RES Workspace Manager 2012 – New functionality; Relay servers


With the release of the 2012 version of RES Workspace Manager a couple of things have changed. One of those things is the addition of the Relay servers, other features like ConfigMgr support will be discussed later on.

So, what’s up with those relay servers? Until now every agent connected directly to the datastore to get the latest and greatest based on refreshing and caching settings for the agents.

A downturn of this is that all agents are connecting to the datastore and therefore causing load. Also when your environment reaches beyond one location the communication to that datastore might not be optimal.

RES Software Workspace Manager 2012 has a solution for this, it’s called Relay servers. How does this work? With a relay server the agents, if you configure them right, will not connect to the datastore but to the relay servers. The datastore is only used to update the relay servers and recieve updates from those relay servers.

Will this make your life easier? Yes it will, for now you get a high available environment next to the solution you had already with the earlier versions. with 2011 and earlier the agents itself had a local cache and didn’t depend on the datastore for their operational tasks. With the addition of Relay servers this has expanded to a second layer adding more high availability.

The first layer of defense is the datastore, this datastore will send updates to multiple Relay servers which will send the updates to the agents. If the datastore goes down the Relay servers will hold the latest updates from the datastore and keep on servicing the agents. If one Relay server goes down the agents will contact any other Relay server in order to get updates, this Realy server will get it’s update from the datastore.

I haven’t been able to test and figure out what will happen if all Relay servers go down but the datastore is up. I don’t know if the agent revert back to their old behavior and connect to the datastore automatically or just work with their local cache.

The image shown above is the setup from within the new console, a Relay server is connected to the datastore and running over port 1941. The default port is 1943 but that was already in use because I also had RES workspace Manager running on the same server. 1941 had a nice historic sound to it…

 

How to setup a Relay server.

The basic setup (next-next-finish) is not described here, I’m sure most of you can do that drunk and asleep. There nothing freaky or weird about it other than the requirement of .Net Framework 4.

Connecting the Relay server with the current Workspace Manager environment is described here. click Next to start.

You have the choice to create a chain of Relay servers or just connect to the datastore directly.

Choose you database server and the database and you’re good to go.

The default cache location is in the ProgramData folder, of course you are free to change it. The cache size is not that large, of course that depends on your enviromennt.

Just to make sure you know what you setup, a small overview. If you click to fast, no worries you can start over easily. I left out the Finish screen, but Yes there is a Finish also.

In the new 2012 console the settings of the Realy servers is set on a global level or per servers. On a global level you can set the timing to poll for changes and when to update the servers.

Per server you can overrule the global setting, but it’s recommended you don’t do this for ┬áthe obvious reasons.

Like said before, there is a cache, default location in the ProgramData, with all the settings ect of the environment. My environment was enmpty so my cache also was kinda empty… If you have ┬ádemo environment try it and you’ll see all your application icons, background images etc in your Relay server cache.

 

This was a first preview of RES Workspace Manager Realy servers… hopefully you can benefit from this post.

 

– Rob


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