AudioTools In Focus: Designing Resilient Solutions

By Graham Tudball on May 23, 2024 2:43:05 PM


AudioTools In Focus

For truly dependable systems, resiliency is a must

When it comes to deploying any automated solution a commonly used maxim is to aim to avoid any single points of failure. This can be summarized by the phrase “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”. In other words, spread your risk and try to make your solution as resilient as possible.

eggs in one basket

This was a key consideration for a customer of ours who was planning on migrating their operations to the Cloud (specifically AWS). They needed a highly available solution capable of processing hundreds of hours of content per day, but that was also efficient with their resources - meaning that they didn’t want to pay for any instances sitting idle during periods of reduced demand. Thankfully AudioTools Server had just the solutions available to assist them.

The key to this is the License Server option available with AudioTools Server. The License Server is a small, dedicated AudioTools Server system that acts as the licensing hub, hosting a centralized pool of AudioTools licenses that can then be shared between the various processing (or “Worker”) nodes. Rather than hosting licenses locally on each Worker, these nodes instead reach out to the central License Server to retrieve the licenses they need to process any jobs.

Single License Server

Using a License Server separates the licensing of your AudioTools Server environment from the systems that do the actual processing, allowing for a much more agile deployment. By creating an image (or “AMI” to use the Amazon parlance) of a configured AudioTools Worker node the customer was able to automate the size of their AudioTools Server deployment from their Orchestration system based on actual demand. If they needed more capacity, they could spin up a new AudioTools instance (“EC2”) that would automatically connect to the License Server and start receiving jobs without any human intervention. Likewise, during quieter periods they could spin down (or even terminate) any excess instances until such point as volume picked up again. In the unlikely event of a problem with a particular system, they could also easily shut down the affected instance and spin up a fresh new one, again with no human intervention.

When spinning up new AudioTools instances in a License Server deployment, the only limitation is the number of Connector licenses you own, which determines the maximum number of systems that can connect to the License Server at any given time.

Redundant License Server

But what, I hear you cry, happens if the License Server itself isn’t available? Aren’t you, to hark back to the start of this article, putting all your eggs into one basket? While it is highly unlikely that the License Server will go down, the possibility does, of course, exist. Thankfully, a solution is already at hand - the “Redundant License Server”. This is a clone of your Primary License Server that can run in parallel to it. Connecting Worker nodes to both the Primary and Redundant License Servers means that, in the unlikely event of a problem connecting to the first License Server, the Worker will reach out to the second one instead. By situating these in geographically separate locations (“Availability Zones”) you can minimize the risks even further, creating a robust and highly available system. In other words, no matter what happens to one of your baskets, you can always guarantee that there will be eggs available for breakfast!

If you want to find out more about how you can build a highly resilient and flexible AudioTools Server cloud deployment, please reach out to your AudioTools Server representative. We'd love to hear from you.

Topics: Television Audio, Next Generaton Audio, AudioTools Server, 2024, AudioTools In Focus

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