Building the Standby CommServe Host Using Advanced Configuration

In an advanced configuration, you use witness server hosts to monitor the CommServe availability and send automatic email notifications when the active CommServe host is not functional. Witness servers collect the metadata and status information from the active and passive CommServe databases, to enable making failover decisions.

In this method, after the initial synchronization of the CommServe databases, the failover process automatically backs up and restores the database and logs at frequent intervals (configurable) from the active (production) CommServe host to the passive (standby)CommServe host, possibly located at a remote site. If the current active CommServe host fails, the passive CommServe host can automatically or manually become the active CommServe host. Transaction log shipping reverses and continues from the new active CommServe host to the now passive CommServe host.

To build a standby CommServe host by using the advanced configuration, complete the following steps:

Step1: Review the Requirements

Review the hardware and software requirements for failover configuration as discussed in System Requirements.

Step 2: Install the CommServe Software Using a Floating CommServe Host Name

A floating CommServe host name is a virtual host name that will be used by all clients and MediaAgents to communicate to the current active CommServe host.

Note: For advanced configurations, the CommServe software is installed by using the floating CommServe host name on the production and standby hosts.

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New Production CommServe Host:

If you want to use a new production CommServe host, complete the following steps:

  1. Create a DNS A record with a virtual host name and IP address of the production CommServe host. For more information, see Creating a DNS A Record. The virtual host name is used as the floating CommServe host name.
  2. Install the CommServe software by using the floating CommServe host name. Review CommServe Installation: Considerations for Disaster Recovery Failover.
  3. Install the MediaAgent by using the floating CommServe host name on a separate computer at the standby CommServe location.
  4. Install new clients by using the floating CommServe host name .

    Note: During the installation, use the same CommServe client name for the MediaAgent and clients.

Existing Production CommServe Host:

If the production CommServe computer already exists, configure the floating CommServe host name using the existing CommServe host name. Complete the following steps:

  1. Perform a Disaster Recovery Backup of the production CommServe host.
  2. Verify that all clients and MediaAgents are pointing to the production (existing) CommServe host name. See Updating the CommServe Name for Clients and MediaAgents.
  3. Disable all CommCell operations on the production CommServe host. See Activity Control - Getting Started.
  4. Rename the existing CommServe computer host name. See Microsoft manual to change the computer host name of a Windows Server.

    If the client name and host name are different from the computer host name then skip this step.

    Note: After reboot, the computer name will be renamed to the new name. But, the CommServe still uses the old host name. The old name will be used as a floating CommServe host name during this set up.

  5. Create a DNS A Record with the old CommServe host name and IP address of the production CommServe host. See Creating a DNS A Record.
  6. Enable all CommCell operations on the production CommServe host. See Activity Control - Getting Started.
  7. Perform a Disaster Recovery Backup of the production CommServe host.
  8. Install a MediaAgent by using the floating CommServe host name on a separate computer at the standby CommServe location.

Standby CommServe Host:

Install the CommServe software using the floating CommServe host name on a new computer. Complete the following steps:

  1. Stop services on the production CommServe host. For information about stopping services, see Stopping a Service.
  2. Update the DNS Server to use the floating CommServe host name for the standby CommServe host.

    Delete the current floating CommServe entry and add a new entry with the IP address of the standby CommServe host. For more information, see Deleting a DNS A Record and Creating a DNS A Record.

  3. Install the CommServe software by using the floating CommServe host name on the standby CommServe host.

    Before installing the CommServe software, review the CommServe Installation: Considerations for Disaster Recovery Failover.

  4. Stop services on the standby CommServe host.
  5. Update the DNS Server to map the floating CommServe host name to the production CommServe host.

    Delete the current floating CommServe entry and add a new entry with the IP address of the production CommServe host. See Deleting a DNS A Record and Creating a DNS A Record.

  6. Start services on the production CommServe host.

Step 3: Install and Configure the SQL Server Agent

To install and configure the SQL Server Agents on both production and standby hosts, complete the following steps:

  1. Install the SQL Server Agent on a new instance on the CommServe hosts.

    Review SQL Server Agent Installation: Considerations for Disaster Recovery Failover.

  2. Create a SQL Server Agent subclient for the second instance of both the production and standby CommServe clients.

    For instructions, see Configure a SQL Server Agent Subclient to Backup the CommServe Databases.

Step 4: Install and Configure the CommServe Failover Component

To install and configure the CommServe Failover Component on both production and standby hosts, complete the following steps:

  1. Install the CommServe Failover Component on three independent windows hosts (for witness server roles) and the second instance of the CommServe hosts.

    You can also use an existing MediaAgent computer at the standby CommServe location to act as the Witness Server.

  2. Configure the CommServe Failover Component by using the advanced configuration type on the production and standby CommServe hosts and the independent witness server hosts. During the configuration, use the witness server role on the individual witness server hosts, and both the CommServe and the witness server roles on the production and standby CommServe hosts.

    Note: If you configured the failover component on the production CommServe host by using the basic configuration type, delete the failover configuration file (cvfailover.cfg) and then reconfigure the failover component by using the advanced setup.

Step 5: Synchronize the CommServe Databases

Back up and restore the production CommServe databases to the standby CommServe host.

For instructions, see Synchronize the CommServe Databases.

Step 6: Set Up the Failover

  1. Set the Active Node for CommServe Failover

    Set the active CommServe node to production CommServe host.

  2. Configure the CommServe computer to fail over manually.

    For instructions on setting manual failover, see Failover Options.

    To set the advanced options, such as sending alert notifications during failover and enabling the automatic failover process, modify the failover configuration parameters.

Additional Configurations

Applying Updates

All the latest software updates installed on the production CommServe host must be installed on the standby CommServe host. The standby CommServe database may not perform the CommCell operations unless you install all the updates on the standby CommServe host. See, Installing Updates on the Standby CommServe Host.

For an advanced failover configuration, set the failover mode to manual before installing updates on the CommServe hosts or the witness server hosts.

Using Customized Scripts

If the failover process does not have permissions to update the DNS, you can configure the failover component to use customized pre scripts for updating DNS records. For more information on configuring failover parameters, see Modify the Failover Configuration Parameters.

Configuring a Proxy

If you have a firewall configured between existing clients and the CommServe host, you can use a proxy exclusively for a disaster recovery implementation and route requests and responses between the CommServe and the proxy-enabled clients. Since the clients and CommServe communicate through the proxy, during a fail over, you will not require to update the DNS with the IP address of the current active CommServe host. When using a proxy, you do not require to update the DNS on the proxy-enabled clients. For instructions on configuring a proxy for disaster recovery, see Using SnapProtect Proxy for Disaster Recovery.

Uninstalling the CommServe Software on the Standby Host

If you plan to uninstall the CommServe software on a standby host configured with advanced failover configuration, before you uninstall the software, add an entry in the local host file to map the floating CommServe name with the IP address of the standby host.

Adding a host file entry ensures that you uninstall only the CommServe components on the local host.

Related Topics

Advanced Failover