Complex industrial processes require not only constant monitoring but also reliable alarm management. LogMate High Availability (LMHA), a cornerstone of the TiPS Incorporated software suite, offers effective disaster recovery (DR) and automatic failover performance.
Alarm management aims to prevent, or at least minimize, physical and economic loss from a process failure. It works through operator intervention in response to the condition or situation causing the alarm.
A critical part of an effective alarm system is failover, which is the ability to switch automatically and seamlessly to a reliable backup system when the primary system fails.
In other words, when a primary system is down due to uncontrollable reasons, failover ensures the continued normal operation of the alarm system. An effective failover process quickly activates either a standby operational mode or a redundancy.
LogMate High Availability (LMHA) features
In essence, LogMate High Availability (LMHA) works by syncing two independent alarm and event sources to the same highly available LogMate database. While the failover procedure can be done by hand, LMHA automates and simplifies the whole process. As a result, LMHA ensures faster, easier, stress-free, and accurate failover performance. In addition, the LMHA process does not require in-depth system knowledge for set-up during significant failover events.
Here is how LMHA data failover works: the LogMate® Capture module collects alarm and event data via ports from host systems and loads it into a Microsoft database. Then, LMHA sets two Capture systems to back each other up to ensure failover continuity between the primary and standby nodes.
This backup allows for Capture alarm data to be saved and stored seamlessly and in sequence for alarm management analysis. From the end users’ standpoint, this prevents a disaster situation from disrupting the normal operations of Capture.
LMHA can also run as a service. The service features include a soft handshake with the partner server before failover, and a hard failover if the partner is offline.
Benefits of LogMate High Availability (LMHA)
LMHA offers outstanding benefits, such as:
- Redundancy — Always have a backup Capture system ready to go during Disaster Recovery (DR).
- Automation — Avoid the hassle of reconfiguring Capture each time a DR event occurs. Reduce gaps in Capture data collection during DR.
- Agility — Switch over from one Capture system to another with a click of a button.
- Management — Ensure that end-users will be able to continue reviewing and analyzing alarms and events during DR. Provide logging feature to diagnose and troubleshoot any failover issues.
In addition, LMHA prevents incorrect failover and duplicated data.
Incorrect failover can generate duplicate records or skip records, causing mistaken alarm management reporting. Correcting such glitches can take several days of work with TiPS Support Services to revise the database.
The offline Capture system coming online during failover can create duplicate records and incorrect alarm management reports. In addition, users may simply forget that a manual process is needed and start the backup Capture without making any adjustment. This oversight may result in duplicated data, sometimes from months ago since the last failover.
LogMate manual recovery vs. LogMate High Availability (LMHA) automatic update
Automated failover using LMHA is as quick and easy as 1-2-3:
- Start LMHA UI.
- Press the failover button.
- Let the system run the failover automatically.
In contrast, manual failover recovery involves seven complicated steps to switch from the failed primary source to another source. The operator must:
- Shut down the primary LogMate Capture application (if still available) and prevent the application from starting again without permission.
- Determine the last record collected from the primary Capture (date, time, point name, key field). This may include logging into the system and manually noting the last record collected.
- Review the records on the backup data source manually to find the same date, time, point name, and key field.
- Determine the ID field value to the record found in the backup data source and manually record the ID.
- Adjust the backup Capture application to start at the ID field in the backup data source. Then, open the tips.ini for backup Capture and enter the Next Where Value by hand.
- Launch the backup Capture application.
- Repeat this manual failover process to return to the primary Capture application.
What’s the actual time taken to run manual failover? Because failover tests are difficult, businesses do them so rarely that users may not be familiar with the process. However, a user with expertise (TiPS SME) can do these steps in 30 minutes. Without that knowledge, an operator may need an hour on a call with TiPS Support Services or even 90 minutes with only a well-defined step-by-step document.
What’s the bottom line?
In today’s DR world, superior alarm management is essential. Automatic failover capacities improve an alarm system’s operation and effectiveness. LMHA supports LogMate® Capture and boosts its performance to the next level. To learn more, contact TiPS Incorporated today.