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Home > Success Center > Failover Engine (FoE) > Failover Engine Release Notes for version 6.7

Failover Engine Release Notes for version 6.7

 

Created by Beatrix.Turan, last modified by MindTouch on Jun 23, 2016

Views: 28 Votes: 0 Revisions: 4

Updated: 3/5/2015

Overview

These release notes provide additional guidance for SolarWinds Failover Engine version 6.7

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:

  • SolarWinds Failover Engine now replicates Windows master key information to the secondary server
  • SolarWinds Failover Engine now provides a predictable installation using an environmental validation process as an integrated component of SolarWinds Failover Engine Setup.
  • Passive server performance improvements in the presence of Overlapped IO and support for Sparse Files used by SQL Server.
  • SolarWinds Failover Engine v6.7 supports SQL Server 2008 file streams used for remote BLOB storage.
  • A new Channel Communications implementation offering a far more robust experience in WANs particularly those that experience frequent channel disconnects, high latency and / or packet loss and features:
    • Improved memory buffer management to reduce occurrences of communications related out-of-memory problems.
    • Session orientated delivery to handle frequent channel disconnects and prevent lost messages blocking Apply.
    • Checksums on communications messages to guard against corruption introduced by the network.
  • Supportability - To help diagnose the cause of Java Out of Memory errors, SolarWinds Failover Engine now triggers an automatic memory dump when a Java Heap Space problem is detected. The memory dump is written to the SolarWinds\FoE\R2\Logs folder.
  • Support for Windows Server 2012 (WS12) backward compatibility:
    • All features included in SolarWinds Failover Engine v6.4.1 installed on Windows Server 2008 R2 and new features added for SolarWinds Failover Engine v6.7 which do not require new Windows Server 2012 features, will operate on Windows Server 2012.
  • Backward compatibility for all existing supported Windows Server 2008 R2 server features for a customer upgrading to Windows Server 2012 from a server with SolarWinds Failover Engine v6.4.1 installed where the previous servers were Windows Server 2003, 2008 or 2008 R2.
  • SolarWinds Failover Engine v6.7 will co-exist with Windows Server 2012 features.
  • Support for Windows 8 Client.
  • The ability to install using a single NIC on each server.
  • User Interface improvements for Controlled Shutdown.
  • Improved Split-brain Avoidance by employing Network Isolation Protection (NIP).
  • Fast Check improvements.
  • Edit All capabilities when configuring a recovery actions policy for all protected services.
  • Addition of unique Windows Event IDs.

Improvements

  • The Configure Server wizard now provides a user selectable Network Topology control to enable/disable low bandwidth optimization.
  • Improved Setup warning message text when WbAdmin is missing.
  • If Setup detects the kit contains blocked files because they originate from the Internet, the user is asked if they would like to unblock these files before continuing with the install of SolarWinds Failover Engine.
  • When installing SolarWinds Failover Engine Client Tools on Windows XP, the user is prompted for the proper Service Pack level if not already installed.

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 the following modules:

  • SolarWinds Orion NPM Main and Additional Poller v10.0 SP1 and later
  • SolarWinds Orion IPAM v1.7.1 and later
  • SolarWinds Orion VNQM (formerly IPSLA) v3.5 and later
  • SolarWinds Orion SAM (formerly APM) v3.5 and later
  • SolarWinds Orion NTA v3.6 and later
    Note: Flow Storage Locations are not supported on any server protected by Failover Engine.
  • SolarWinds Orion NCM v6.0 and later, v7.1 and later for Additional Poller
  • SolarWinds Orion EOC v1.2 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.

  • When starting SolarWinds Failover Engine, you may safely ignore the following warning:
    Sponsor 'FoE' was not found in the list of ordered sponsors.

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.

SolarWinds Failover Engine Tasks and Events are not logged in vCenter 4.1 and earlier so will not appear in the vSphere Client.

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.

DNS Update does not execute when administrator access is denied to its temp directory.

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.

Performance counters missing on Secondary server produces warnings and a degraded SolarWinds Failover Engine performance.
Workaround: Shutdown SolarWinds Failover Engine on the Secondary server and run the following from a command prompt:
     lodctr /R in a cmd window

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.

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.

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.

SolarWinds Failover Engine Management Client Online Help is only supported on Microsoft Internet Explorer v6.0 and later and Firefox v3.0 and later.

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).

Orion Failover Engine services may not successfully start on an additional polling engine when the Solarwinds NCM Additional Poller Package is installed. The following error is thrown:
SWREFID : 985 for more details Error text Failover Engine license does not cover this install type . on Additional Polling Engine
This was also a known issue in FOE 6.4.1.
As a workaround, either uninstall the NCM Additional Poller package from the additional polling engine or assign a temporary license key on the additional polling engine that is identical to the license key used by the primary polling engine

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Last modified
13:31, 16 Dec 2016

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