High Availability

In Brief
Unfortunately, crime never stops, so the systems that provide criminal information to officers in the field and other stakeholders can never fail. OpenFox® High Availability (HA) provides a redundant system that ensures ultra-high uptime (up to approximately 99.999% availability) and protects data from system failure. This assures law enforcement officers that the critical data they need is always available at the moment they need it.

Overview

Automatic Detection and Recovery of System Failures with OpenFox® High Availability

High Availability [HA] for OpenFox® provides automatic detection of system failures, including hardware errors, operating system malfunctions, and application errors. The system will automatically recover the OpenFox® application and data on the backup system, minimizing downtime to minutes. The function provides a low-cost, high availability environment for the message switching application. And if a failure does occur, HA for OpenFox® provides rapid, transparent recovery.

High Availability Operations
HA for OpenFox® provides multiple operational modes:

  • Standby mode continuously evaluates the status of the running system and will automatically take over control of the external disk sub-system, the network adapters, and perform a restart/recovery of the OpenFox® application if it senses a non-recoverable error.
  • Idle mode is used to assist the administrative or operations staff in the event of system hardware and/or software maintenance. The HA software can be stopped and controlled manually until the maintenance activities are done, then the software can be placed in active standby mode.

OpenFox High Availability Operations

High Availability Operations

Graphical Interface
This powerful facility operates on a Windows-based PC connected to the OpenFox® on the LAN much like the OpenFox® Configurator and other Operator Aid functions. The graphical user interface (GUI) provides a visual display of the operational status of the OpenFox® application and environment. This includes a pictorial representation of the following elements:

  • The system hardware components
  • The system software status
  • The status of the major communications system interfaces

OpenFox Graphical Interface screenshot

Graphical Interface

Using the icons, an OpenFox® system operator can easily determine the status of the hardware, software, and vital communications links required to provide full operational system availability. In addition, each of the icons can be clicked for a drop-down menu of actions. The system adjusts the display of menu items based on the characteristics of the system. This provides the operator with a clear list of options for manipulating the system.

Technical

Technical Information

OpenFox® system implementations are based on redundant hardware systems that have external shared RAID sub-systems. All data required for the application exists on the shared external disk, which is accessible from each of the two redundant hardware systems. If the online system develops a non-recoverable error, High Availability for OpenFox® recovers the applications on the backup system, with an IP address takeover. This entire operation can be accomplished in a few minutes.

In addition, OpenFox® implementations virtually eliminate planned outages since the message switching application and data can be moved to the backup system during scheduled system maintenance. This operation applies to the hardware component replacement as well as operating system and security updates.

Download PDF Version