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Home > Success Center > Failover Engine (FoE) > Failover Engine 6.7.7 Release Notes

Failover Engine 6.7.7 Release Notes

Created by Caroline Juszczak, last modified by Kevin.Swinson on Nov 06, 2017

Views: 46 Votes: 0 Revisions: 5

Updated June 20th, 2017

Overview

These release notes provide additional guidance for SolarWinds Failover Engine version 6.7.7.

Features

SolarWinds Failover Engine is a versatile solution providing complete protection for your SolarWinds products. It can be deployed in a LAN for high availability or across a WAN to provide disaster recovery.This flexibility enables SolarWinds Failover Engine to protect your installation of SolarWinds  standalone products and associated SolarWinds modules.
New Features -- This release of SolarWinds Failover Engine includes the following new features:


Note: The new features listed below apply only to the 64-bit version of this release and not the 32-bit version. The available 32-bit version retains the original features of SolarWinds Failover Engine v6.7.0.

 

  • SolarWinds Failover Engine System Integrity:
    • Enhanced resistance to SolarWinds Failover Engine registry preference configuration loss
  • Support for Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2
    Note: SolarWinds Failover Engine v6.7.7 is compatible with Windows Server 2012 but does not incorporate any Windows Server 2012 new features
  • SolarWinds Failover Manager support for Windows 8 and Windows 10
  • Support for installation and operation using a single NIC for both the Principal (Public) and SolarWinds Channel connections
  • Enhanced Fast Check support for:
    • File servers with 1 Million + files
    • Closed files for running applications
    • Fast Check use at first time start-up
    • Improved administrator control over options for synchronization time versus application
    • start-up time
    • Configurable FileInfoCache
  • Controlled Shutdown enhancement

Improvements

  • Enhanced Controlled Shutdown:
    • Prevents application shutdown when the passive server is stopped.
    • Increases WAN timeout to 15 minutes.
    • Includes a default schedule outside of working hours.
    • Does not allow Administrator to prevent Controlled Shutdown on the active server.

Protection

SolarWinds Failover Engine provides the following protection levels:

Server Protection

Provides continuous availability to end users should a hardware failure or operating system crash occur. Additionally, SolarWinds Failover Engine protects the network identity of the production server, ensuring users are provided with a replica server with the same server name and IP address in the event of a production server failure.

Network Protection

Proactively monitors network availability by polling up to three nodes, ensuring the active server is visible on the principal network.

Application Protection

Ensures the applications and services associated with SolarWinds products and associated modules stay alive on the network.

Performance Protection

Proactively monitors system performance and notifies administrators of problems. SolarWinds Failover Engine can also take pre-emptive action to prevent an outage.

Data Protection

Intercepts all data written by users and applications, and maintains a copy of this data on the passive server to be used in the event of a failover event.

Supported Modules

SolarWinds Failover Engine v6.7 supports all Orion modules, including:

  • SolarWinds Orion NPM Main and Additional Poller v10.6 and later
  • SolarWinds Orion IPAM v3.0 and later
  • SolarWinds Orion VNQM (formerly IPSLA) v4.1 and later
  • SolarWinds Orion SAM (formerly APM) v6.0 and later
  • SolarWinds Orion NTA v4.0 and later
    Note: Flow Storage Locations are not supported on any server protected by Failover Engine.
  • SolarWinds Orion NCM v7.1.1 and later
  • SolarWinds Orion EOC v1.6 and later

Supported Operating Systems

SolarWinds Failover Engine supports the following operating systems:

  • Windows Server 2003 x86 Standard or Enterprise, SP1 and SP2
  • Windows Server 2003 x64 Enterprise SP2
  • Windows Server 2003 R2 x86 Standard or Enterprise
  • Windows Server 2003 R2 x64 Standard or Enterprise
  • Windows Server 2008 x86 or x64, SP1 and SP2 Standard or Enterprise
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 and SP1 Standard or Enterprise
  • Windows Server 2012 x64 Standard and Datacenter

Note: SolarWinds recommends installing all Microsoft security updates prior to installation.

Supported Server Architectures

  • Physical to Physical (P2P)
    P2P architecture is used in environments where both the primary and secondary servers are physical servers. Using P2P limits installation options as it requires using the Install Clone technique. This architecture requires attention to detail when preparing for installation as both hardware and software must meet specific prerequisites. For more information, see "Physical to Physical (P2P)" in the SolarWinds Failover Engine Installation Guides.
  • Physical to Virtual (P2V)
    The P2V architecture is used when the environment requires a mix of physical and virtual machines. The secondary virtual machine must meet the minimum requirements. For more information, see "Physical to Virtual (V2V)" in the SolarWinds Failover Engine Installation Guides.
  • Virtual to Virtual (V2V)
    The V2V architecture is supported if SolarWinds Orion is already installed on the production (primary) server running on a virtual machine. The secondary virtual machine must meet the minimum requirements. For more information, see "Virtual to Virtual (V2V)" in the SolarWinds Failover Engine Installation Guides.

Installing this Version

Prior to installing the SolarWinds Failover Engine, SolarWinds recommends that you read the appropriate SolarWinds Failover Engine Installation Guide and the SolarWinds Failover Engine Administrator Guide for step-by-step guidance on installing and configuring your SolarWinds Failover Engine. Ensure that you verify that your server environment meets the minimum requirements for the network option (LAN or WAN) selected. These guides also address minimum hardware and software requirements for this release.

To install the SolarWinds Failover Engine:

  1. Review the installation procedure listed in the Operating System specific SolarWinds Failover Engine Installation Guide.
  2. Ensure the environment meets the minimum requirements outlined in the appropriate SolarWinds Failover Engine Installation Guide. Verify that firewalls in use will not prevent communications between the primary and secondary servers via the SolarWinds Channel.
  3. Identify installation options.
  4. Download the software.
  5. Install SolarWinds Failover Engine software on the primary server.
  6. Install SolarWinds Failover Engine software on the secondary server.
    • If you are using the Install-Clone technique, restore the clone image to the secondary server. For more information, see "Cloning Technology Options" in the appropriate appropriate SolarWinds Failover Engine Installation Guide.
    • If you are using the Pre-Clone technique, install SolarWinds Failover Engine software on the secondary server. For more information, see "Cloning Technology Options" in the appropriate SolarWinds Failover Engine Installation Guide.
  7. Allow the secondary server to reboot and run Plug-n-Play.
  8. Perform the Acceptance Verification testing listed in the appropriate SolarWinds Failover Engine Installation Guide.

Notes:

  • SolarWinds does not support installing SQL Server on the same host as the SolarWinds Failover Engine. If SQL Server is installed on the same host as SolarWinds Failover Engine, IIS services cannot be stopped or started and therefore switchover and failover processes will fail.
  • Installation time for the SolarWinds Failover Engine can vary depending on the installation technique, architecture, and the volume of data to be protected. SolarWinds recommends that you install SolarWinds Failover Engine after hours or during a scheduled maintenance period.
  • Installing SolarWinds Failover Engine when logged on as a domain user and member of the local machine's Administrator group causes SolarWinds Failover Engine to fail to start on the secondary server. Ensure the user is logged in as the Domain Administrator to prevent this from occurring. For more information, see "Installing SolarWinds Failover Engine when Logged On as a Domain User and Member of the Local Machine's Administrator Group Causes SolarWinds Failover Engine to Fail to Start on the Secondary Server" (SWREFID-2251).
  • The path of the SolarWinds installation folder, SolarWinds Failover Engine, and any protected applications can only contain lower and upper case letters A to Z, digits from 0 to 9, and the following special characters: [space] \ _ - ( ) . :
  • When configuring management IP addressing, ensure that the management IP address is configured in a different subnet than the principal IP address. If configuring management IP addressing on a Windows Server 2003 installation, ensure that the management IP address is listed first in the binding order. For more information about management IP addressing, see "Management IP Address" in the SolarWinds Failover Engine Administrator Guide.
  • If you are installing SolarWinds Failover Engine on a web server, you must edit the Website Availability and Website Response Time rules located on the SolarWinds Failover Manager > Applications > Rules page to reflect the monitored web site. Ensure that you change the default settings for http://localhost:80 to reflect the IP address and port of the monitored site.
  • In the event that you must repair a SolarWinds Orion NPM module with SolarWinds Failover Engine installed, follow the procedures outlined in "How to Repair a SolarWinds Orion Module with SolarWinds Failover Engine Installed" (SWREFID-2060).

Uninstalling

To uninstall SolarWinds Failover Engine, use the Uninstall or Modify icon on the desktop to initiate the uninstallation process.

Notes:

  • Windows 2008 users with UAC Enabled may require an administrator account login to initiate an uninstallation. Disabling UAC for the duration of the uninstallation will bypass this requirement.
  • After uninstalling SolarWinds Failover Engine, some files and folders will remain. These remaining files and folders are logs, and they should not be removed, as they may be required later for support or troubleshooting purposes.

Fixed Issues

The following issues from previous versions of SolarWinds Failover Engine have been fixed.

  • An unhandled exception during a swithover plan execution may lead to data corruption.
  • FileInfoCache operating in full mode possibly preventing FastCheck from running.
  • The SolarWinds Failover Manager may not accurately display check-marks in the Server Summary pane.
  • The Send and Receive Queue state may not be displayed accurately.
  • The channel routing may not be displayed.
  • Auto-switchover causes an AMFx property synchronization loop on Windows 2012 R2 and SolarWinds Failover Engine v6.7.1.
  • The SolarWinds Failover Manager no longer shows a green check mark on every server in the Server Summary screen.
  • Incorrect network connectivity state global model merge while the Secondary server is active following an auto-switchover.
  • SolarWinds Failover Engine Tasks and Events are not logged in vCenter 4.1 and earlier so will not appear in the vSphere Client.
  • DNS Update does not execute when administrator access is denied to its temp directory.
  • Performance counters missing on Secondary server produces warnings and a degraded SolarWinds Failover Engine performance.
  • When SolarWinds Failover Engine is deployed in an environment where the primary server has a different principal IP address than the secondary server, as in a WAN or stretched LAN configuration, the Orion Web Console is unavailable after a switchover or failover. This occurs because the principal IP address of the active server changes as the result of a switchover or failover in a WAN or stretched LAN environment and the web console is not automatically updated to point to the new IP address. For each of the Orion NPM, Orion NCM, and Orion EOC modules that is installed, you must run the corresponding Website Configuration Manager and set the IP Address to (All Unassigned).
  • When the SolarWinds Orion Configuration wizard runs, it routinely sets services to Automatic, including protected application services, thereby preventing the SolarWinds Failover Engine from managing the starting and stopping of protected application services. To correct the issue, stop and restart the SolarWinds Failover Engine on the server to reset the protected application services to Manual.
    Note: Stopping the protected application is not required. Users will not be interrupted.
  • SolarWinds Failover Manager Online Help is only supported on Microsoft Internet Explorer v6.0 and
    later and Firefox v3.0 and later.

Known Issues

The following issues may arise in your installation of SolarWinds Failover Engine. These are known issues that are being addressed for a future release.

Known Issues

Firewalls protecting the SolarWinds Channel must be disabled prior to installing SolarWinds Failover Engine to allow communication between the primary and secondary servers. For additional information, see "Firewall Connection" in the Troubleshooting chapter of the SolarWinds Failover Engine Administrator Guide.

Restarting SolarWinds Failover Engine server without first shutting down the SolarWinds Failover Engine may cause the server to return in the passive role. You must allow the SolarWinds Failover Engine to shut down gracefully prior to restarting Windows. For more information, see the chapter "Status and Control" in the SolarWinds Failover Engine Administrator Guide.

Performing a Service Pack upgrade does not upgrade the System Plug-in. The System Plug-in must be upgraded separately using the procedure provided in SWREFID-1942.

Installation of Client Tools using a file path longer than 100 characters may cause the installation of Client Tools to fail.

When installing SolarWinds Failover Engine on a non-English OS, although the installation path is displayed in English (for example, C:\Program Files\SolarWinds), the application path may display in the non-English language (for example, C:\Programme\SolarWinds).

Restoring to a non-cloned secondary server results in the following pop-up being displayed: This copy of Windows is not Genuine.

During Installation, if a serialization mismatch is detected, a warning message appears. When OK is clicked to acknowledge the message, Setup fails.

When installing using a single NIC on the Primary server and a single NIC on the secondary server, validate displays a warning message that two NICs are required.
Workaround: The warning message can be ignored. Continue installation. 

When performing an installation with differing updates/hotfixes on the servers, after restoring the backup file to the Secondary server, the server keeps rebooting.

The Packet filter does not work after a Physical to Virtual Install Clone if VMware Tools were installed; please uninstall VMware Tools before performing the restore to a virtual machine.

Installing SolarWinds Failover Engine when the secondary server is virtual using the Intall-Clone (backup/restore) technique may result in the creation of ghost NICs on the secondary server. Workaround: Refer to SWREFID-2561 for procedures on how to identify and remove ghost NICs.

When resizing the SolarWinds Failover Engine Manager window, some buttons may disappear as a result of the resizing.

Viewing SolarWinds Failover Engine Online Help with Internet Explorer requires Active Scripting to be Enabled in Internet Explorer.

If SolarWinds Failover Engine is installed on Windows Server 2003, and .Net 2.0 is not present, an error occurs when the Log Collector utility is run.

The System Plug-in fails to load on the passive server; the service starts but appears to be deadlocked.

The DNS Update task may fail when run under the System account on the Secondary / active server after switchover.
Workaround: Configure the DNSUpdate task to use an account other than the System account that has permissions to update DNS.   

DNS Update is not querying for the correct zone name.
Workaround: Manually configure the DNS Update task.

After a switchover in a WAN deployment, the DNS Update task status is not updated on the Applications: Tasks page until after the applications are started. 

When navigating to the Data: Replication page and clicking the Show Summary Of All Out Of Sync Files And Directories button to expand the Out of Sync Summary panel, the panel appears and then minimizes.

When attempting to collect logs via the SolarWinds Failover Engine Diagnostics Configuration Tool, the dialog prompting you to put SolarWinds Failover Engine into the Maintenance Mode is hidden behind the SolarWinds Failover Engine Diagnostics Configuration Tool dialog and prevents you from collecting the logs.
Workaround: Either maximize the dialog icon from the Windows Toolbar or use Alt+Tab to bring the dialog forward so that a response can be given to the prompt.

After a switchover of SolarWinds Failover Engine, attempting to run a job task may result in the following error message:
No suitable job engine available for job execution
Verify that the principal NIC is listed first in the binding order, and then wait 5 minutes before running the job task again. The job task should complete successfully.

After a switchover of SolarWinds Failover Engine, new Orion NCM jobs created before the switchover are disabled on the new active server. To create NCM jobs on the new active server, navigate to the Scheduled Jobs window in Orion NCM, and then specify schedules and add appropriate account information again.

Immediately after installation using the Pre-clone install technique or after manually changing the roles of the servers regardless of the installation technique, the SolarWinds Orion Module Engine service fails to stop on the passive server. Reboot the passive server to stop the SolarWinds Orion Module Engine service on the passive server.

After restarting the primary or secondary server and using the System Tray on that server to start SolarWinds Failover Engine, the System Tray application may fail.
Workaround: Restart the System Tray application using the Start System Tray icon on the desktop.

Installation/loading of the SystemMonitorNFPlugin.dll fails due to an incorrect path.
Workaround: Remove the SystemMonitorPlugin and reinstall using the steps provided in "During Installation Using the Install Clone Technique the SystemMonitorNFPlugin Fails Due to Incorrect Path" (SWREFID-2245).

When IPAM 2.0 Standalone is installed, using SolarWinds Configure wizard resets the Syslog and Trap services to Automatic startup.
Workaround: Reset the Syslog and Trap services to Manual startup using the procedure provided in "Running SolarWinds Configuration Wizard when IPAM 2.0 Standalone is Installed Causes the Syslog Service and Trap Service to be Protected by SolarWinds Failover Engine" (SWREFID-2249).

After upgrading from a previous version of SolarWinds Failover Engine, configured Failure Actions
may not be preserved.
Workaround: Review and if necessary reconfigure Failure Actions.
Data Rollback - The Create button remains enabled while the create shadow operation is in progress.
The 'Warning' pop-up is too wide when failing to open file for exporting.
The Event Properties Detail can go blank when a new balloon error is generated.
A Full System Check does not mark the system as Out-Of-Sync when extended attributes are present.
The user can attempt to add user accounts by connecting to passive servers which will fail because the
server can’t see the domain.
The Failover Manager may always show auto-switchover tasks completing in the event log.
Alerts and Warning icons don’t replace the green tick on the server, just the whole group.
'Failover Prevented' appears twice in the Configure Alerts pane of the Failover Manager.
The Failover Manager accepts a blank hostname to mean localhost.
File Server Plug-in prevents system tray icon’s Start Group feature from working.
Switchover will continue even if pre-start or pre-stop scripts return an error.
From the Applications: Summary pane you can uninstall a plug-in while not all servers are connected.
Canceling an uninstall of a v6.7.0 kit that was upgraded from 6.6.2 may crash Setup.
The Third Recovery Action for services occasionally does not trigger.
In some physical environments the packet filter install hangs.
Validate cannot proceed if the user enters the wrong credentials the first time.
Error messages may appear as question marks on Japanese systems.
There are no upper-bounds on accepted percentage conditions in the Application Rules.
During installation it is possible to select a network adapter so that it looks selected but is not, so the Next button remains greyed out.
If the Network Monitoring targets are not configured then the Network Status shows “-1 missed pings”.
The Server Monitoring ping configuration asks for an IP but accepts any input.
The drop-down list for "Server Monitoring: Ping Configuration" and "Network Monitoring: Ping
Configuration" are always empty.
The Plan Actions only appear on the local Failover Manager.
There is no error presented when an unlicensed plug-in fails to install.
Managing hundreds of servers can cause the Default Group to disappear in the Failover Manager.
The Failover Manager can use a lot of memory if there are 1000s of file filters.
The Start Menu/shortcut contains an improper name.
This version of SolarWinds Failover Engine does not support downgrading to a previous version. Attempting to downgrade SolarWinds Failover Engine may result in SolarWinds license files being deleted during the downgrade process.
The switchover plan may fail after unprotecting and then again protecting an application.

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