The Equipment Hub (EH) is a Windows service that is installed on the client’s server to communicate and retrieve data from QA devices. In some cases, the equipment hub reads from the device’s database (QA BeamChecker, PIPSPro, Daily QA 3, Varian MPC) and in others, it connects through a serial port (Fluke) or USB (RaySafe X2 meter).
During the installation of the Equipment Hub, the hub registers itself with the facility's account using an administrator level login with an SSL encrypted POST request.
After setup and configuration, the communication path works as follows (also see the diagram below).
- A user has a QA schedule open for data entry in Total QA® and requests information from a connected device.
- The schedule’s page requests QA device data from a server on Image Owl’s cloud service.
- The cloud service connects to the EH registered to the account and schedule.
- The EH queries the device database or retrieves the data on the serial/USB port.
- The EH sends the encrypted data to the cloud service.
- The cloud service sends the encrypted data to the web page.
- The communication uses the WSS protocol.
Note also the EH only communicates to specific devices, and those devices must be set up in the QA schedule settings by an administrative level Total QA user.
Total QA uses the the Amazon Route 53 DNS service to route traffic into the Total QA application contained within our Virtual Private Cloud. The AWS Elastic Load Balancer distributes the traffic to available front end instances of the service. The front end system can auto-scale to meet demand peaks.
The system uses the AWS Aurora DB with automatic failover. The Aurora database is a MySQL compatible database specifically built for the AWS cloud giving performance and reliability benefits. The database is continuously replicated in 2 replica instances. Backups are maintained daily for 30 days and monthly indefinitely.
Backend servers also auto-scale to handle peaks in demands for subsystems like image processing.
Within the Northern Virginia zone, we have the Total QA service available on multiple availability zones connected by low-latency low latency links allowing for recovery in seconds should a zone become unavailable. In cases of wider outages in the Northern Virginia zone, the entire service can be re-hosted in another zone within minutes.