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Installing Socialcast On Premise Best Practices (2008607)

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This article provides steps to deploy a new Socialcast on-premise cluster. Generally, this process involves four steps:

  1. Preparing the cluster configuration
  2. Downloading and provisioning appliances on your virtual infrastructure
  3. Completing the pre-deployment checklist
  4. Scheduling a deployment meeting with Socialcast

Contact your Socialcast sales or technical representative if you have any questions.


Step 1: Prepare Configuration

In this step, you gather information necessary to launch a Socialcast cluster.

A) Prepare required information and resources

These items are required before a production Socialcast cluster can be configured, and should be in place prior to the initial launch remote working session:

  • Cluster networking information
    • Reserved IP addresses and netmasks for all nodes
    • Hostnames for all nodes
    • Default gateway address
    • Socialcast production domain name (for example, Socialcast uses this name to link back to itself)
    • Email address to send administrative alerts to

  • Desired passwords for all nodes
    • Operating system account passwords:
      • root
      • maintainer

    • Socialcast cluster passwords
      • MySQL root password
      • MySQL application password

  • SSL Certificates
    • SSL Certificate signed by a CA trusted by your clients that matches the production Socialcast domain name in PEM format
    • Any intermediate certificates in PEM format

  • SMTP Information
    • SMTP access username
    • SMTP access password
    • SMTP gateway address
    • SMTP gateway port

B) Prepare recommended information and resources

Ensure you configure these items before a Socialcast cluster is configured. The absence of these items does not hinder an initial setup of the virtual appliance, but a network cannot be launched to users without this information. If it is not possible to have these items at the first meeting, they can be configured in an subsequent meeting.

  • HTTP(S) proxy configuration (if appliance should connect to Internet hosts, and does not have direct access to the Internet)
    • Proxy server address
    • Proxy server port
    • Proxy access username
    • Proxy access password
    • HTTPS variants of the above

  • IMAP configuration (if email-dropbox functionality is desired)
    • Dedicated Socialcast IMAP account (suggested name: share@socialcast-production-domain-name)
    • IMAP access username
    • IMAP access password
    • IMAP server address
    • IMAP server port

  • Directory Integration configuration, for each directory server* (if directory integration is required)
    • Socialcast’s LDAP searcher user
      • Username
      • Password

    • Directory server connection information
      • Directory server address
      • Directory server port

    • LDAP query settings
      • Base DN to mirror accounts from
      • Search filter to limit which records have accounts

    • LDAP field to Socialcast field mappings
      • Minimally
        • LDAP field to use for email address
        • LDAP field to use for company login

      • Optionally
        • LDAP field to use for user’s first name
        • LDAP field to use for user’s last name
        • LDAP field to use for user’s title
        • LDAP field to use for user’s office phone number
        • LDAP field to use for user’s mobile phone number
        • LDAP Field to use for user’s location

C) Prepare optional information and resources

These items are not necessary to launch a production Socialcast community.  If you choose to use these features, it is important to have them configured prior to launch.

  • Custom legal text
    • Terms and Conditions to present to Socialcast users
    • Privacy Policy to present to Socialcast users
    • Disclaimer text to add to the footer of all Socialcast pages

Step 2: Download and provision Socialcast appliances

Socialcast Cluster is distributed as a gzip compressed TAR archive (tar.gz) file of about 500-750 MB. Within a compressed distribution archive there is a VMware ESX-compatible virtual hard disk (VMDK) and a Virtual Machine hardware specification file (VMX or OVF). Multiple copies of this virtual machine and the associated virtual hard disk will be created on your hypervisor.
A) Download and extract images

Your Socialcast sales representative will provide you with an expiring link to the latest version of the Socialcast Cluster appliance.  You can use your favorite web browser or command line tool to download the distribution archive within approximately 1 week of link delivery.

When the archive is completely downloaded, extract the files within it using a tar.gz-compatible archiver.  We suggest these tools:
    • Windows: 7-Zip is the only utility known to work reliably.
    • Unix/Linux: GNU tar
    • OS X:  OS X’s in-built archive utility (just open the .tar.gz as you would any other file.)
B) Upload appliances to VMware datastores

A Socialcast Cluster is made up of multiple appliances; we will upload enough copies of the Socialcast Cluster appliance image to meet your scalability needs.  Your Socialcast sales representative will provide you with the number of nodes your deployment will require.
C) Add and configure virtual appliances

Once you have uploaded the appliance image to your datastores, add each virtual machine image to your inventory.  Note that you should not create new virtual machines or VMDKs for these appliances, but rather use the VMX or OVF file provided in the distribution archive.

When your appliances have been added to your inventory, configure your appliances to these specifications:
    • 2 vCPUs
    • 4 GB of ram
    • 50 GB auxiliary HDD (for a total of 2 virtual hard disks)

      If your version of VMware supports it we recommend upgrading the virtual machine to to use Virtual Hardware Version 7.  The appliance is built with Version 4 for compatibility with older hypervisors.

Note: Do not boot the virtual machines.

Step 3: Pre-deployment checklist

Ensure that you have:

  1. Prepared ALL required information and resources.
  2. Prepared ALL recommended information and resources necessary to configure the features your organization desires.
  3. Prepared ANY optional information and resources required to configure the features your organization desires.
  4. Installed a sufficient number of copies of the Socialcast Cluster Appliance image on your virtual infrastructure .
  5. Configured ALL virtual appliances to the specifications laid out above.

Step 4:  Schedule a Deployment Meeting with Socialcast

Contact your Socialcast sales representative to verify that you have completed the pre-deployment checklist and schedule a meeting for a PSO engineer to assist you in configuring and launching your Socialcast Cluster.

Deployment meetings take up to 1.5 hours, during which time, a PSO engineer will:

  • Establish a screen sharing session with a member of your organization's technical team.
  • Walk you through the appliance first-boot configuration wizard on each virtual machine installed in Step 2.
  • Generate and install the cluster configuration file based on the settings prepared in Step 1.
  • Perform the initial deployment to bring up the Socialcast Cluster.
  • Introduce you to the Socialcast Cluster Management Console (SCMC) and Socialcast web interfaces.
  • Perform rudimentary testing to ensure proper application functionality.
  • Address outstanding questions.

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To request a new product feature or to provide feedback on a VMware product, please visit the Request a Product Feature page.


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