_prim.cmd

@echo off

rem Script called on the primary server for stopping application services 

rem For logging into SafeKit log use:
rem "%SAFE%\safekit" printi | printe "message"

rem ----------------------------------------------------------
rem
rem 2 stop modes:
rem
rem - graceful stop
rem   call standard application stop with net stop
rem
rem - force stop (%1=force)
rem   kill application's processes
rem
rem ----------------------------------------------------------

rem stdout goes into Application log
echo "Running stop_prim %*" 

set res=0

rem default: no action on forcestop
if "%1" == "force" goto end

%SAFE%\safekit printi "Stopping Milestone XProtect Corporate Data Collector Server"
net stop "Milestone XProtect Data Collector Server"

%SAFE%\safekit printi "Stopping Milestone Event Server Service"
net stop "MilestoneEventServerService"

%SAFE%\safekit printi "Stopping Milestone XProtect Corporate Management Server"
net stop "Milestone XProtect Management Server"

%SAFE%\safekit printi "Stopping SQL Server (MSSQLSERVER)"
net stop "MSSQLSERVER"

rem Wait a little for the real stop of services
"%SAFEBIN%\sleep" 10

if %res% == 0 goto end

"%SAFE%\safekit" printe "stop_prim failed"

:end

Demonstration

This demonstration is made only with Microsoft SQL Server Express but the operating mode is the same as Milestone XProtect.

More on SafeKit

Other examples of high availability modules:

Mirror modules

Windows

Linux

Microsoft SQL ServerWindows module-
OracleWindows moduleLinux module
MySQLWindows moduleLinux module
PostgreSQLWindows moduleLinux module
FirebirdWindows moduleLinux module
Hyper-VWindows module-
Hanwha SSMWindows module-
Milestone XProtectWindows module-
Generic moduleWindows moduleLinux module

Farm modules

Windows

Linux

IIS moduleWindows module-
Apache moduleWindows moduleLinux module
Generic moduleWindows moduleLinux module
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