WATS Server Requirements

Introduction

This document specifies requirements and recommendations for implementing a WATS Solution. A WATS Solution consists of minimum one server, and one or more test stations. The WATS Structure can extend to as many levels as required – possibly reflecting the customer’s organization structure including out-sourcing partners. This structure is dynamic, and can expand with the customer’s growth. The top-level server at any time will be known as Master Server, other servers in the hierarchy are known as Local Server(s). Test stations are the can report to any server in the hierarchy – preferably the closest possible server.

See Also:  
WATS On-premise system monitoring

Implementation size

 

Reports/year

Data/year

User count

Test station count

Medium

< 100 000

< 5 GB

< 20

< 10

Large

< 1 000 000

< 50 GB

< 50

< 25

Very large

< 5 000 000

< 200 GB

< 250

< 100

This table must be treated as guidelines. Different customers have different needs, and different products may require more or less storage space. This table presumes that an average report require 50KB of storage space.

Multiple server scenario (scale-out)

WATS server can be split into several tiers. For medium to large implementations, it is recommended to split database server from application server. Application server also consists of several parts – possibly split onto several servers. This is recommended for very large implementations. Database server is a Microsoft SQL Server.

Storage

For medium to large implementations, server-internal storage is adequate. For larger implementations, a SAN Solution is recommended. Redundant disk arrays are highly recommended for high availability.

Network and infrastructure

General information

WATS Communication is based on Microsoft WCF. WCF implements transport over SOAP, and also supporting encryption and security. All communication use http for transfer over tcp port 80. Communication between IIS and Database server depends on database settings. Normally Microsoft SQL Server use port 1433/tcp. This information is useful in scenarios where WebService and Database servers are separated using a firewall.

Security

WATS communication over WCF, uses message-security, and there is no need to further protect the communication using ssl. Virinco provide the necessary PKI required for this security mode. The customer may choose to use their own CA/PKI instead. Each server in the hierarchy need a separate X.509 Certificate.

Communication scenarios

Site-to-site tunnel using hardware VPN Router.

Two networks are connected using VPN Router connecting to a VPN Termination point. VPN termination points are sometimes implemented in firewalls.

The figure below shows a typical communication strategy, where the Database server is further protected using a secondary firewall.

 WATS-Communication-S2S-HW.PNG

 

Teststation with VPN Client.

A single teststation connects to the VPN Termination point using VPN Client software installed on the teststation. In this case the teststation becomes a master-client.

 WATS-Communication-TS-SW.PNG

 

Local Server with VPN Client software.

The local server connects directly to the VPN Termination point, using locally installed VPN Client. This implies the need for VPN “autoconnection” feature in the VPN Client.

 WATS-Communication-LS-SW.PNG

 

Directly connected Teststation

In this scenario the teststation directly communicates with a Datacenter exposed to public using a DMZ network.

WATS-Communication-TS-DMZ.PNG 

DMZ Buffer

The DMZ Buffer act as a local server between the sites and the master server. By implementing the DMZ Buffer, there will be no need for additional incoming rules on the firewall. The front-end firewall must allow incoming tcp/80 (http). The transfer agent will then be installed inside the corporate network, extracting data from the buffer database into master. The secondary firewall must allow outgoing tcp/1433.

WATS-Communication-LS-DMZBuffer.PNG 

Recommended communication strategy

For secure and reliable communication, the recommended interconnection method is site-to-site tunneling using hardware VPN routers. This communication network may further be protected using a firewall to separate corporate internal network from external partner networks.

Summary

Connection between client (or local server) to master server requires tcp port 80 to be allowed.

Connection between webserver (datacenter) and Database server requires incoming connection on port 1433 for MS SQL Server.

Hardware requirements

WATS is built using Microsoft technology, running on Intel platform. All application logic is built using Microsoft .NET framework, and can easily be ported to other hardware platforms supported by Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5. The recommended platform for WATS Servers is Intel Xeon running in Native 64-bit mode.

Recommended server specifications

Server-type

Processor

Memory

Disk / storage

Database

Xeon E5

8GB

System: 2x146GB SAS 10K RAID 1, Data: 4x300GB SAS 15K RAID 1+0

Application

Xeon E5

4GB

2x146GB SAS 15K RAID 1 (separate system an data partition)

These specifications must be treated as guidelines for medium to large implementations. For larger systems a thorough requirement analysis must be performed.

Master server recommendation

A typical master server hardware specification (Dell) for a medium server

  • Dell R320 Chassis with 8 hot plug 2.5" drives
  • Xeon E5-24xx processor (rec. minimum E5-2407)
  • 2x 4GB Memory (add more memory to database server for better performance)
  • H710 RAID Controller
  • 2x 300GB SAS 10K drives in RAID 1 for OS/System
  • 4x 300GB SAS 15K drives in RAID 10 for data (Database server only)
  • Windows Server 2012R2 (unless provided by system owner’s EA with Microsoft)
  • Dual hot-plug PSU
  • ReadyRails rack mount kit

 

Local server recommendation

A typical local server hardware specification (Dell)

  • Dell R320 Chassis with 4 hot plug drives
  • Xeon E5-24xx processor (rec. minimum E5-2407)
  • 2x 4GB Memory
  • H710 RAID Controller
  • 2x 300GB SAS 10K drives in RAID-1, 80GB OS Partition
  • Windows Server 2012R2 (unless provided by system owner’s EA with Microsoft)
  • Dual hot-plug PSU
  • ReadyRails rack mount kit

For larger sites, refer to master server spec, and consider splitting application and database server.

Server consolidation

For medium to large implementations, server consolidation can be an option. For customers already running a virtualized environment this can reduce implementation time, and increase manageability. Even if a virtualized environment is desired, it is still recommended to use separate servers for database and application for large implementations. For larger implementations Database and data warehouse servers should be considered running on separate non-virtualized hardware while application can be hosted on virtual server(s).

Software requirements

The WATS system is built on Microsoft technology. Microsoft .NET Framework is an essential component in the entire system, currently version 4.5 is in use – future releases may require newer framework version.

Server requirements

Operating system

Recommended server operating system is Microsoft Windows 2012 Server. Minimum required version of Windows Server is 2008 R2.

Database and data warehouse

Recommended SQL Server 2014. Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 or later is required. It is recommended that WATS is running a separate instance to avoid conflicts with other systems. CLR Integration must be enabled on the database server. 

SQL Server replication

For installations with replicated WATS-MES modules, all member servers need MS SQL Server replication feature installed and enabled. The replication infrastructure requires network communication between master and all member servers. Communication between the servers is using standard SQL server port (default instance TCP/1433), and ftp communication for snapshot delivery.

Replication must be configured using the real server name. Aliases (CNAME) or IP address is not supported. All SQL Servers in the replication topology must be able to look up the real server name of each of its replication partners and Distributor.

Replication between different versions of SQL Server is supported, but limited to these configurations:

  • A Distributor can be any version as long as it is greater than or equal to the Publisher version. Distributor and Publisher are typically the same server, and most commonly the master database server.
  • A Publisher can be any version as long as it is less than or equal to the Distributor version.
  • Subscriber version in a merge replication can be any version less than or equal to the Publisher version.

Due to these limitations, distributor must be upgraded first, followed by the publisher and finally the subscribers.

For further reference on upgrade, see http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms143699.aspx.

Application logic

Application logic is built on Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5.2, future releases may require newer versions.

WATS Server hierarchy

When upgrading or installing server, the servers must be upgraded top-down. It is not supported to upgrade a local server to a version with a higher version number than its parent server.

It is always recommended to keep all servers in the hierarchy on the same version. No servers in the hierarchy should differ in more than two minor release versions, and one major release version.

For example when upgrading master to 4.2, all children should be upgraded to 4.0.

Client requirements

Operating system

Recommended test station operating system is Microsoft Windows 7. 64-bit versions is recommended to avoid memory limitations of 32 bit OS. Windows XP can be used, but is scheduled for termination in WATS 5.0. WATS Client is a standalone application, however currently no sequencer is embedded with the client. TestStand is the recommended test sequencer, and is tightly integrated with WATS. Current version of WATS integrates with TestStand version 3.1, 3.5, 4.0, 4.1, 4.2, 2010/2010SP1,2012,2013 and 2014. Recommended version for new implementations is TestStand 2012 or newer. Recommended TestStand acquisition adapter is NI LabView. NI LabView is integrated with WATS Client as well. Current version of WATS integrates with versions 8.2, 8.5, 8.6, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Database Specification

Microsoft MSSQL Server license is included in your WATS license. 

WATS depends on Microsoft SQL Server as backend storage. Minimum required version is 2008 R2. For new installations SQL Server 2014 is recommended.

The WATS database is designed as a very flexible structure where the main entity is a report. A WATS report can take numerous forms. Each report is bound to a unit – specified by Part number and Serial number. A Unit can be related to zero or more subunits.

The database structure is flexible and well suited for reporting. The data mining functionality further extends the reporting possibilities.

Transfer technology

The WATS System may consist of several servers in a hierarchy. The WATS Transfer technology use Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) for transferring data. Each server below master level communicates with its parent server through Windows Communication Foundation (WCF). WCF extends Web Services (SOAP) with secure communication using PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) and x509 Certificates. The communication between servers is http-based, minimizing the need for firewall configuration changes and is encrypted by x509 Certificates. For increased flexibility and security, the traffic can be routed through VPN tunnels or MPLS networks.

High-latency connections are often an issue for VPN connections between continents and many replication-methods does not perform well under such conditions. The usage of Service oriented architecture solves this problem, utilizing the capacity of high-latency connections, while ensuring data integrity.

 

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