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Planning & Installation
DeviceLink requires careful planning and preparation to implement at a customer site. There are going to be three areas to focus on during this stage:
- 1.Site and Agent planning
- 2.Source Control preparation
- 3.Installation of Agents
Given Copia's expertise in this, we recommend consulting with Copia on the creation or a review of your plan prior to execution.
DeviceLink is configured by Sites. A Site is logical grouping of Projects and Devices that are supported by Agents for backup operations. They are typically recommended to denote larger areas (such as a factory or region). Agents are assigned to a site, for backup operations of projects and devices within that site.
Example: A customer has three factories, and defines each factory as a Site. He then creates 6 Agents and assigns two to each Site. The two Agents will be responsible for performing the backup of the devices at each Site, and will not be allowed to backup devices in another Site.
Typical recommendations for Site would include setting the Site at a factory level, a large area in a factory (like assembly, paint, or shipping), or a region that encompasses a logical grouping of control devices (for industries like water utilities).
Consideration for who has access and can make modification should be considered for DeviceLink Sites. Teams are how you assign members access, and permissions are by account type in DeviceLink. By adding a Site to a Team, that team has access to the DeviceLink site, and based on their permission levels they have access to certain operations. More about this can be found in the Teams and Permissions sections, under Administration.
Agent's can be considered "robotic employee's" whose job it is to perform a list of scheduled backup operations. As such, an Agent would typically be responsible for a "site" like an employee, and would not typically be allowed to perform operations at the device level across a WAN.
Agents can perform backup operations of one or many different device types, as long as there is no conflict of the 3rd party software required on the Agent. For example, you would not be able to use a single Agent to backup projects using different versions of vendor software, unless that vendor software allows multiple versions to be installed on the same PC.
You can estimate the number of Agents you may need by calculating the average time of a backup, the Job frequency, the number of Devices, and the number of Agents. Consider the following scenarios:
- Successfully performing daily backups of all Devices:
(100 devices) * (10min/dev) / (2 Agents) = 8.33 hours/Agent\
- Requiring additional Agents to achieve daily backups:
(200 devices) * (15min/dev) / (2 Agents) = 25 hours/Agent
For each project to be backed up, there may be initial requirements to have an initial copy of the project in Source Control (for example, if needed to initially connect to the device). In each section of the Vendor Configuration area of the docs, the requirements for Source Control are listed at the top of the Project Configuration sections.
Please make sure you have used, and are familiair with Copia's Git-based Source Control prior to using DeviceLink, as it is the backbone of the system.
An onsite installation will be performed when you initially configure the system. Since software will need to be installed on the Agent, customers should plan on having adequate permissions ahead of time. Copia also recommends that you keep the following in mind:
- The Agent will be provided as a self-installing Windows executable.
- The Agent will run in the system tray
It is recommended that customers install the Agent application and test it's connectivity to the Copia web app as soon as possible to address any network or proxy issues.
- The Copia Agent must be installed on a PC that is already able to connect to the target location/device.
- The PC that the Copia Agent is installed on must be able to communicate with the Copia server.
- Any required vendor software must be licensed and installed on the Copia Agent.
- To avoid conflicts, users should not be using the PC that the Copia Agent is running on when the Agent is busy.
In addition to these requirements, users should test connectivity to the Device using the vendor software or planned communication method (ex., Beckhoff Routes, Rockwell RSLinx, FTP, etc.) prior to configuring the system.
It is important to verify the network connectivity from the Copia Agent PC to the Device prior to configuring DeviceLink. The end user must be able to perform a backup of a Device from the PC running the Copia Agent using the required software (or communication method).