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Replicating DocMoto data across multiple locations (or offices)
Replicate DocMoto across multiple offices

Replicating DocMoto data across multiple locations (or offices)

DocMoto data replication - Why

Many organisations have more than one office. These offices are commonly many miles apart, and in some cases located in completely different countries.

Whilst such offices are often connected via a Wide Area Network (WAN) there is inevitably a restriction on the amount and speed of data transfer between them. In document management terms this can manifest itself in slow check-out and download times for users.

The key objective of DocMoto's data replication is to minimize these effects by having a synchronised file data set within each location (office) so that whenever a file is checked out or downloaded it is transferred from the local file store and not across the WAN.

From the users perspective replication is invisible other than file access is much faster.

For the organisation as a whole replication has the additional benefit of reducing data traffic across the WAN.

DocMoto data replication - How

All DocMoto servers store their metadata in the "data store" which is held in a PostgreSQL database and their file data (the files themselves) on the file system in the "file store".

This approach is highly resilient and very efficient. It also lends itself well to efficient incremental backups.

In its most common configuration DocMoto replication uses the freely available BitTorrent Sync system to replicate the "file store" of the "central" location to the remote locations.

The database element, the "data store" is not replicated as traffic in and out of the data store is small compared to file downloads.

There is no limit to the number of remote locations where the file store can be replicated.

A DocMoto "sub server" is installed at each remote location. This uses the replicated file store and handles the local check-out and download of files by users.

In normal operation users still connect to the central DocMoto server. This involves small levels of data transfer so always feels fast and responsive.

Users always check files into this central server. Statistically check-in operations are few compared with check-out and download operations.

However when users either check-out or download a file it is delivered from the local DocMoto sub server, hence delivering a much faster overall experience to the user.

Files checked back into the central DocMoto server are replicated out to the remote locations in accordance with a schedule or other settings.

DocMoto data replication - Resilience

For 99.9% of the time the setup described above it perfectly adequate. However what happens if the WAN (or internet) fails and users cannot access the central DocMoto server?

If an organisation wishes to make provision for this eventuality then DocMoto can take account of PostgreSQL's excellent "log shipping" or replication feature.

To use log shipping a copy of PostgreSQL is installed at each remote location. These remote copies are then synchronized with the PostgreSQL installed at the central DocMoto server location. Log shipping is very similar to file store replication in that a replica of the central database is "pushed" out to the remote locations.

In the event of a failure of the WAN (or internet) normally dormant DocMoto servers in the remote locations are activated, they use the local data store and file store to deliver data to users. When activated these servers operate in READ-ONLY mode. That is users can access files, but they cannot check them back in.

By having the remote servers operate in this manner we avoid any potentially problematic "two way" data store and file store synchronization when the WAN link is restored.

Under certain very extreme conditions (such as the WAN link being down for a very long period, or a location physically going off-line due to say flooding or some other disaster) remote servers can be switched to full READ-WRITE operation, though this should not be undertaken lightly as it will involve an element of two way synchronization if the original central server is to be restored.

DocMoto data replication - What do I need

Firstly we would recommend that you have on-site technical support expertise. This may be through your own dedicated IT staff or a third party supplier. We would recommend that support staff are comfortable with principles such as file and database replication.

DocMoto replication is only available for users of DocMoto enterprise. It is not supported for DocMoto small business or hosted.

If you only want file replication without database log shipping then you will need to purchase DocMoto sub servers for each location as well as the central DocMoto server "replication" upgrade (it does not come shipped with this as standard).

If you want full database log shipping as well you will need to purchase a full DocMoto server license for each remote location in addition to the replication upgrade. You do not need to purchase sub servers if you are purchasing full server licenses for remote locations.

Finally we would recommend a high speed internet connection between sites where possible.

DocMoto data replication - Other notes

File store replication can be scheduled. This can help to reduce traffic across the WAN to out of hours times.

It is possible to use other file replication technologies if you already have them installed. Check with CHLSoftware if you would like to use an alternative to BitTorrent Sync.

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