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Data Collection using Live Mesh RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am setting up systems to monitor building energy use, with a laptop, USB-based sensors, and proprietary software written in Visual Studio.  I am hoping to assess if and how Live Mesh could be used to bring that data to a central computer.  On the face of it, it seems I could put each of my systems on a mesh, with the data storage subdirectory meshed so that all of the machines, including the central one, would have all of the data from all of the systems on their desktops. This seems inefficient at best, since I only need ALL of the data at the one central machine, not the other peers. 

    Can I set up a mesh for each peer and be connected to each separately, simultaneously or (less usefull) sequentially? 

    Is there any one-way option where data generated from the peers is sent to the central machine, but not vice versa? 

    My systems create a 'Current Data' file of a k or two every few sconds, and it would be wasteful to have those going back and forth continuously, but it would be very useful to get the latest on on command.  I am currently using Hamachi for the convenience of fixed, reachable IPs, and UltraVNC for the remote control aspects (also important to modify the data collection setup) and Live Mesh could cleanly and usefully replace both of these so I see great potential, but hopefully I might have a great many of these systems out there and would need something like a mesh for each group or project.

    Aso I have major concerns in that my systems will be out there unattended, with nobody there to grant permissions or otherwise click on anything that pops up, and I need them to be configurable to come back from a reboot completely, get on the internet and mesh, and be collecting data and available to mesh with me.  This problem (these machines are XP netbooks) is beyond just this mesh realm so any reference to other MS boards, faqs, or other resources on keeping unattended XP systems up and running is welcome.

    Thanks for any help.

    Dennis
    Wednesday, April 8, 2009 6:57 PM

Answers

  • Please do keep in mind that Live Mesh is a beta at this point, so don't set up a critical production process using it!

    You can set up a Mesh with a different synchronized folder tree on each PC and have those PCs synchronize with the Live Desktop, but not with any other PCs. If you also want to have the data sync back to a single Central PC, then you can define the sync point for the multiple Mesh folders to be different for each PC back to the Central PC. That way data goes to the cloud from each PC and also to one main PC. Assuming a ring of 6 PC, 5 being monitoring stations, and one central PC, your Live Desktop and the central PC would have 5 Live Mesh folders - one for each station.

    Live Mesh can be configured to remember the LiveID and log in automatically, but for the data to Sync, a User must have logged into each machine. Currently, if a PC is powered on with nobody logged in, you can use Live Mesh remote desktop to access it and thereby login to the Mesh. Upon logging off remote destkop, no user is logged in, but currently data continues to sync. This may be a bug, though. :-)

    Since the stations will be running XP, you can use the XP Power Toy TweakUI to automatically login a user when the PC boots up.
    -steve
    Microsoft MVP Windows Live / Windows Live OneCare & Live Mesh Forum Moderator
    Wednesday, April 8, 2009 7:16 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Please do keep in mind that Live Mesh is a beta at this point, so don't set up a critical production process using it!

    You can set up a Mesh with a different synchronized folder tree on each PC and have those PCs synchronize with the Live Desktop, but not with any other PCs. If you also want to have the data sync back to a single Central PC, then you can define the sync point for the multiple Mesh folders to be different for each PC back to the Central PC. That way data goes to the cloud from each PC and also to one main PC. Assuming a ring of 6 PC, 5 being monitoring stations, and one central PC, your Live Desktop and the central PC would have 5 Live Mesh folders - one for each station.

    Live Mesh can be configured to remember the LiveID and log in automatically, but for the data to Sync, a User must have logged into each machine. Currently, if a PC is powered on with nobody logged in, you can use Live Mesh remote desktop to access it and thereby login to the Mesh. Upon logging off remote destkop, no user is logged in, but currently data continues to sync. This may be a bug, though. :-)

    Since the stations will be running XP, you can use the XP Power Toy TweakUI to automatically login a user when the PC boots up.
    -steve
    Microsoft MVP Windows Live / Windows Live OneCare & Live Mesh Forum Moderator
    Wednesday, April 8, 2009 7:16 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks, Steve, for the thoughtful and RAPID answer.  As to the 'beta -- caution' though, I guess I need to better understand that situation.  I'm sort of operating under the assumption that Live Mesh is intended to be existing and supported, and likely be expanded in capability (other device types, yet-unseen bold new apps, etc.).  I'm sure you don't know the future any better than, say, the ex-head of GM, but how wrong would it be to operate and develop my system on the assumption that Mesh, in some version encompassing at least the minimal features I require -- folder syncing and remote desktop -- will continue to be with us for at least a few years?  It seems like if MS wants the developer world to sink quantities of time into exploring this space they will want to assure us it won't collapse into a black hole with no warning anytime soon.

    Wednesday, April 8, 2009 7:34 PM
  • I am pretty sure that we will see Live Mesh expanded upon and improved, plus released as a fully supported production service one day.
    For now, though, it is a beta or preview. This means things can break, data can get lost, corrupted, and it could even impact a PC it is installed on. Beta means that the developers are putting it out there for feedback. They want to know about bugs and they want to know if it is performing as designed. That's the reason I cautioned you about hanging a project on it. Nobody will promise that Live mesh as we know it today will be what we see tomorrow. :-)
    -steve
    Microsoft MVP Windows Live / Windows Live OneCare & Live Mesh Forum Moderator
    Thursday, April 9, 2009 1:16 PM
    Moderator