IT Virtual Server Implementation Guide

Virtual Server Deployment Installation Instructions

Here is a summary of the guidelines for provisioning a virtual server for Blue Pillar Aurora 5.0 and newer.  ANY deviations from this guideline should be communicated to Blue Pillar’s operation team.

  • The AURORA application requires a local admin account name under which the Blue Pillar AURORA services will execute. Part of the Blue Pillar technical team configuration process is to configure this ADMIN account. The Local Admin account name is ‘BPAdmin’. This account has been configured as required for the AURORA application, modifications to this account or its account settings should only be performed by Blue Pillar.
  • If applicable, join the server to your domain.
  • Please provide Blue Pillar with the machine name and IP address.
  • NO OTHER SOFTWARE SHOULD BE ADDED TO THE SERVER UNTIL AFTER THE BLUE PILLAR’S TECHNICAL TEAM HAS COMPLETED THE AURORA INSTALLATION AND CONFIGURATION, SPECIFICALLY ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE.
  • The Server MUST be able to reach the Internet for the following reasons:
  • Microsoft Updates, please inform Blue Pillar if WSUS is used in your environment. (UPDATES are client responsibility after installation).
  • Access to Blue Pillar FTP server – ftp://file.bluepillar.com for downloading Blue Pillar Software Updates.         

Notification of Virtual Server Installation

PLEASE INFORM Blue Pillar Support (support@bluepillar.com) OF THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION ONCE THE SERVER HAS BEEN VIRTUALIZED AND IS COMMUNICATING ON THE NETWORK:

  • Client Anti-Virus Software
  • Server Name (IF Changed from supplied name)
  • Server IP Address
  • SMTP Server Name or IP Address
  • Client Standard Anti-Virus software can be installed. Virus configuration needs to be modified to exclude the Blue Pillar software directories from being modified or deleted.


Please exclude the following locations from the Virus Scan:

  • C:\Program Files (x86)\Kepware\ [All subfolders]
  • C:\Program Files\Blue Pillar, Inc\ [All subfolders]
  • C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v4.0.30319\ [All subfolders]
  • C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v4.0.30319\ [All subfolders]
  • C:\Users\BPAdmin\AppData\Roaming\ [All subfolders]
  • F:\  [all SQL related files]
  • G:\  [all SQL related files]
  • U:\ [all SQL related files]

VM Server Sizing

The virtual specifications of the server depends on a variety of things and will take an assessment of each customer's configuration to determine the needed Memory and Processors.

Questions to ask when determining server requirements

  1. Approximately how many analog tags will the configuration contain?
  2. How many systems and test groups?
  3. How many generators?
  4. Is this single or multi-site?

Note:  there is a 25,000 tag count limit per server.

The Platform/SQL Server combined specifications are the following.

Microsoft SQL Server

 

Application Server OS Version

Windows Server 2016(Minimum OS is Windows Server 2012 x64)

Database Server Version

SQL Server 2016 Standard or Express

Hard Drive Partitions

C: (OS)  160 GB

 

F: (Data)  375 GB

 

L: (Log)  275 GB

 

U: (Backup)* 100 GB

Data Recovery (RPO/RTO)

1 week / 1 day

 

The Platform Server specifications alone are the following.

Web Server

 

Application Server OS Version

Windows Server 2016(Minimum OS is Windows Server 2012 x64)

Hard Drive Partitions

C: (OS)  80 GB

Data Recovery (RPO/RTO)

1 week / 1 day

 

The SQL Server specifications are the following if a remote SQL server is preferred.

Microsoft SQL Server

 

SQL Server OS Version

Windows Server 2016(Minimum OS is Windows Server 2012 x64)

Database Server Version

SQL Server 2016 Standard or Express

Hard Drive Partitions

C: (OS)  160 GB

 

F: (Data)  375 GB

 

L: (Log)  275 GB

 

U: (Backup)* 100 GB

Data Recovery (RPO/RTO)

1 week / 1 day

 

Back Up Recommendations

SQL database backups are taken and stored locally for 24 hours in the case of data corruption and recovery. Any additional backup or DR requirements should be incorporated into the customer’s business continuity plan.

VM Backups

  • If leveraging virtual infrastructure technologies (VMWare, Hyper-V, Citrix, etc.), it is recommended to take regular backups of the virtual machines to guard against OS or application corruption.
  • The RTO (Recovery Time Objective) and RPO (Recovery Point Objective) requirements of the organization should target the frequency and duration of backups.
  • Additionally, it is recommended to take snapshots of the VM prior to any Aurora application upgrades. The virtual machine could then be restored to a state prior to the upgrade.

Application Backups

Prior to any Aurora upgrade, it is recommended that the following be backed up:

  • Registry: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Blue Pillar\Config
  • Registry: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Blue Pillar, Inc\Avise
  • Registry: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Blue Pillar, Inc\Config
  • Folder including Subfolders: C:\Program Files\Blue Pillar, Inc\

SQL Backups

  • Additionally, regular backups should be taken of the Blue Pillar databases in the event of database corruption or a point-in-time restoration is needed.
  • Below is a table of the minimum backup recommendations. The frequency of backups and the duration of backups kept should be driven by the specific RTO/RPO required.

Table 3: Recommended Minimum SQL Backup Schedule

Frequency

Backup Type

Duration Kept

Daily

Full

30 Days

Hourly

Incremental

23 Hours

BLUE PILLAR WILL INSTALL THE AURORA SOFTWARE AND NOTIFY YOU ONCE IT’S COMPLETE.  THEN YOU CAN RESUME YOUR FINAL CONFIGURATION OF THE SERVER.

Blue Pillar Inc., states publicly that our software will execute unimpeded by Microsoft Windows updates that fall into the “Critical” or “Security” classification.  Please disable Windows Updates from automatically downloading and installing ALL Microsoft Windows Updates. Rather this function should be monitored and only those updates that fall into the above specified categories should be installed.

Server Configuration Backups: Client is responsible and will implement a monthly backup strategy that will back up “C:\Program Files\Blue Pillar, Inc\”

You will also need to enable your SMTP Mail Relay to accept traffic from this server.

Blue Pillar recommends that the client enable time synchronization on the AURORA server with a network time synchronization server. This will help ensure the highest accuracy for emergency event, load testing, and Load Shed event response reporting. Some places to find network time synchronization are; 1) www.nist.gov , and 2) www.ntp.org.

IMPORTANT - Server Reboot Schedule and Generator Testing Schedule conflicts must be avoided.  The AURORA application executing on this server allows the end-user to monitor and manage the Emergency Power Management Systems employed at your facility. If the server is unavailable the end user will lose the ability to manage the emergency power systems unless manual steps are taken to do so. Server reboot schedules should probably be communicated to the appropriate end user staff so that there is awareness of the regularly scheduled unavailability of this ability.

IMPORTANT – SERVER and associated network switches must be installed with energized Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) at all times. Blue Pillar recommends that the UPS servicing the AURORA server and switches supplying data connections to that server be tested quarterly for adequate battery backup capacity. If the AURORA server or the network connections are down during an emergency power scenario, no data required by regulatory agencies will be recorded.

 

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