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Home > Success Center > Archive > 2018April16 - Deletes > Failover Engine (FoE) > SolarWinds Failover Engine for Disaster Recovery

SolarWinds Failover Engine for Disaster Recovery

This article is slated for Deletion. Do not update this article. If you have questions please send a message to

Created by Allain M Umalin, last modified by Caroline Juszczak on Sep 20, 2017

Views: 2,358 Votes: 0 Revisions: 10



End of Life for SolarWinds Failover Engine (FOE) was announced on September 13, 2017. Current users of FOE should migrate to our High Availability solution at your earliest convenience.


This article provides information regarding SolarWinds Failover Engine for Disaster Recovery.  SolarWinds provides an integrated, easy-to-deploy high availability solution for LAN environments.  See SolarWinds Orion 2016.2 feature: High Availability for more information.


All FOE versions


The Orion Failover Engine provides the best support for disaster recovery to sustain access and polling for the Orion platform.

What is Orion Failover Engine?

Orion Failover Engine (FoE) monitors the health of the Orion server. In the event of the Orion Server failing, Orion FoE automatically fails over to a remote server to ensure that there is no interruption in the view of network performance. The passive failover server assumes the full identity of the Orion server and assumes all monitoring, alerting, reporting, and data collection responsibility within minutes.

How does the Failover work?

The FoE monitors all of the SolarWinds Orion services, including the IIS web server on both the primary and secondary Orion servers. Based on your preferences for each service you can define the behavior of what happens if a service stops/fails. This allows you to define some self-healing behavior into the FoE instead of just doing a flat out failover. For example, the Orion Information Service stops. Since this is the first time, let’s go ahead and re-start the service.


Once you get your Orion server installed and setup, the FoE will create a clone of key critical configuration, registry and file system parameters which get restored to the secondary server. Once that initial setup is complete, a set of real-time file and registry filters as you can see below, replicate any file system and registry changes to the secondary. This way your secondary Orion server is always up to date with what is going on within the primary Orion server.


The Orion primary and secondary servers are located within the same subnet and share the same identity including IP Address. Since two identical IP’s cannot be on the network at the same time, a packet filter is installed on the secondary public NIC so it is not broadcasting or receiving traffic. A second NIC exists between the two servers which handles the heartbeat and real-time data replication between the primary and secondary.


When a failover condition occurs the following sequence of events occurs: 

  • The remaining Orion services on the Primary Orion server that are still running are shut down 
  • The packet filter is removed off the secondary NIC and the Orion services are started on the secondary server and the secondary server is now the active server 
  • The primary Orion server which is now down is now the passive server and if the server is still online, a packet filter is placed on its primary NIC 

Your downtime is minimized to the time it takes for the server failover to initiate and the services to start on the secondary Orion server. The other beautiful thing here as well, since both servers have the same IP Address, is you do not have to reconfigure your network to send any Syslog, SNMP Traps or Netflow traffic to a new IP Address.

Licensing options

Licensing options

  • Disaster recovery site license is a discounted license that is essentially the same as a production site license. You can deploy the disaster recovery licenses in a disaster recovery scenario. By running the Configuration Wizard and pointing nodes to new EngineIDs, one site is manually made active when another site goes down. 

Advantages of using disaster recovery site licenses

There are several advantages to using disaster recovery site licenses:

  • Extra training is not required for Orion Server Administrators. The disaster recovery site polls using the same software, except from an alternative site.
  • Orion pollers can be installed on any hardware that meets the Orion software requirements.
  • The production and disaster recovery sites each have their own hardware, including local on-site Orion Servers and SQL Server.
  • The production and disaster recovery sites can run different versions of the Orion software.


Learn more...

For more information, see the FoE Documentation page. We provide extensive links to installation, release notes, and upgrade information for getting started with the FailoverEngine.


For more information about our integrated high availability solution, see  SolarWinds Orion 2016.2 feature: High Availability for more information.


Have an issue or question? Search this Success Center using key terms or error messages. You can also visit the FoE support page for the hottest and latest KB articles.


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