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Thread: NDI Discovery - mDNS or Discovery Server

  1. #1
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    NDI Discovery - mDNS or Discovery Server

    Hi,

    We have a large NDI network that contains a lot of devices, some Newtek some not, all producing a high number of NDI sources to a many monitoring and production destination end points.

    We are experiencing some erratic discovery behaviour on some of the receive components such as source count varying with sources disappearing for some minutes at a time only to return after a period.
    We have been advised that the default mDNS system can become overwhelmed with large numbers of devices all broadcasting mDNS info and that it might be worth adopting a discovery server on the network and using the access manager to direct the discovery system.
    I should point out that the network is flat with no routing and all within one LAN. The network is dedicated to NDI transport only, no other traffic.

    I understand the discovery server or service is a relatively new method that relies on version 4 NDI components.
    The discovery server idea seems like a possible solution in our case, however it's implementation seems to be a Newtek big secret as I've not really been able to find any coherent explanation on setup and operation. Really the only info I've managed to find is contained in the SDK documentation along with the actual Discovery Service.exe

    From what I can fathom it does not look complicated, but I do have the following questions, perhaps other forum members may be able enlighten me.

    Thanks in advance.

    Does anyone have an explanation of how the discovery server works?

    I assume only one instance of the Discovery server is required hosted somewhere accessible on the network.

    Once the access manager is set to use a discovery server, do the mDNS broadcasts stop or work in tandem?

    Some of the NDI components in the installation as yet do not support NDI V4 (updates in development), can the discovery server co-exist with the mDNS discovery method?

    Will the devices still using mDNS be visible to senders and listeners even if they are set to use discovery server?

    Does the discovery server listen and relay mDNS broadcast to discovery server clients?

    Can you run the discovery server exe on a VMC1?

    Is there a better way to do this?

    Please forgive me for asking the obvious.

  2. #2
    I did a presentation to NewTek resellers in June during the NDI 4 beta, I pulled out the parts about Discovery Server and posted it on YouTube. I think this will answer most of your questions.

    https://youtu.be/-rA9DIfau9E

    Also, I'm putting together a NewTek University training class all about NDI and networking that starts up Q1 of next year. Things like Discovery Server will be covered in depth. This paid class will be open to resellers and end users that want to learn everything possible about NDI.
    Last edited by kanep; 12-12-2019 at 12:57 PM.
    Kane Peterson
    Solutions Architect
    NewTek, Inc.

  3. #3
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    Kane that is perfect, thank you for sharing that info.

    Indeed it does offer me what I needed to know.

    Please keep us informed about the Newtek University, sounds like a good idea.

    Thanks again.

  4. #4
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    from playing around with it I gathered that pointing to a discovery server stops all mDNS searches and advertisements, meaning that any client or sender that is configured to use it will not be able to find sources not configured to use it.

    Also it is impossible to define multiple servers in the json config file, so it is impossible to create a failover situation and you're stuck with a single point of failure

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by gizah View Post
    from playing around with it I gathered that pointing to a discovery server stops all mDNS searches and advertisements, meaning that any client or sender that is configured to use it will not be able to find sources not configured to use it.

    Also it is impossible to define multiple servers in the json config file, so it is impossible to create a failover situation and you're stuck with a single point of failure
    Agreed, the single point of failure being the discovery server was considered but having a reliable discovery method outweighs the risk over mDNS in our environment.

  6. #6
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    A question for Kane perhaps.

    The VMC1 units in our setup have the highest availability so we have elected to run the Discovery Server exe on our primary VMC. However we notice that the Discovery Server exe startup is suppressed by the main VMC process. Understandably the VMC program seems to suppress background processes once launched stopping the DS from running. From our observations, running the DS behind the VMC has no detremental effect on the switcher though.

    What method of auto start does Windows use to start the VMC (registry, service or other) and is it possible order the startup sequence such that the Discovery server start first then the VMC?

    Suggestions appreciated.

    Thanks

  7. #7
    Senior Integrated Production Specialist
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    We do not recommend you run the Discovery server on any of our Live Production products. It should be on seperate PC or even on a virtual machine.
    Zane Condren
    Senior Integrated Production Specialist

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