For businesses that rely on fax for secure document transfer, there is a requirement to have a scalable and highly available fax server. A fax server outage is not an option. The RightFax Shared Services Module provides an architecture for Business Continuity.
Shared Resources for Multiple RightFax Servers
The RightFax Shared Services Module allows multiple RightFax Enterprise servers to share a common database and images. This architectural option provides a scalable active-active platform. Servers configured with the Shared Services Module are called a “shared services environment.” This architecture provides the following capabilities:
- Increases workload processing capacity by dispersing work among multiple servers, including document intake, conversion, scheduling, transmission, routing, printing, notifications, etc.
- Increases environment availability by providing redundant connection points. In the event a server becomes unavailable, other RightFax Shared Services members ensure that processing of documents continues.
Components of a RightFax Server Shared Services Environment
The RightFax Shared Services Module can be added to RightFax Enterprise servers. Multiple Enterprise servers with the RightFax Shared Services Module become a shared services environment. There are 3 tiers to the shared services environment: application tier, data tier and the telephony tier.
1. Application Tier: This tier consists of a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 12 RightFax Enterprise servers. The application tier is where most of the work is done by the fax server. Rendering of cover sheets, native document conversion, notifications and many other tasks are done by the Application tier. It is also where the clients and remote services connect.
2. Data Tier: All of the servers in the shared services environment share a single set of data. The data tier covers three areas:
- The database used by the RightFax servers. RightFax uses Microsoft SQL Server to store user profile data, fax history and metadata, phonebooks and job queues.
- The fax images themselves. Fax images are stored on a shared network storage device, such as SAN, NAS, File server, etc.
- The Microsoft Message Queue (MSMQ), which is used for job tasking throughout the system. Note: The application owner is responsible for providing high availability for SQL, MSMQ, and the image storage.
3. Telephony Tier: RightFax sends and receives faxes through phone circuits which connect to the DocTransport service. DocTransport services can be either local or remote to the application tier. DocTransport may have physical fax boards where phone circuits terminate. Optionally, it could also use what is considered a “virtual fax board”. This virtual fax board is software that replaces the function of the physical fax board in DocTransport. SR140 is the virtual board. Instead of traditional phone circuits like PRI, T1, or analog it receives the fax call via Fax over IP (FoIP).
This is part one of a five part white paper series.
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