MirrorMode – A Powerful Resilience and Control-Linking Tool

Resilience is a key issue for all system designers, which often requires backup units for a system’s mission-critical, single-point-of-failure devices. But for this to be a practical proposition, it’s not just a matter of switching over to the same type of hardware, the backup unit must be configured to immediately take over the role of the now unavailable or faulty main unit.

Because, at the risk of stating the blindingly obvious, once it’s fallen over, it’s too late to extract all the current settings from the main unit and apply them to the backup – and frankly that’s not realistic when the show or the broadcast has gone quiet and there are several thousand’s of increasingly angry fans or several million viewers looking to you for an immediate fix.

Therefore, the backup device must always include every adjustment, tweak, fine-tuning, repatch, and work-around applied since the system was last repowered or reset.

The solution for the resilience-minded, when your mission-critical device is a DirectOut PRODIGY, is MirrorMode.

This recent addition to PRODIGY functionality partners a Main PRODIGY unit with a Backup PRODIGY of the same type, to which all changes in the Main unit are transmitted.
With MirrorMode active, should the first unit fail, develop a fault or simply become “unavailable” due to a loss of power or an audio connection, the second unit is automatically identically configured and immediately ready to be patched in as a replacement.

Mirror Control

However, MirrorMode is not only a resilience tool; it is also a valuable enhancement to system control. The magic component is the MirrorMode Scope Filter that controls which changes in the Main unit are actioned in the Backup. Back in resilience mode, this could, for example, filter out changes to the IP address of the Master being applied to the slave – clearly undesirable in any network.

But when you MirrorMode two or more operational PRODIGYs, restrict the mirrored settings to just Output Mutes and immediately MirrorMode enables global Output Mutes from a single command to just the Main unit.

Or mirror output levels for overall control of all PA system outputs

Or swap to Stagebox 2 at FoH for the headliners and the connections to the Monitor desk follow.

And there are many others…

Send in the Clones

There are two further aspects of MirrorMode that you’ll put to good use.

MirrorMode scope filters between Main and Backup are automatically applied to the loading of snapshots that have been copied between the devices. Change the filter on the Main unit and the Mirrored unit’s snapshot scope filter follows.

Consequently, there is no risk that a parameter or function turned off and deactivated in the MirrorMode scope filter will suddenly and unexpectedly reappear when that preset is next loaded on the Main unit.

Secondly, MirrorMode connections can be sequenced so the Backup to one unit becomes the Main unit to a further Mirrored unit, each connection able to apply a different scope filter. Equally, a single PRODIGY can become the Main unit to several Backup units; an extension of the two-unit Global Mute example above.

MirrorMode is standard on all PRODIGY System licenses and is a development of Doppelgänger mode of DirectOut’s highly regarded M.1k2 MADI router.

MirrorMode is all the more effective as a resilience and control tool because it is hosted inside each unit of the MirrorMode pair. It does not rely on the presence of an external computer or device and is hence available the moment both devices have booted and without operator or engineering intervention.

Finally, MirrorMode facilitates possibly the most important aspect of any resilience plan, ensuring the backup device and surrounding set-up actually works.
The simplest approach is not to view a Mirrored pair as Main and Backup, but as Main A and Main B and make a point of regularly alternating the one you use.

Therefore, with those regular changeovers, when that dread moment comes and something does go wrong, you’ll be swapping smoothly to the “backup” in a quick, practiced and proven process.

As the old gag goes: What’s the fastest way to switch smoothly and easily from Main A to Main B?!? Practice!

Read more about how the PRODIGY.MP and PRODIGY.MC can fulfil many of your live sound, broadcast and recording operational requirements – reliably.