So there you are, you have a five-year-old broadcast automation server from Tightrope Media Systems, reliable as can be, and one of the two system drives fails. After your initial moment of panic, you think “no problem”, Cablecast system drives are RAID protected, they mirror each other, and so you have all the system information on the second drive. Phew! But you are very busy and decide to replace the drive at the beginning of next week. Because RAID will mirror the good drive to the new drive, and bingo, nothing to worry about. Two days later, the second system drive fails! Your server will not boot up. You are not able to play out files. You are not able to control your decks. You can’t even run your Carousel bulletin board because it too is controlled from your server. You are off the air, up a creek without the proverbial paddle!
If you had followed the database back-up procedure as outlined in the FrontDoor Manual, and also backed up your Carousel Media, you would have these files that contain all your system settings, device configurations, content database, schedule, Carousel channel structure and content, user permissions, in short, everything you need to get the system up and running as quickly as possible. And just how quickly can that be? Well, if you have Cablecast Pro or Cablecast Pro with VOD and are controlling your Cablecast SX Video server and Carousel player with either of them, you could load all of the database information onto your SX Video server and in less than an hour be completely up to speed as if nothing ever happened. If you do not have a Cablecast Pro server and are using the Cablecast SX video server as your automation system, and had completed a database back-up, you still are in decent shape. If the Cablecast SX Video server can be remotely repaired, you have the database information on hand and can reinstall it onto your repaired server. If the server needs to come back to Tightrope for repair, and you have the saved database, Tightrope can send you loaner equipment that will help you get back on the air as quickly as possible.
On the other hand, if you lose your system drives, and you have not backed up your databases and Carousel media, you are in a much different situation; All information about your system, the devices it controls, the databases and scheduling of your content, and your Carousel channels is lost. If you are running your channel completely from the Cablecast SX video server, it has to come back to Tightrope and there really is not a lot that can be done until it can be repaired and sent back to you. If you are controlling your Cablecast SX Video server with Cablecast Pro or Cablecast Pro with VOD, it is possible to reconfigure your Cablecast SX video server for playout directly, but at this point it would be very time consuming. The server will need to be configured to work with your routing system and devices from scratch. There will be content on your server, but no way to schedule it until you import the content into a new database one show at a time.
You see how important this is!
Lets review. Back up system databases and Carousel media on a regular basis, if disaster strikes you have minutes to an hour or so of down time. If you have no database and Carousel media back up, you can have up to a week of down time, express shipping fees, and weeks of labor re-entering your shows into the program database.
Have any of you established additional procedures to insure that you remain on the air in case of an emergency? If so, would you like to share your procedures and suggestions with your fellow Cablecast facilities? We can gather up your responses and summarize in a later posting.