SolarWinds - How to Configure Split-Brain Avoidance in a WAN



This Knowledgebase article provides the procedure for configuring Split-Brain Avoidance when Orion Failover Engine is implemented in a Wide Area Network (WAN) environment.

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Split-brain Avoidance can be configured during the installation of Orion Failover Engine via the Configure Server wizard or post installation via the SolarWinds Orion Failover Manager. Split-brain Avoidance is used in WAN installations to ensure that only one server becomes active should the channel connection be lost, but both servers are still connected to the principal (public) network. Split-brain Avoidance works by "pinging" from the passive server to the active server across the principal network. If the active server responds, failover will be prevented, even if the channel connection is lost. This feature requires that the active and passive servers have different IP addresses on the principal network, which is typically the case for WAN installations.


Configure Server Wizard

To enable this feature, select the Network Monitoring tab of the Configure Server wizard and select the Enable split brain avoidance (Recommended for WAN) ’ option. Enter the principal address used by each server. You will also need to configure "Auxiliary IP addresses" on both principal network cards. This is required to allow the passive server to send a "ping". To configure an auxiliary IP address on the principal network cards, follow the procedure below:

Auxiliary IP addresses are additional IP addresses that are assigned to the network card, which is connected to the principal network. They are used to allow the passive server to communicate, because unlike the principal network address, they are not filtered. This allows the passive server to send "pings", and is also required to allow the passive server to send email alerts.

To configure an auxiliary IP address:

  1. Open the network properties for the principal network connection.
  2. Double-click TCP/IP to display the properties.
  3. Click Advanced .
  4. Enter an additional (currently unused) IP address in the table.
  5. Reposition the IP addresses in the list so that the additional (auxiliary) IP address appears first, and the principal network address, by which clients will connect to the server, appears second.
  6. Click OK on all three dialogs to accept the configuration changes to the network connection.
  7. After completing all of the steps, click Next or Finish .

SolarWinds Orion Failover Manager

To configure Split-Brain Avoidance using the SolarWinds Orion Failover Manager , follow the steps below:

  1. Open the SolarWinds Orion Failover Manager .
  2. Select the Server: Monitoring tab.
  3. Click the Configure Failover button.
  4. Select the Prevent failover if channel heartbeat is lost but Active server is still visible to other servers (recommended) check box to enable Split-Brain Avoidance.
  5. Click OK .
  6. Click the Configure Pings button.
  7. Select the Ping Settings tab and configure the Ping Interval and Ping Echo Timeout fields.
  8. Select the Ping Routing tab and enter the IP addresses for both the Primary and Secondary server principal NICs as appropriate.
  9. Click OK .

Applies To

All Versions

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