With Vista’s new tracking backup feature you can connect a computer, running the Vista application, or a second console that synchronises it’s show file and settings with your main console. If the main console fails for any reason, the backup system will automatically take control.
The backup system automatically copies the show programming from the main console and you can start or stop them in any order and at any time.
To set up a backup system the console(s) and computer(s) have to be physically connected via their Ethernet ports and their network settings must be configured correctly.
Connecting the backup
To connect the main console or computer and the backup console or computer you can either:
- connect from the Ethernet port of the Console(s) and computer(s) to the Local Area Network (LAN) in your building, or
- connect from the Ethernet port of the Console(s) and computer(s) to a stand alone Router, or
- connect from the Ethernet port of the Console(s) and computer(s) to a stand alone Switch or Hub, or
- connect the Ethernet port of the Console(s) and computer(s) using a Crossover cable
Configuring the network settings
All consoles or computers being used in a tracking backup system need an IP address on the same subnet as the others. If you are using a LAN or stand-alone Router a DHCP server will automatically assign Router IP addresses, provided your console’s or computer’s network interface is set to use DHCP. If you are using a Switch, Hub or Crossover cable you’ll need to set static IPs on all the devices in your backup system:
Vista T & I series network settings
To configure the network on a T or I series console:
- Select the Settings option from the File menu. Vista opens the Settings window.
- Click the Network button. Vista opens the Network window:
- Click OK to close the network window.
|This field…||does this…|
|Hostname||Indicates the consoles network name. You can change this field to something more meaningful (i.e. ‘T4_main’) but no two devices, on the network, can have the same hostname.|
|IP Address||Set this field to DHCP if you are connecting to a LAN or stand alone router that has a DHCP server.
If there is no DHCP server set this field to a unique Private IP address. For example: ‘192.168.0.10’
If your backup device is a second console it’s IP must be set to a different address, in the same range. For example: ‘192.168.0.11’
|IP Netmask||Normally this field should be set to 255.255.255.0. If connecting to a LAN consult your IT department.|
|Default gateway||If you are connecting to a LAN consult your IT department.
If you are using a Router with a DHCP server this field should be set to the IP of the router itself.
If you are connecting with a Switch or Crossover cable or there is no DHCP server set this field to [TBA].
Computer network settings
Configuration of the network settings on your PC will vary depending on the OS you are using but what you’ll need to enter is similar to the information detailed above.
The most important thing is that each console or computer should have a unique IP and be on the same subnet. If you are using DHCP this will be taken care of automatically. If you are using static IPs make sure each one is different. For example if the console or main computer’s IP is 192.168.0.10, your backup device should be 192.168.0.11 (or any number between 1-254 but not 10).
If you have changed your network settings restart the console or computer and confirm that the new settings have taken effect.
Starting Tracking Backup
To start Tracking Backup do this:
- On the main console or computer select the ‘Autosave and Backup’ option on the File menu. Vista opens the Backup window:
- If it’s not already selected click on the ‘Tracking Backup Config’ tab.
- All devices in a backup system must have the same ‘Node Group’ name. If this is the master console make a note of the name (i.e. Byron_625) or change this field to a name of your choice (i.e. ‘MainStage’). If you change the Node Group name you will be prompted to restart Vista. If you need to restart’ re-open the Backup window after the restart.
- Repeat steps 1 – 3 on the backup console or computer. Remember the Node Group name must be exactly the same all the devices in your backup system.
- Restart the backup system if prompted. It is now ready for use.
- On the main console or computer click on the ‘Network’ tab. Vista displays a list of any Vista systems running on the same network. You should see your backup device and it should have the same Node Group name as the master:
- The console or computer you are working on is marked with an asterisk (*).
- Click on the Network Role field of your master console.
- Click on the Network Role field of your backup console and select ‘Primary Slave’ from the popup list. A Primary Slave will take over a show automatically if the Master fails, whereas a Passive slave will still backup a master but will not take over a show until you click on the ‘Failover Now’ button on the Failover tab of the Backup window.
- When both the master and slave role have been set, click the ‘Apply’ button. Vista enables the Network Traffic buttons
- Click the Network Traffic Enabled ‘On’ button and click ‘Apply’. Vista transfers the show file to the slave:
- Click the OK button to close the Backup window
What happens if the Master fails
If the Master fails an alert window appears on the slave console:
On the slave console there are two options
- Click on the ‘Abort’ button to prevent the slave console from taking over the show and beginning to output.
- Click on the Failover now button to have the slave console take over the show immediately and begin to output.
If neither button is clicked the slave will take over when the countdown is finished.
- If you are using the DMX outputs on your Vista console or control surface you must swap your DMX cables from the master to the backup console in the event of a failure.
Manually switching to the backup console
To manually switch to the slave device click on the ‘Failover Now’ button on the Failover tab.
You can check the status of the master and slave in their respective backup windows. To do this select the status tab in the Backup window:
The master console or computer should show the Local Time Controller and Local DMX Output being On.
The slave console or computer should show the Local Time Controller and Local DMX Output being Off – unless the master has failed.
If you cannot see your slave console on the Network tab of the backup window:
- Check all your Ethernet cables and connections.
- If you are using a computer turn off any firewall or port blocking application.
- Check that the Group name is exactly the same on all devices in your backup system.
- Check that both the master and slave have IP addresses that are on the same subnet. An IP address consists of four numbers separated by dots (i.e. 192.168.0.1) The numbers for the master and slave should be exactly the same except for the last number, which must be different and between 1 and 254.
- On your Vista T or I series you can check the IP by opening the Settings Network window from the File menu.
- On a Windows PC you can find the IP address from the command prompt (Start > Run > type: cmd) and type: ipconfig).
- On a Mac make sure that only one Network Interface is active. Having both the wired (Ethernet) and wireless (Airport) interface active may cause tracking backup to fail.
- Check that you can ‘Ping’ from the Master to the Slave and vice versa.
- On a Windows PC you can Ping another device from the command prompt (Start > Run > type: cmd) and type: ping xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx) – where xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx is the IP number of another device in your system.
- Power down and re-start the console(s) and computer(s) you are using.
Private IP addresses
Three blocks of the IP address space are reserved for use on private networks (local area networks). When setting static IPs on a small network it’s best to use IPs from one of these ranges:
10.0.0.0 – 10.255.255.255
172.16.0.0 – 172.31.255.255
192.168.0.0 – 192.168.255.255