Flussonic Central: Resilience, Resource Optimization, and Kubernetes Deployment - Advancing Video Surveillance to a New Level
In June 2023, we officially introduced Flussonic Central, a standalone product, separated from Watcher, that serves as a server cluster management subsystem or, in other words, an orchestrator for the entire Flussonic product ecosystem.
Starting from the latest release (version 23.06), all Flussonic Watcher installations will transition from the two-component “Watcher+Media Server” configuration to a three-component configuration: “Watcher VMS+Central+Media Server”. This will significantly reduce resource consumption in installations with 500 cameras, ensure more efficient orchestration, and provide redundancy for all Flussonic components included in the Watcher installation. You can easily deploy your video surveillance system in Kubernetes, and Watcher itself can be deployed as a regular website under NGINX control.
If you plan to upgrade your systems, we recommend contacting our support service first to minimize any difficulties during the migration process.
In this piece, we uncover the motivations for transitioning from Flussonic Watcher to Flussonic Central, delving into the specialized functions that render it an optimal choice for video surveillance implementations. For our existing customers, this article will prove immensely beneficial in navigating the shift, whilst revealing the added value of Flussonic Central. Likewise, those seeking a solution for their video surveillance requirements can glean essential details to assist in making an informed decision.
Enhanced Focus and Expertise:
The separation of Flussonic Central from Flussonic Watcher allows for greater specialization within development teams. By concentrating on core competencies, the Watcher team can prioritize business logic and the Central team can specialize in fault tolerance, high availability, and infrastructure. This optimized approach to development promises increased reliability and efficiency, providing a superior user experience.
Scalability and Fault Tolerance:
Flussonic Central offers an innovative approach to IP camera management, especially beneficial for large installations. By streamlining camera configuration and possessing built-in fault tolerance capabilities, our platform guarantees robust performance and dependable service. Through its automatic failover mechanism, it ensures 99.9% uptime even during server issues, resulting in a service that requires minimal input from administrators while operating 24/7. With our reliable solution, you can rest assured of streamlined scalability with no need to worry about code complexities or camera vendors availability.
Simplified Deployment and Improved Reliability:
Flussonic Central enables Watcher to operate separately from Flussonic Media Server, unlocking a wealth of opportunities for load balancing and improved reliability. This creates a streamlined deployment and management process, allowing Watcher to be administered like an established web application, boosting flexibility, usability, and the overall user experience.
Enhanced Video Analytics Capabilities:
Harness the power of Flussonic Central to maximize the efficacy of your video analytics operations. Supercharge your system by scaling across multiple GPU-equipped servers, ensuring optimal performance and utilization. Integrate 3rd party video analytics algorithms into your existing environment to gain valuable insight from your recorded video data. Unlock the full potential of your data with Flussonic Central’s enhanced video analytics capabilities.
Streamlined Configuration and “Kubernetes Friendly”:
Flussonic Central leverages Config_External, eliminating the process of Watcher loading the stream list into Flussonic Media Server. The media server retrieves the stream list from Central for playback, this shift facilitates streamlined configuration management, empowering version control and consistent compatibility with Kubernetes and other cloud ecosystems.
Unified DVR RAID for Enhanced Video Archive Management:
Rely on Flussonic Central to revolutionize your video archive management. Its unique DVR RAID configuration automatically enables application RAID on media servers for all clients, making it simple and straightforward to expand storage capacity by adding additional disks. What’s more, Flussonic Watcher offers DVR cloud storage to ensure reliable and uninterrupted video recording, eliminating the need for costly SAN solutions and protecting against potential data loss or archive malfunction.
Acknowledging the Challenges of Migration to Flussonic Central
Navigating a system migration can be daunting, but with the introduction of Flussonic Central, we are determined to ensure that our customers have a smooth transition. We wish to offer our support in addressing any potential problematic areas along the way. Allow us to explore what difficulties may arise and how we can provide assistance.
What has changed?
Having Flussonic Central embedded within Watcher posed certain obstacles that inhibited system scalability and advancement. Such issues traversed both the customer-specific needs as well as cluster reliability and simplicity. As a result, a transition was necessary in order to ensure continued optimization of the product.
- Camera streams will be removed from Flussonic Media Server as it will be managed through the config_external mechanism, where it regularly “reaches out” to Central for a list of streams to play.
For most clients, this change will go unnoticed, but there are clients who create their own stream configurations in the media server. We ask such clients to reach out to us for assistance so that we can find the best solution for this situation.
- During the integration of the three systems, problems may arise if the hostnames on the servers are not configured correctly, as an additional element is added to the configuration. Having three separate configuration files for Watcher, Media Server, and Central can also create difficulties in operation, especially when they are not automatically generated by the orchestrator.
There have been cases where servers were unable to ping their own hostnames, resulting in data transmission issues to Central. Even under these circumstances, we have made efforts to ensure that everything works. For this purpose, the Media Server occupies port 80 and proxies requests to the other subsystems. In Kubernetes terms, it performs the role of LoadBalancer/Gateway.
How we can help you:
Simply reach out to our support team during business hours when upgrading Watcher to version 23.06 and above.
We have already worked with several clients and are ready to promptly assist in resolving all the mentioned issues. Our experienced support team is here to lend a hand throughout the migration journey. We specialize in server configuration, integration, config file generation and management - all for the purpose of powering your streaming transition with Flussonic Central. Contact us directly for tailored, personalized assistance that meets the specific needs of your migration mission.
We are confident our guidance and expertise enables you to confidently build an efficient streaming infrastructure that will stand up to the challenges of today and anticipation of tomorrow. Let’s make this migration successful together!
CTO and Founder at Flussonic
Seasoned professional in the field of high-load systems. Winner of High Load++ Award