Backing up and restoring Omnivex Moxie

Summary

When working on a production network, regular back-up of essential services is a best-practice. This minimizes the possibility of data loss in the event of a catastrophic hardware or software failure.

Scope

This document discusses:

  1. Workspace vs Data Server backup
  2. How to back-up and restore workspaces
  3. How to back up and restore Moxie Data Server
  4. Backing up DataPipe Server and the Data Suite products

Beyond the scope of this document:

  1. recommendations of specific database or file backup tools
  2. processes or functionality of other software applications (e.g. SQL Server)

Workspace vs Data Server backup

Moxie Data Server is the required central component of an Omnivex Moxie powered digital signage system and should be backed up regularly. There are two different backup procedures that can be performed for the Moxie Data Server:

  1. workspace backup
  2. full Data Server backup

Workspace backups

Workspaces are specialized folders intended to be used to keep a project's content resources organized. Workspaces are located within the Data Server in: Data|Workspaces

A workspace backup is typically used for:

  • transferring content between different Data Servers
  • preserving the content's state at a particular time
  • preserving the state of content prior to a significant change

This type of backup is done from Moxie Studio's Data Manager module. It should not be considered a complete backup process for environments that make heavy use of data, permissions and tasks.

A backup of a workspace includes the content files saved within the workspace folders, such as:

  • media files (e.g. JPEG, MP4, WMV, PDF, etc.)
  • Moxie-specific files (i.e. layouts, playlists, schedules, maps, scripts, script tasks and data converters)
  • workspace sheets

A workspace backup does not include the following:

  • global or local data sheets
  • permissions
  • Sync Manager tasks
  • Script tasks in 7.02 or lower
  • player connection information or settings
  • Data Server configuration information

 

Data Server backups

Regular, complete, Data Server backups are recommended for any large-scale environment. While Workspace backups are useful, a full Data Server backup enables the restoration of the entire environment in the event of hardware failures, database corruption or other catastrophic technical issues.

The Moxie Data Server depends on two primary components:

  1. the database which contains all data and file references
  2. the directory which contains all the digital resources for the Data Server

Backing up both of these components constitutes a single Data Server backup as both are required in order to fully restore an environment in the event of a complete restoration.

How to backup and restore workspaces

Workspace backup

  1. From Data Manager, browse to find and select a workspace to back up.
  2. In the ribbon, click Export Workspace. The Save Export package dialog box appears.
  3. Browse to find the location on the local computer or network in which to save the workspace.
  4. Click Save.

Exported workspaces are saved as MXD files.The size of this file is directly related to the size of the files stored within it.

Workspace restoration

Once a Workspace has been backed up, it can be restored.

  1. From Data Manager, browse to find and select the Workspaces folder.
  2. In the ribbon, click Import. The import menu appears.
  3. Click Import Workspace. The Import Workspace dialog box appears.
  4. Browse to find the workspace MXD file to import.
  5. Click Import. The Import dialog box appears.
  6. Click OK. The Import Workspace progress dialog box appears and the import of the selected workspace begins.

Note: If the name of the workspace is changed on import:

  • paths to files within the workspace are modified to reflect the new name
  • paths to files in other workspaces retain their original link values
  • file references in other workspaces into the newly-named workspace retain their original values and may no longer be valid (unless there is another workspace with the original name)

How to backup and restore Moxie Data Server

Before a backup can be managed, the following must be established:

  1. database type
  2. cache location
  3. suitable maintenance window and backup frequency

Once these have been determined, the backup process for the Data Server involves:

  1. Backing up the database
  2. Backing up the cache folder

 

Determining database type and cache location

Knowing the type of database in use for the Data Server is necessary to determine the best method of backup to use. Locating the Moxie file cache folder is necessary in order to back up this folder.

All of this information can be found in the Omnivex Moxie Data Server Performance Counters tool (MDSPC.exe), located in the Tools folder of your installation directory.

Suitable maintenance window and backup frequency

Determining a reasonable maintenance window and the backup frequency is the final step.

  • Maintenance window: If you are running the Moxie environment on:
    1. SQL CE, the Omnivex Moxie Data Server service should not be running while the backup is performed. This is because any change to data could result in the cache and database backup losing synchronization and an un-sychronized restoration can produce unpredictable behavior. Stopping the service stops all communications between the database and the cache folder.
      Moxie Studios and Players lose their connections when the service is not running. However content continues to be displayed on Players, as their content is unaffected by the temporary Data Server service shutdown. Players run on locally-cached data until the connection to Data Server is re-established.
      After the backup is complete, the Omnivex Moxie Data Server service must be restarted. Once this is done, Moxie Studios and Players reconnect automatically.
      Because the Data Server must be shut down for backup, we recommend performing this step during a low-traffic period.
    2. SQL Server, the Omnivex Moxie Data Server service can be running while the backup is performed. We recommend backing up the database before backing up the cache folder.
  • Backup frequency: Backup frequency can be determined by the frequency of environment changes. If the content of the Data Server:
    1. changes on a daily basis, it is reasonable to schedule a backup overnight
    2. changes every month, it is reasonable to schedule a backup that coincides with that time frame.
    Every environment is different and the maintenance window and backup frequency should reflect this.

 

Backing up the database

The procedure for backing up the database is different, depending on what type of database the Data Server has been configured to use.

  • SQL Server: Moxie creates a database on the SQL Server which is identified by name as “Moxie_Database”. This database must be backed up using standard SQL Server management functions. The procedure for backing up a SQL Server database is beyond the scope of this document.
  • SQL CE: The primary SQL CE database's location depends on the where the Moxie Data Server was initially installed. It could be either:
    1. C:\ProgramData\Omnivex\Moxie\Drive C\Program Files (x86)\Omnivex\Moxie\Data Server\DataServer\Backbone.sdf
    2. C:\ProgramData\Omnivex\Moxie\Drive C\Program Files\Omnivex\Moxie\Data Server\DataServer\Backbone.sdf
  • This file can be backed up using standard file backup processes with any backup application.

 

Backing up the cache folder

Once the location of the cache folder has been identified, this folder should be backed up using standard file backup processes, with any backup application.

Restoring Data Server

In the event restoration of the Data Server from backup is required:

  1. Shut down the Omnivex Moxie Data Server service.
  2. Restore the database from backup. For:
    • SQL Server, restore the database from backup using SQL Server management functions
    • SQL CE, replace the Backbone.sdf file with the backed-up version
  3. Restore the cache folder, using the backed-up version.
  4. Restart the Omnivex Moxie Data Server service.

In the event the original Moxie Data Server is no longer available, the Data Server can still be restored by:

  1. Installing a new Data Server, using the same version of Moxie and the same components
  2. When configuring the Data Server:
    • use the same system name and host name as the original Data Server
    • connect to the same cache folder location and database location as the original Data Server
    • use the same IP address (in the event Players or Studios are connected by IP address and not hostname)
    Note: These configuration details are not captured by a full Data Server backup, and must be restored manually. We recommend documenting these details for use in the event of a full system failure.

Upon correct configuration of the Data Server and restoration of the backed up files and database, the Data Server begins operating as per normal, using the data from the last backup.

Backing up DataPipe Server and the Data Suite

Depending on which of the Data Suite products are in use, different file locations require backing up. These files can be backed-up using standard file backup processes with any backup application. Information on the location of the files requiring back-up for these applications can be found in the specified KB articles.

  1. DataPipe Server and Client – KB123: Recommendations for backing up DataPipe 3 files
  2. CalendarLink 3 – KB119: Recommendations for backing up CalendarLink 3 files
  3. IOLink 3 – KB114: Recommendations for backing up IOLink 3 files
  4. SQLLink 4 – KB115: Recommendations for backing up SQLLink 4 files
  5. XMLLink 3 – KB117: Recommendations for backing up XMLLink 3 files