This month’s Tips & Tricks is the second installation of Preventative Maintenance recommendations intended to help you maintain a stable and operationally efficient Instrument Manager system. This month’s version of Tips & Tricks includes more recommended practices which, if performed proactively, can help reduce the risk of unexpected operational interruptions, and promote improved performance. This list of suggestions has been organized by the Data Innovations’ Customer Support Team from some of the most common issues reported and the understanding of what could have helped prevent them. This series includes topics on System backup practices in the event that an issue does arise and Instrument Manager needs to be restored to resume production.
DAILY MONITORING OF A HOT BACKUP SYSTEM
If you are currently utilizing a Data Innovations Hot Backup system, it is important that you monitor the system to ensure it is operating as expected. To check the status of your Hot Backup (Shadow) system do the following:
Within Instrument Manager, go to the ‘System’ Menu and select ‘Status’.
You will be presented with the Status Display.
You should see an entry under ‘Connection’ for the name of your Hot Backup System (e.g. Shadow).
The Status for the Shadow Connection should be ‘Processing’.
A Status of ‘Processing’ is an indication that data is flowing between your Primary Production System and Hot Backup Shadow system. Any other status should be reported to Data Innovations Customer Service to begin an investigation into the issues affecting the normal processing of your Hot Backup.
This simple practice of monitoring the status of your Hot Backup systems will ensure that a fail over to a properly maintained Shadow System will return your lab to operating status with little disruption if your production system were to experience an issue.
The Hot Backup User’s Guide provides additional detailed instructions for maintenance and monitoring recommendations. They may also be found in the Instrument Manager Help files.
With the latest version of Instrument Manager, version 8.15, Data Innovations has introduced Mirroring. This improved backup system allows seamless automatic failover when an issue is detected with the primary IM.
BACKUPS SHOULD BE RUN FREQUENTLY AND MOVED OFF THE SYSTEM REGULARLY
To properly maintain your Instrument Manager system, Data Innovations recommends regularly creating and updating backup copies of the critical files on a CD, Flash Memory Device, network drive or some other storage media. These files will aid you in rebuilding your system if necessary.
The automatic backup feature allows for the scheduling of backups of the IM system. The Backup Settings will be used in the Automatic and when performing a manual back up. This backs up the following files:
- License Files (standard)
- Configuration Files (standard)
- Report Layout Files (standard)
- Driver Files (standard)
- Database Files (optional)
To check or configure your Backup Setup:
- Turn off the Purge Connection from the Display window.
- From the Configuration menu, select Backup Setup.
Backing up the optional Databases, will consume much more disk space than the space required to back up the standard files. You will require available disk space of more than the selected databases current files sizes multiplied by the number of backups to be performed plus one (1). Consult with your IT Department before selecting the backup of databases.
It is best practice to configure your backups to save to a separate location other than the Instrument Manager server. If your Backup Setup is saving the backup to the same computer that hosts IM, it is recommended that with some frequency, a copy of the backup folder is made to another file storage system or media.
It is important that backups be checked to make sure that they are completing on a daily basis. To verify that the previous day’s backup completed, navigate to the Diagnostic Menu, select the System Log option. From the System Log create a filter for Backup Events. If your Backup completed you will see a line item with a description with “Started” and a second line item with a Description of “Backup Finished” followed by the location of the backup file.
Should you not be able to find the event indicating that the backup has completed, contact Data Innovations Customer Support.
The Getting Started Setup Guide and IM Help provide additional information on the Backup and Restore features of Instrument Manager.