Need urgent help to get server for Survey

Hi Team,

We are consultant organization working with Government of India on one of the agricultural projects and wants to use Survey Solutions to collect data from farmers. We have earlier used the Survey Solutions for WB funded & local government projects. We are very comfortable to design the questionnaire and familiar with the system. The Survey Solution is very well designed compared to other CAPI solutions available in the market.

Recently we learnt that the cloud server support for non WB projects is discontinued & we have to arrange for own server or hire cloud server. This is very new and complicated thing for us as we are not from IT background.

I have gone through Server Installation Process (for both local & cloud servers like AWS), but frankly it is very difficult to understand the technicalities involved.

Could you please help us to deploy a server named https://tpecsb20.mysurvey.solutions on any cloud server. We are ready to pay the charges required. We just need technical support. Once we go through this process we will be able to do it on our own for the future surveys.

Else, we have to go for any other CAPI solutions but in that case the learning curve would be steep and we have to start from the scratch e.g. understanding the questionnaire designing, server request, survey execution & data download process I.e. in shot everything would have to be learnt first and then use it in actual survey.

Thanks in advance.

Regards,
Nitin

P.S. We tried to deploy local server by installing Windows Server 2019 evaluation edition in VirtualBox and then installing Survey Solutions & PostgreSQL. But the settings and other things are too complicated to understand for Food & Agribusiness Professional like me.

2 Likes

Hello Nitin, and sorry to hear that you’ve encountered problems with setting up a Survey Solutions server.

The National Informatics Center (NIC) in New Delhi (https://www.nic.in/) is having all the necessary resources and a mandate to provide the service for such projects:

https://www.nic.in/services-main-page/

Note the links to the “Data centre” and “National cloud” on their site.

They also have multi-year experience in arranging a Survey Solutions server for a different agency of the Government.

Hope this helps.
Sergiy

Hi Sergiy.

Thanks for suggestion but procuring cloud from government is a long process. We have setup a server on AWS, tried few surveys, successfully synced with the server but unable to download the data. It is showing unexpected error and asking to write to support@mysurvey.solutions.

We also checked the localhost:5000/.hc and it is showing ‘Healthy’ status. Kindly help us here.

Also, we did it on free tier on AWS (for pilot purpose) and now want some advise on following, before going for actual survey.

  1. Which EC2 instance need to be selected? General, Memory optimized or Compute optimized? Also please let us know the recommended type e.g. t2.xlarge OR t3a.xlarge OR te.xlarge OR m5ad.xlarge OR m5a.xlarge OR m5d.xlarge OR m5.xlarge OR mr.xlarge (All these have 4 vCPU, 16GB RAM. If it is overkill for our survey size, please recommend appropriate one. We want to use server for 3 months where total surveys would be 6000. Please let us know the optimum size server.)
  2. Whether it should be shared instance or dedicated one?
  3. What version of PostgreSQL is to be used? (9, 10 , 11 or 12, also in this which one e.g. 10.5 or 11.1, which one?)
  4. Which template for PostgreSQL is to be used? Production or Dev/Test? (There is huge difference in the costing for both)
  5. Which DB Instance to be used? Standard classes (m) OR Memory optimized (r & x) OR Burstable classes (t)?
  6. Does the DB instance class & EC2 instance type/class should be same?
  7. How much storage is to be allocated for PostgreSQL DB instance?
  8. Does standby instance for DB instance is required? What is recommended?
  9. Is it necessary to add S3 database? Is it a reason that we are not able to download the data? (We intend to get a field photograph at the end of survey as a proof, as per govt requirement)
  10. Does AWS changes for PostgreSQL setup? What would be the ballpark monthly expenses (USD/month) for the recommended EC2 instance with all other necessary requirements (like PostgreSQL, S3 etc.)?

Thank you in advance.

In order to verify how export service is configured you can use extended health check page that is implemented in 20.07.2 version of survey solutions. If you login as administrator navigate to administration -> diagnostics web page from top menu. Also you can check our support article regarding export

  1. As for the EC2 instance we recommend having more compute optimized instances. For your 6000 observations c6g.xlarge or c6g.2xlarge instance should be enough.
  2. For the survey solutions software it does not matter is shared or dedicated instance used. Check amazon documentation and decide based on your needs
  3. Use latest PostgreSQL available on RDS
  4. For production use Production instances
  5. For PostgreSQL standard instance is ok
  6. No. Scale them as you see load on systems.
  7. It highly depends on amount of questions in your questionnaire. Start with default size and see how fast you will get it filled
  8. Its up to your setup. Survey Solutions does not rely on any specific high availability postgresql features
  9. It would be more cost effective for you to have s3 bucket to store binary data. Otherwise it will be stored in database.
  10. There is a price calculator implemented by amazon. Cost depends on usage and its hard to say upfront.
1 Like

In addition to Andrii’s answer, I’ve followed up with Amazon support and I’ve got the impression that they are totally open to discuss the parameters of the EC2 instances with the end users. This is especially helpful when it comes to selecting between the large/xlarge/etc instances as in #1 and the total price estimate like in #10.

Best, Sergiy