Fail Over Service

Fail Over Service

The availability of the application is an important factor for the smooth running of the help desk service. Unexpected hardware or software failure leads to non-availability and affects the business. SupportCenter Plus provides Fail Over Service (FOS) feature to ensure the availability of the application even during a software or hardware failure.


Topics Covered:

  • How does Fail Over Service work?

  • Prerequisites for using the FOS Feature

  • Setup Process

  • Upgrade Process

  • Restore Process

  • Disabling FOS

How does Fail Over Service work?  

  • Two installations of SupportCenter Plus are maintained in two different machines (M1 & M2) with one of them being primary and the other secondary.

  • Both installations should contain ManageEngine SupportCenter Plus FOS, a windows service used to manage and monitor the availability of SupportCenter Plus.

  • To avoid service interruption, a common IP address needs to be configured through which users will connect to the application.

  • In an environment without Fail Over Service, the URL will point to the primary machine by default. To configure Fail Over Service, the application URL has to be bound to a common IP address instead of the primary machine‚Äôs. This has to be done in the DNS of your local network.

  • The Fail Over Service in the second installation will monitor the availability of the primary installation of SupportCenter Plus.

  • During the non-availability of the installation of SupportCenter Plus, the Fail Over Service acquires the common IP Address and starts the secondary installation automatically.

  • It would take about three to four minutes to initiate Fail Over Service in the second machine after an unexpected hardware or software failure. 

 

Restoring original Fail Over Service Setup:

 

After the issue in the primary machine is resolved, you can restore the original Fail Over Service setup as discussed below.


1. Shut down the secondary server by invoking the following in M2.

<SupportCenter_Plus_Home>\fos\stopFOSService.bat

2. Configure the rectified server as the primary server and start it by invoking in M1.

<SupportCenter_Plus_Home>\fos\startFOSService.bat

3. Wait for the application to start the primary server and then start the secondary server. (StartFOSService.bat in M2).


 

PREREQUISITES

Server Requirements  
  • SuppoertCenter Plus 64 bit.

  • Two 64 bit Servers with high bandwidth network connectivity.

  • Two-way read-write access for the ManageEngine folder (where SupportCenter Plus is installed).

  • Robocopy in both servers. Robocopy is a standard feature since Windows Server 2008.  

  • A Common IP Address in the same range of server IP address.

     

        Note

      

 

  • Use two virtual or physical machines with different nic card addresses to set up the FOS.

  • Common IP Address: A Common IP address is a virtual IP address in the local network that is not bound to any specific machine. A simple way to check if an IP address can be used as a common one is to ping the IP address. If it's not reachable then it can be used as a common IP address.

 

SupportCenter Plus Configuration Requirements

    1. Microsoft SQL (MS SQL).

    2. The database server must be externalized from Machine 1 and Machine 2 but accessible to both.

    3. File Attachment path must be externalized i.e set as a network path (Must belong to the same network domain to be accessible to both machines).

    4. Configure File Attachment and database in Machine 3.

    5. HTTPS certificate must be obtained for the Alias URL of the Common IP Address.

    6. Requires signed Certificates from a known authority. HTTPS mode for Fail Over Service will NOT work for self-signed certificates and certificates from the internal CA.

    7. The common URL (for which the certificate is obtained) needs to be bound to the common IP configured, in the DNS of the network.

     

Folder Share Permissions

If the folder is shared from an external machine, do the following.

 

    1. Set the folder permission to "Everyone" with read/write access or To restrict the folder access to one particular user account:

    I. Open Run command (Win+R) 'services.msc'.

    II. Search for 'ManageEngine SupportCenter Plus' and go to Properties.

    III. Select the 'Log on' tab and choose 'This account' option.

    IV. Fill the login credentials of the domain user and save it.

2. Check if the folder is accessible from the application machines

3. Start the service.

     

        Note

      

 

Fail Over Service should be purchased separately for all editions.

SETUP PROCESS :  

All configurations must be done in the primary installation and then replicated in the secondary installation using mirrorSetup.bat

 


 

Installation:

Install SupportCenter Plus in Machine 1. The installation in the Machine 2 will be using mirror operation.

Set Access Permission:

    1. Share the Machine 1's ManageEngine folder with Machine 2 granting full read/write permissions.

    2. Create a folder called ManageEngine in Machine 2 and share this folder with Machine 1 granting full read/write permissions.

    3. Check and ensure IPC connection is established between the machines. To do this, access Machine 2's shared folders from Machine 1 and vice versa as described below.

 

    • Start>>Run>> \\<machineIP>\ManageEngine (E.g: \\192.168.3.11\ManageEngine\ )

    • Provide the user name and password (if needed).    

Configure FOS inputs:

Supply the values for the given fields in the <SupportCenter_Plus_Home>\fos\fosInputs.conf file using the following file format.

The sample file for Fail Over Service input is as follows:



  1. nicMachine1 refers to the NIC address for Machine 1.
  2. nicMachine2 refers to the NIC address for Machine 2.
  3. commonIP refers to the virtual IP address used to bind the active machine.
  4. machineURL1 refers to the URL for accessing SupportCenter Plus in Machine 1.
  5. machineURL2 refers to the URL for accessing SupportCenter Plus in Machine 2.


To set up a common alias URL for the above mentioned commonIP, modify the following line in the fosInputs.conf file:

       commonIPAlias = http(s)://ServiceCenterPlus.com

Tool for identifying the NIC address:

  • Use the iflist.exe tool inside the <SupportCenter_Plus_Home>\fos\tools folder to obtain the NIC details that is actively configured for the machine.

  • Choose the NIC id of the network that is UP. (To be specific, choose the NIC address for the IP to which the application is bound)

  • Copy the iflist.exe to the remote machine and run it to obtain the NIC id for that machine.

 

Subnet Mask Change

 

The default subnet mask address is 255.255.255.0. It can be configured in the fos.conf file as described below.

    1. Go to <SupportCenter_Plus_Home>/fos/conf

    2. Open the fos.conf file, find the following value, and remove the "#" to configure the subnet value.

    3. clustering.fos.publicIPNetMask= <your ip range value>

    4. Complete the DB, JAVA, Memory tuning in the required files (If needed).


Mirror Installation

Invoke <SupportCenter_Plus_Home>\fos\mirrorSetup.bat <machine2-name/ip> - pass the Machine 2 name or IP as parameter

 

Start Application

    1. Start SupportCenter Plus in Machine 1 by invoking the following.
    <SupportCenter_Plus_Home>\fos\startFOSService.bat

    2. Start SupportCenter Plus in Machine 1 by invoking the following.
    <SupportCenter_Plus_Home>\fos\startFOSService.bat

The application must be started only through the bat file and not through Windows application launcher.
 

Configure Credentials for Fail Over Service Replication  

 

Fail Over Service replication schedule requires credentials to replicate files from the primary machine to the secondary machine when the application is running.

 

To make sure the data is replicated in both the machines, do the following:

 

    1. Invoke http(s)://<commonipaddress>:<port>/setup/FosInputs.jsp.

    2. In the pop-up that appears, enter the IP address of the Machine 1 (primary), username(<domainname\username>), and password.

    3. Click Save.

    4. Enter the IP address of the Machine 2 (secondary), username (<domainname\username>), and password.

    5. Click Save.


 


 Make sure to update it the user credentials in Fail Over Service Info when you update them in the system otherwise the replication will fail. 


Failure Notifications

 

In case of critical failures like 'master_node_down,' specific support reps will be notified by email.

 

To configure the notification:

    1. Go to Admin>>General Settings>>Self-service Portal Settings (in single-portal setups) or Global Settings>>General Settings>>Application Settings.

    2. Find "In case of failover notify to," add the email addresses separated by a comma.

    3. Finally, click Save.

For the emails to be sent, the outgoing mail server should be configured for the application. 
 

Upgrade process:


 

Upgrading Application when using Fail Over Service 

    1. Stop SupportCenter Plus in Machine 2 by invoking the following.

    <SupportCenter_Plus_Home>\fos\stopFOSService.bat

    2. Stop SupportCenter Plus in Machine 1 by invoking the following.

    <SupportCenter_Plus_Home>\fos\stopFOSService.bat

    3. Upgrade Build in Machine 1 using the PPM. For more details, click here.

    4. Invoke <SupportCenter_Plus_Home>\fos\mirrorSetup.bat <machine2-name/ip> - pass the Machine 2 name or ip as parameter.

    5. If you are using a secure server (https), go to <SupportCenter_Plus_Home>\fos\conf\wrapper-fos.conf in Machine 2, find "wrapper.java.additional.4=-Dverifyhost=<ip of master machine>", remove the hash preceding the configuration, and replace <ip of master machine> with the IP of Machine 1.

    6. Start SupportCenter Plus in Machine 1 by invoking the following.

    <SupportCenter_Plus_Home>\fos\startFOSService.bat
     

    7. Start SupportCenter Plus in Machine 2 by invoking the following.

    <SupportCenter_Plus_Home>\fos\startFOSService.bat

 

Restoring Application when using Fail Over Service 

    1. Stop SupportCenter Plus in Machine 2 by invoking the following.

    <SupportCenter_Plus_Home>\fos\stopFOSService.bat

    2. Stop SupportCenter Plus in Machine 1 by invoking the following.

    <SupportCenter_Plus_Home>\fos\stopFOSService.bat

    3. Restore the data in the Machine . For more details, click here.

    4. Invoke <SupportCenter_Plus_Home>\fos\mirrorSetup.bat <machine2-name/ip> - pass the Machine 2 name or ip as parameter.

    5. If you are using a secure server (https), go to <SupportCenter_Plus_Home>\fos\conf\wrapper-fos.conf in Machine 2, find "wrapper.java.additional.4=-Dverifyhost=<ip of master machine>", remove the hash preceding the configuration, and replace <ip of master machine> with the IP of Machine 1.

    6. Start SupportCenter Plus in Machine 1 by invoking the following.

<SupportCenter_Plus_Home>\fos\startFOSService.bat 

    7. Start SupportCenter Plus in Machine 2 by invoking the following.

    <SupportCenter_Plus_Home>\fos\startFOSService.bat

 

As a general rule run mirrorSetup.bat (under <SupportCenter_Plus_Home>\fos\ folder) whenever there is a configuration change made in the machine 1 setup.

 

 

Configuration tips: Always do the configuration changes like changing the webserver port, theme changes, translations, etc in the Machine 1 (Primary installation).

If the file attachments path is modified via UI then the corresponding conf file must be manually updated in the FOS service


Disabling FOS:

    1. Stop Fail Over Service in both machines using the following.

    <SupportCenter_Plus_Home>\fos\stopFOSService.bat


    2. Remove the following files from the folder <SupportCenter_Plus_Home>\fos. 

  • <SupportCenter_Plus_Home>\fos\configSuccess.txt

  • <SupportCenter_Plus_Home>\fos\SDPFosStart.txt 

The reset the application to Automatic mode.


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