Neverfail for File Server: Pre-install checks



This Knowledgebase article provides information about Neverfail for File Server pre-installation checks.

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Unprotected File System Features

Neverfail for File Server V4.3 protects a variety of file system features, which were not protected in previous versions of Neverfail Heartbeat (for example, file/folder attributes, permissions, and creation / modification timestamps). It also detects and responds to certain file system features, which are not protected. You should be aware of the presence of such unprotected features when installing Neverfail for File Server.

The following features are not protected by Neverfail for File Server, but will be detected at run-time:

  1. NTFS Reparse Points, including:
    • Volume Mount Points
    • Symbolic Links
    • Directory Junctions
    • Remote Storage
    • Single Instance Store
  2. Hard links
  3. Encrypted files / folders
  4. Alternative Data Streams (supported from v4.6)
  5. Extended Attributes
  6. Sparse Files
  7. Disk Quotas

Neverfail for File Server can be configured to issue an alert and/or provide a specific response when any of the above features are encountered in the protected file set (which will include all shares, other than default/administrative shares such as C$, D$, IPC$, PRINT$ etc). The default set of responses is described in Knowledgebase article #321 - ' Neverfail for File Server: Unprotected Features of the Windows 2000 / 2003 File System'.

Files or folders with features for which the default response is to flag the file system as 'Out of Synch' or to 'Stop Replication', should be removed from the protected file set prior to installation of Neverfail for File Server. This can be done by any of the following methods:

  • Moving the affected file(s) or folder(s) into a folder which is NOT shared
  • Removing all shares from the shared folder which contains the affected file(s) or folder(s)
  • Deleting the affected file(s) or folder(s)

Note: In Windows 2003, the Distributed File System is implemented by means of Reparse Points. Windows 2003 DFS Reparse Points, including the DFS root node, are fully supported by Neverfail for File Server. This allows the integrity of the Distributed File System hosted on the Primary server to be maintained following a switchover or failover.

Local Users and Groups

In Windows, file/folder permissions and share permissions can be configured independently, even though there may be some overlap between the permissions configured by each route. File and folder permissions are determined by the security descriptor of a given file or folder, while share permissions are dealt with via the Windows Registry.

Neverfail for File Server replicates both types of information, allowing all permissions for files, folders and shares in the protected file set to be maintained regardless of which server in the pair is currently active.

If such permissions apply to objects in Active Directory (for example, domain users, groups or computers), then the active server will use Active Directory to resolve the names of objects referenced by the security descriptor or the share permissions. If file, folder, or share permissions on the active server are updated to include such objects, these changes will be recognized following a switchover.

For Local Users and Groups, the situation is different. Although the security descriptors and share permissions are replicated, these will only be resolved correctly for Local Users and Groups where such users exist on both servers. Local Users and Groups will only exist on both servers if they are present on the Primary server before Neverfail for File Server is installed. Local Users and Groups created on either server after the installation of Neverfail for File Server will not exist on both servers. In the latter case, security descriptors and share permissions relating to such Local Users/Groups will only be resolved correctly on one of the servers. This may lead to problems with file/folder/share access following a Switchover or failover.

Any Local Users or Groups, which need to be present on both servers in the pair, must be created prior to installing Neverfail for File Server.

Applies To

Neverfail for File Server

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