This guest post is courtesy of my colleague Kevin Vierya from the Novell support organization. Kevin’s tips are for anyone looking for a disaster recovery solutions for Avaya Predictive Dialer workload
I am offering my assistance to anyone interested in testing/implementing PlateSpin Protect on the Avaya Predictive Dialer. I have a couple of years experience as Support Engineer at Avaya and would say I have a decent knowledge of the Avaya Predictive Dialer. My current role is as a Support Engineer for NetIQ – PlateSpin, so again I’m also in a position the support this product.
I know from experience the backup functionality of the Avaya Dialer is cumbersome and has limitations, such that it needs to be scheduled after hours, due to the high demand on the server to run 15 hours plus a day and the key process have to be shutdown. Also, the only scheduled process is a backup to tape; (antiquated in my opinion) the other options require a manual process, which aren’t really practical.
PlateSpin Protect will allow you to create a full backup, of a live system. What I mean is that all the processes can remain running while taking the backup. This means that you do not have to stop the database or any other processes. To be blunt, the backups can be taken while you are dialing. The process involves taking a LVM snapshot, so the only performance hit could be the network utilization during the data transfer. The backup is in the form of a VM typically on a VMware ESX server. Any subsequent incremental backups can be scheduled daily, hourly, weekly, etc.
Protect will monitor the source machine and if a failure occurs an alarm is generated. At this point you have the option to failover to the VM on the ESX server. Naturally, you could failover any time maintenance is required. You really have a redundant system!
I’ve done preliminary testing and after a full backup is taken the Avaya Dialer on a VM comes up clean, all processes running and I’ve have been able to run a job and take calls in test mode.
For the typical Avaya dialer installation; there are a couple of points I should mention. Firstly, root access will be required; there are a number for queries that will require root level access. Secondly, a Block Based component will have to be installed on the dialer to enable the data transfer. Only the latest APC 4.x is supported (as it’s a Linux OS). I have also had issues with earlier versions such as 4.01. I would recommend upgrading to 4.2 prior to an implementation. I am sure the idea of running the dialer on a VM will be questioned, works just fine for me.
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Disclaimer: As with everything else at NetIQ Cool Solutions, this content is definitely not supported by NetIQ, so Customer Support will not be able to help you if it has any adverse effect on your environment. It just worked for at least one person, and perhaps it will be useful for you too. Be sure to test in a non-production environment.