DW Spectrum® IPVMS Automatic Camera Failover
Affected Roles: Administrator, Owner
Related Digital Watchdog VMS Apps: DW Spectrum® IPVMS
Last Edit: December 7, 2021
When using a DW Spectrum® IPVMS System that consists of merged DW Spectrum Servers, the Automatic Camera Failover feature can be activated to allow a DW Spectrum System to automatically recover its recording status when a power or networking failure occurs with a DW Spectrum Server. Rather than all of the downed server’s associated cameras halting all recording, the Automatic Camera Failover feature tells the DW Spectrum System to divert the capture of the downed server’s cameras from the failed Server to a working that is merged within the same DW Spectrum System.
A single Server can handle a maximum of 128 cameras. So, for example, if a Server is actively recording 64 cameras it can act as a Failover Server for up to 64 additional cameras from other Servers in the System. Failover takes approximately 1 minute in the instance of a network or power failure.
This article will outline the Automatic Camera Failover feature of the DW Spectrum IPVMS platform and how to designate a server as a Failover Server and how to set Failover Priorities for devices in the DW Spectrum Client.
DW Spectrum’s server-hive architecture is flexible enough to implement the Failover feature in a variety of methods. When designing and implementing a DW Spectrum System that will utilize the Failover feature, careful consideration should be given to the systems design. A Failover Server can be designed to use the Standby Method or the Overhead Method (defined below).
For example, a DW Spectrum System is comprised of a total of 140 cameras (each using a similar video resolution), shared between three (3) merged DW Spectrum Servers.
Using this example:
Using the example above, two (2) servers are in production/recording mode, each recording 70 cameras (140 total). An additional (3rd) DW Spectrum Server has been merged into the system to act only as a Failover Server. With no cameras assigned to it and the Failover feature enabled, if either of the primary servers producing video archives happens to unexpectedly go offline (power loss, network crash, etc.), the Failover Server will begin to archive the video of cameras that were originally assigned to the downed server.
Using the example above, three (3) servers are in production/recording mode, each recording 47 cameras in a merged system. If any of the merged servers should suddenly go offline, the overhead capacity (in processor power and storage) of the remaining 2 DW Spectrum Servers can grab the downed server’s cameras and continue to record to their own storage.
The DW Spectrum Failover function tends to work best when the DW Spectrum Server, its cameras, and the Failover Server are all on the same local network (LAN) IP subnet. However, as long as the devices can communicate uninterrupted, connection is possible over WAN (Internet).
To allow an automatic failover to occur, the devices must be port forwarded to be visible to each other. Some things that can help with this:
If communication for a network with multiple routers or network switches is not routed to communicate across subnets, the Automatic Camera Failover may experience issues in the event of a failover.
Please verify that the network’s routing is configured correctly to ensure a successful Automatic Camera Failover across multiple subnets. You can test communication between servers by using the “Ping” button in the General Server Settings on the original server to ping the Failover Server(s). Additionally, manually moving cameras temporarily from one server to another can also serve as a stability test.
To enable Automatic Camera Failover for a DW Spectrum Server:
Locate the Failover section, then click on the “Failover” toggle. The Failover toggle will illuminate with a green indicator when enabled.
**NOTE: By enabling the Failover toggle for a server within a merged system, you are designating that server as a Failover Server.
For your consideration:
Once finished, click the Apply button to save the settings. Click the OK button to close the window.
After designating a Failover Server for the DW Spectrum System, Failover Priority settings can be applied to specify which devices will be retrieved by the Failover Server as well as the priority of the retrieval.
To set up Failover Priority:
A list of the other servers and connected devices that are merged with the system will display. Select the cameras/devices that will be reassigned in the event of an Automatic Camera Failover. Selecting the server itself will also simultaneously select all of its registered cameras.
Click the “OK” button to close the Failover Priority window, then click the “Apply” button to save the settings. Click the “OK” button in the Server Settings to close the window.
**NOTE: By default, cameras are set to a Medium priority level when a Failover Server is available. If a camera should not be reassigned during the failover process, designate the device with a “Never” priority level.