FAQs for FOS(Failover Service)

FAQs for FOS(Failover Service)

Q1: What is FOS?
FOS stands for "Fail Over Service." It is a feature designed to address unexpected hardware or software failures that could potentially render a service desk application unavailable. In the context of SDPMSP , the Fail Over Service (FOS) ensures the continuous availability of the application even in the event of a software or hardware failure. This helps to minimize the impact of such failures on business operations.

Two 64 bit Server machines with high network connectivity.
The servers used for the FOS setup must have two-way read-write access for the ManageEngine folder(Where SDPMSP is installed).
It is supported ONLY in ServiceDesk 64 bit exe installations.(Windows)
Robocopy windows utility must be present in both the machines.
Common IP Address must be available in the same network for allowing the primary and secondary installations of ServiceDesk service to bind the same i.e : the server machine's IP and the common IP Address must belong to the same IP range.

Q3:ServiceDesk Configuration Requirements
Currently, only MSSQL is supported.
DB must be externalized i.e The database server must be externalized from machine 1 and machine 2 but accessible to both. Preferably use Mssql setup
File Attachment path must be externalized i.e Set as a network path (Must belong to the same network domain and externalized from both machines, Make sure it is accessible to both machines)
HTTPS certificate must be obtained for the Alias URL of common IP.
HTTPS mode for FOS will NOT work for self-signed certificates and certificates from the internal CA. Signed Certificates from a known authority will only be supported.
The common URL (for which the certificate is obtained) needs to be bound to the common IP configured, in the DNS of the network.
Configure FileAttachment and database in machine 3

Q4: Is FOS available for both Windows and Linux platforms?
FOS is available exclusively for the Windows platform.

Q5: Is there an additional purchase required for FOS?
Yes, FOS requires a purchase of an add-on.

Q6:How can I install FOS on a Windows system?
You can follow the installation guide provided
at this link: FOS Installation Guide

Q7:What is the essential SSL installation requirement for FOS setup?
The FOS setup requires an HTTPS certificate obtained for the Alias URL of the common IP.
It's important to note that HTTPS mode for FOS will only work with signed certificates from a recognized authority, not with self-signed certificates or certificates from internal CAs.
Additionally, the common URL for which the certificate is obtained must be bound to the common IP configured in the DNS of the network.

Q8:Can the FOS service be started manually?
No, the FOS service cannot be started manually. Currently, the Servicedeskplus-MSP and HA (High Availability) services are bundled together as a single service. Once you initiate the Servicedesk product, the HA services will also automatically run in parallel.

Q9:How can one access the attachments from the secondary server?
To access the Attachments from the secondary server, it's essential to grant both Read and Write access permissions to the attachments folder. This folder must not reside on either the primary or secondary server but instead on a shared machine accessible to both.

Q10: How does the secondary server determine the unavailability of the primary server?
The secondary server determines the unavailability of the Primary server through the High Availability (HA) configuration. In this setup, the FOS service within the secondary installation monitors the availability of the SDP service on the primary server. This monitoring process occurs in intervals of 1 minute, where the secondary server makes three consecutive checks. If the primary server is found to be down during this monitoring, appropriate actions can be taken

Q11:What is the process for taking a backup of the product when the FOS (Failover Service) is configured?
Since we're supporting FOS only for MSSQL setups, , it is advisable to perform backups within the MSSQL server rather than within the product itself.

Q12:Can we shutdown the secondary server, which has been configured with FOS ?
While the decision to shut down the secondary server remains within our control, it's important to note that if the primary server fails and the secondary server is also not operational at that time, the functionality of FOS (Failover Service) wont work.

How to  troubleshoot if the Secondary server fails to start within the FOS?And the reasons for failure?
Get  the wrapper log and server out logs from the secondary server for analysis.
Some of the failure reasons are
i) Connection timeouts due to MSSQL connectivity problems.
ii)Incorrectly set Java path environment variable on the secondary server.
iii)Incomplete or improper file movement to the secondary server, leading to disruptions in its operation
iv)Ensure "Enable FOS startup Mode" option is enabled under Admin >> HA Configuration
v)Ensure that the the ip addresses(Primary,Secondary and Master) given in the HA configuration is configured properly

What steps should be taken if an IP clash issue is indicated in the log files? Additionally, what could be the root cause of this IP clash issue?
The IP clash issue arises when the Virtual IP address (common IP) is incorrectly configured. The Virtual IP must be an unused IP, and if you ping the Virtual IP, you should encounter a timeout error to ensure its proper setup.

Q15:Is it possible to configure FOS (Failover Service) on virtual machines (VMs)?
Indeed, FOS can be configured on VM machines; however, it must be ensured that the VMs do not use the same MAC address to avoid conflicts.

Q16:What is the maximum allowable distance between the primary and secondary nodes in the FOS configuration?
Both nodes must reside within the same network and exist within the same subnet for proper configuration in the FOS setup.
Q17:Is it feasible to use FOS with a free license, or are specific licenses required for installing this service with an MSP?
No, you need to purchase it separately.

Q18:What is the cost of licensing for a FOS service?
         For pricing details, please get in touch with our Sales Team at sales@manageengine.com.

Q19:What happens if the network connection of the primary server is disrupted, and the secondary server remains operational? If the primary server is later restored, Do both servers start functioning equivalently?
          Yes, in such a scenario, both the Primary and Secondary servers are operational. The admin should verify the issue, then bring down both servers and restore the primary server to its main role once the problem is resolved.
      In addition to this, we have an option to alert admin when the primary server goes down and when the secondary server comes back online which is available under Admin >> HA COnfiguration >>"Incase of failover - notify to "

Q20:Is it possible to take a trimmed backup from the secondary server?

           No, because both servers share a common database. To take a backup, you must use SQL Studio without stopping the product.

Q21:What could be the issue if changes in the HA configuration page are not being saved?

i)Check if any special characters are used in the passwords for both machines. Special characters might lead to account blocks.
ii)Verify SQL connectivity.
iii)Validate that the Virtual IP address is configured correctly.

Q22:How can the Network Interface Card (NIC) of both IPs be obtained?

          To retrieve this information, open the command prompt and run iflist.exe from the bin directory.

Q23:What to be done if we encounter issues while executing the command mirrorsetup.bat ?

Firstly, validate the correctness of the command syntax: MirrorSetup.bat <slavemachineip>.
Verify that the Primary server is operational.
Externalize the file path in attachments on the primary server.
Ensure that the "Manage Engine" folder is shared on the secondary server.
Check that the "Manage Engine" folder on the primary server has proper read and write permissions.
Restart the Primary server

Q24:In  case of MSP upgrades, Do we need to upgrade both Primary and Secondary servers?

If upgrading, it is necessary to upgrade both servers. Upgrading only the Primary server is insufficient. The Secondary server is also automatically upgraded during the mirror setup process.

Q25:Process to Follow During Upgrades:
i) Shutting down the product in Services.
ii) Ensure that the secondary server is also taken offline.
iii) If attempting to apply a patch without having shut down the product:
An error will be encountered, indicating that the secondary server is operational ("Secondary server is running, kindly shutdown the secondary server and apply the patch again")
Q26:What to be done if the product doesn't starts after configuring FOS?
Review the FOS.conf file for any issues and If discrepancies are found consider replacing the existing file with the correct version to resolve the issue.
Q27:Action to Take on Receiving "System Halted" Email While Secondary Server Start Fails:
If the Secondary server encounters an inability to initiate and displays a "System Halted" error:
Examine the attachment folder, ensuring it's externalized.
Grant read and write permissions to all users for the attachment folder.
By inspecting and addressing the attachment folder, this issue can be resolved.
Q28:Troubleshooting Inaccessibility Error When Accessing Product via Common IP address:
If encountering an inaccessibility error while attempting to access the product using the common IP:
i)Confirm the accuracy of the common IP address with your network sys administrator.
ii)Review and validate the common IP configuration under "Admin >> HA Configuration" settings.

Q29:FOS Compatibility with Azure Environment:

No, FOS is not compatible with the Azure environment.

Q30:Can we access the product with a Single URL for Internal and External Network Connectivity:
Yes, it's possible for clients to connect from both internal and external networks through the same URL:When the common IP is linked to the external URL within the DNS configuration, this arrangement enables dual accessibility.
Q31:Establishing SDP as a Public Service for Internet Connectivity:
Certainly, the creation of this environment is feasible:
Ensure the common IP is designated as a public IP.
Map this public IP to the external URL within the DNS setup.
This will enable users to connect via the internet to the SDP service.
Q32:Can the Database, Shared folder (for attachments), and AD Server be placed in the internal network (LAN)?
Yes, it is possible to have the Database, Shared folder, and AD Server within the internal network (LAN) for better security and accessibility.But File Attachment path needs to be externalized and make sure it is accessible to both machines

Q33:When does the "socket closed" error occur in the FOS setup?
The "socket closed" error occurs when there's a loss of network connection between the primary and secondary servers in the FOS setup.

Q34:Under what circumstances does the "Out of memory" error occur?And how to troubleshoot it?

The "Out of memory" error occurs when there isn't sufficient available memory space to perform an operation. This can lead to system instability or crashes.To address this, it's recommended to check and adjust Java tuning settings in files like wrapper.conf and run.bat on both the primary and secondary servers.

Q35:What does the Java .net socket exception indicate?
The Java .net socket exception can occur due to various network errors or minor disruptions, even if they last for just a brief period, such as 10 seconds.

Q36: Do we need to apply license files separately in primary and secondary ?
You should apply the license file only in Primary server.

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