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MediaBeacon University

N3twork Remote Import Node

Introduction

MediaBeacon's R3volution product has been designed to grow from one server with multiple applications to a multi-server cluster. Additional servers on the LAN that are connected to the main instance of MediaBeacon are called Remote MediaBeacon Nodes. These are individual applications that are designed to offload processes from the primary MediaBeacon server and to increase the speed with which certain operations are performed. The Nodes are available as an option with MediaBeacon's N3twork Application Bundle and include the Importer Node, Preview Node, and Events Node. Each node can be installed and configured on designated hardware and collaborates with the main MediaBeacon services. Remote MediaBeacon Nodes are available for MediaBeacon Enterprise Pro only. As the demands grow for MediaBeacon to perform tasks faster and more efficiently, additional nodes can be added.

Additional fees may apply for any or all additional nodes added to the system. Nodes are part of the licensing agreement with MediaBeacon, Inc.

This document will describe the Importer Node and outline the process for installation, configuration, and setup, with detailed step-by-step instructions. Further training is available by contacting a MediaBeacon representative or accessing the MediaBeacon resources page: https://www.mediabeacon.com/resources.

Description

Importer is part of the N3twork application bundle that handles importing assets into the database. When Importer is notified that assets are waiting to be imported, the remote import node will import any existing metadata already embedded in the assets and write it to the database. This remote process reduces the load on the main MediaBeacon server and accelerates the import of large numbers of assets during simultaneous import, during initial ingestion, and during a database rebuild.

Initial Configuration

There are a few requirements that have to be met in order to use the Importer service:

  1. Importer must be able to access the same database as the primary MediaBeacon server.
  2. Importer must be able to mount the Shared Files Directory from the primary MediaBeacon server.
  3. The IP address of the Remote Import Node must be whitelisted on the "Enterprise" tab under "Applications" of the main MediaBeacon server.
  4. On Mac, install Java 8, which is required to run MediaBeacon 8.0. Download it from:http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/jre8-downloads-2133155.html

Database Requirements

When configuring the database settings within MediaBeacon, be sure to use a hostname or IP address that is accessible outside of the primary MediaBeacon server. If 127.0.0.1 or localhost is used as the host, Importer assumes that the database is on the same system as itself, and not the primary server.

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Above is an example of a valid database configuration on the MediaBeacon server.

Database Ports

For the database server, make sure the necessary port is open for database access between the database and the Import node (typically '3306' for MySQL, '1521' for Oracle, and '1433' for Microsoft SQL Server). Verify that database logins are allowed from the Import node and using the same database authentication information as the main MediaBeacon server. If MediaBeacon is using MySQL, Importer will need to download the JDBC driver and restart. This is an automatic process that requires access to the internet.

MediaBeacon Ports

Next, verify that the necessary ports are open on the main MediaBeacon server and the database server in order to allow the remote Import server to connect to them. On the main MediaBeacon server, make sure the "External SOA applications" checkbox is checked under the Enterprise tab of the MediaBeacon R3 server-side Admin Console, and that the port designated in the "Port:" field, and the port above it are allowed through any firewalls between the MediaBeacon server and Importer (the default port is '44444' so both 44444 and 44445 need to be open). Be sure to click on the Change Remote Password button in the External SOA Applications area and set a password in the windows that pops up. Make a note of this password, as it will be needed to connect Importer to the MediaBeacon R3 server. After making the changes, restart MediaBeacon.

Import Node Configuration

Here is Importer on initial launch:

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File System Updates

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Enable File System Updates will automatically import an asset once it has been placed in the Shared Files Directory on the server. This is the most common configuration, and makes use of the File System Events queue on the MediaBeacon server.

Auto Update sets a time frame in minutes that Importer will scan the MediaBeacon server for new assets. This option is typically only used in the rare case that Enable File System Updates can't be used. Auto Update can be time-consuming if there are a large number of assets, as Importer will scan every asset and subfolder looking for new assets. When using this option, ensure that the time between scans is greater than the time necessary to complete a full scan of the file system. Enabling both options is not recommended. It is also possible to manually force an update by clicking on the Update Files button. This is equivalent to Auto Update, and forces MediaBeacon to scan the entire watched folder structure for new files.

Launch Settings

Next, configure the launch settings. There are four options for launching Importer: Manually, On Login, On Boot, On Boot + Reload.

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  • Manually: This option requires a user to manually launch the Importer application after the host system has finished booting up.
  • On Login: This will cause the Importer application to launch automatically upon login to the user account on the Importer server.
  • On Boot (Macintosh only): This will allow the Importer application to launch on boot. A user must be set to login to the server automatically, at which point the application will launch and then revert to the login screen after 10 seconds. Fast User Switching must be enabled for this option.
  • On Boot + Reload (Macintosh only): This option is identical to On Boot, but with the additional feature of restarting if Importer was shut down for some reason.
  • Automatically launch on start: This checkbox will automatically start the Importer service when the Importer GUI is launched, eliminating the need for the user to click on "Start."

Connecting Importer to MediaBeacon

Mount 'Shared Files Directory'

Once Importer has been configured, mount MediaBeacon's Shared Files Directory to Importer's server with full read and write permissions via AFP or SMB. To do this on a Macintosh, press Command-k, enter the server's IP or hostname, and select the correct directory. On Windows, the remote directory must be mapped as a drive letter.

Whitelist Remote IP

By default, the main MediaBeacon server will disallow all remote connections from external applications. Before attaching to the main server, be sure to enter the Remote Import Node's IP address in the "Enterprise" tab under "Applications". Alternatively, click "Discover External Applications." This will open a temporary 2-minute window during which the main server will accept incoming connections. Attaching to the server during the time will automatically add the Remote Import Node to the whitelist.

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Attach MediaBeacon Server

Next, connect to the main MediaBeacon server by clicking Attach Server. MediaBeacon Importer will automatically show all available MediaBeacon servers it can attach to.

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Select appropriate server from the list, click Join, and enter the password. This password is set by clicking "Change Remote Password" in the External SOA Applications area of the main MediaBeacon server. MediaBeacon N3twork uses Zero Configuration technology for dynamic discovery of nodes and XML-RPC for passing configuration. If the server doesn't show in the list, it's likely that a firewall is blocking the zero-config protocol used to generate the list, or the import node is on a different subnet than the main MediaBeacon server. In either case, simply check the Custom server checkbox and type the IP or hostname of the server in the field given, then click Join.

Note that port '44444' is just the default MediaBeacon uses for communications between the MediaBeacon server and Importer. If this port is unavailable it is possible to set another value in the External SOA Applications area and put that same port in this configuration dialog.

Starting Importer

After the password is accepted, Importer will automatically find the Shared Files Directory that's mounted on the import node. Click Start. Importer will now start handling import requests queued in the database for the main application.

Logging

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Above is a screenshot of the logging system, accessible from the View log ... button. The logging system is similar to that used in MediaBeacon. If there are issues with importing, check the logs on the Import node that handled the request.

Port Information

Below are the default ports used to connect.

  • Connects to MediaBeacon R3volution core: 44444, 44445, and 44446.
  • Connects to the database.
  • Connects to the file system.
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