Neverfail Continuity Engine v8.5 - Release Notes

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Summary

This Knowledge base article provides information about the 8.5 release of Neverfail Continuity Engine and all subsequent updates to this release.

 

Neverfail Continuity Engine v8.5 Update 3

The following information applies to the third update of the Neverfail Continuity Engine version 8.5 (Update 3). This information builds upon the release notes for Neverfail Continuity Engine v8.5 Update 2.

What's new

  • The following deployments are supported starting with Update 3 release of Neverfail Continuity Engine:
    • VMware vCenter Server 6.5 using Oracle 12c Standard/Enterprise Edition Release 1 either installed local or remote
    • VMware vCenter Server 6.0 using Oracle 12c Standard/Enterprise Edition Release 1 either installed local or remote

Changed Issues

  • EN-3489: Modify Engine Behavior on License Expiration: Engine stays started, replication is suspended until a valid license is added; applications are protected/monitored/recovered with an expired license.  
  • EN-3612: EMS UI improvements regarding the alignment of the Edit Rule and Edit Plugin parameters text-boxes
  • EN-3565: [Documentation]: Modify the Engine Manual installation procedure in the install guide
  • EN-3545: [Documentation]: Add EMS system requirements (memory/disk) to install guide

Fixed Issues

  • EN-3556: Replication reset following exception in Apply component

 

Neverfail Continuity Engine v8.5 Update 2

The following information applies to the second update of the Neverfail Continuity Engine version 8.5 (Update 2). This information builds upon the release notes for Neverfail Continuity Engine v8.5 Update 1.

Changed Issues

  • EN-3437: Documentation updates regarding how to deploy Neverfail Engine 8.5 Cluster in Amazon Web Services Cloud Environment (administrator's guide)

Fixed Issues

  • EN-3490: Licensing signature is not generated correctly for servers with hostname longer than 15 chars

 

Neverfail Continuity Engine v8.5 Update 1

The following information applies to the first update of the Neverfail Continuity Engine version 8.5 (Update 1). This information builds upon the initial release notes for Neverfail Continuity Engine v8.5.

Changed Issues

  • EN-3463: The EMS Client Version Number now reflects the Neverfail Engine Update number besides the release version number.

Fixed Issues

  • EN-3451: Engine 8.5 HBSIG is being changed on the Secondary/Passive server when management name is configured.
  • EN-3453: Engine Web Services not starting when initiating the Start Engine Cluster command from systray.
  • EN-3440: Engine Configwiz does not handle starting/stopping of Engine Web Services.
  • EN-3462: Engine upgrade fails because of lanmanserver not starting after upgrade.

 

Neverfail Continuity Engine v8.5

The following information applies to the initial 8.5 release of Neverfail Continuity Engine.

 

New Features

Automated Recloning

Automated recloning is a new feature of Continuity Engine designed to address issues around application and security patch management and repairing a broken cluster.

Full Cluster Reclone

Engine now supports the ability to reclone and entire cluster either as a one-time task or via a scheduled or periodic process. This provides a process to enable Continuity Engine administrators to apply major applications upgrades and security patches to the production workload and commit those changes to the rest of the cluster without tedious switchover and patching protocols.

Partial Cluster Reclone

Engine now supports the ability for administrators to repair a broken cluster due to logical corruption of one of the passive nodes or the total loss of the virtual server the passive nodes are hosted on.

This new feature allow users to either perform recloning to the existing location or a completely different location. It will also either automatically delete the old passive node or leave it in place for further analysis. It also supports automated deployment and manual cloning.

 

Cozen Passive Node Management

Cozen is an English term meaning to trick. This new technology is designed to present an alternate identity in order to trick 3rd party applications that perform patch management into identifying passive nodes as unique identities.

Engine will allow an alternative cozen identity on a management IP for 3rd party Instrumentation. A new DNS hostname and NETBIOS ID are presented to these applications. These 3rd party patching technologies will connect via this cozen identity and inject security patches to the target passive node.

Thus, this new feature will allow Neverfail Continuity Engine administrators to enable operational control over each passive node in the cluster.

Supported Patching Technologies in Continuity Engine v8.5: 

  • Windows Update Server
  • Ivanti (Formally Shavlik)
  • Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM)

Please note. These are the first patching technologies tested with Conzen Passive Node Management. There will be others tested, certified and formally supported in 2018.

    

ReFS (Resilient File System)

v1 and v2

 

Chinese Locale

Simplified Chinese locale for EMS Localization.

 

New or Updated Plug-ins

  • Neverfail for VMware vSphere 6.5 and for View Composer 7.3 Plug-ins Suite: support for VMware vCenter Server 6.5 for Windows Deployments (HA/DR/TRIO) including the latest versions of View Composer 7.2.3.
  • Neverfail for Exchange Plug-in: support for Microsoft Exchange 2016 with Hybrid Deployment to Azure
  • Neverfail for Symantec Mail Security for Exchange Plug-in: Support for Symantec Mail Security for Microsoft Exchange v7.5
  • Neverfail for SharePoint Plug-in: support for Microsoft Sharepoint 2016
  • Neverfail for Office Online Server Plug-in – support for Microsoft Office Online Server 2016
  • Neverfail for SolarWindsNetworkManagement Plug-in: support for SolarWinds Orion Network Management Suite:
    • SolarWinds NPM v12.0.1, v12.1
    • SolarWinds APE v12.0.1, v12.1
    • SolarWinds NCM v7.5.1, v7.6
    • SolarWinds SAM v6.3.0, v6.4
    • SolarWinds NTA v4.2.1, v4.2.2
  • Neverfail for Ipswitch MOVEit Plug-ins: support for the latest version of Ipswitch MOVEit 2017 suite of products: Automation Server, Transfer Server, Mobile Server, Analytics Agent; Backwards compatible support for MOVEit Central 8.0/8.1 and DMZ 8.1
  • Neverfail for Mitel MiContact Center Plug-in: support for MiTel MiContact Center for Windows
  • Neverfail for MySQL Server Plug-in: support for MySQL Server 5.x
  • Neverfail for SQL Server Plug-in: bug fixes and feature changes
  • Neverfail System Plug-in: bug fixes and feature changes
  • Neverfail for IIS Plug-in: bug fixes and feature changes

 

VMware vCenter Server 6.5 and VMware vCenter Converter 6.1.1 Support

API Support for Deployment Using the Latest Versions of VMware vCenter Server 6.5 and VMware vCenter Converter 6.1.1.

 

Other Features 

  • Cancellation of application start/stop option
  • Application and Platform UI enhancements
  • SSL email notification: Engine Alert Reporting feature can be configured to use SSL for accessing the specified SMTP mail server (supported SSL/TLS versions: up to and including TLS 1.2)
  • Cluster diagram enhanced to include IP addresses configuration of each node in the cluster
  • Link to the new Neverfail Support portal
  • Submit new feature requests directly from EMS UI
  • Added File Filter Enhancement with a New Directory Search Function to EMS UI
  • Option to replicate Windows based certificates and system master keys to passive nodes
  • “Register this connection’s addresses in DNS” in IPv4 properties no longer vetoed during deployment.
  • The Ability to remove VMware vCenter Server and vCenter Converter credentials
  • Subnet mask definition added to the deployment wizard for DR nodes
  • View latest server events and task execution in the main EMS navigation window as a UI enhancement
  • Several DNSUpdate improvements
  • Split brain avoidance and false failover prevention improvements
  • Support for automated upgrade from Ipswitch Failover v9.0 and v9.5 to Neverfail Continuity Engine 8.5
  • Neverfail Continuity Engine 8.5 is updated to Oracle Java SE Runtime Environment 8u152 . Following link lists all security vulnerabilities  fixed in released versions of Oracle Java SE Runtime Environment.
  • Neverfail Continuity Engine 8.5 is updated to Apache Tomcat 7.0.82 . Following link lists all security vulnerabilities  fixed in released versions of Apache Tomcat.

 

Changed Features

Replication is not started anymore after failover.

Split-brain avoidance and false failover prevention: passive server won't failover when isolated from active and public network

 

Additional Information

Supporting Documentation

 

Supported Deployment Infrastructure

  • Server roles/applications for which protection will be installed automatically are:
    • SQL Server 2008 SP4, SQL Server 2008 R2 up to SP3, SQL Server 2012 up to SP4, SQL Server 2014 up to SP2, SQL Server 2016 SP1
    • Exchange 2010 SP3, Exchange 2013 up CU17, Exchange 2016 up to CU6 plus
      • ForeFront for Exchange up v10 SP1
      • Symantec Mail Security up to v7.5
    • SharePoint 2007 SP2, SharePoint 2010, SharePoint 2013 up to SP1, SharePoint 2016
      • Microsoft Office Online Server 2016
    • File Server including Windows Server 2016
    • Internet Information Server including v10 on Windows Server 2016
    • VMware vCenter Server 6.0 up Update 3c, VMware vCenter Server 6.5 up Update 1d
    • vCenter Server 5.1 Update 2, vCenter Server 5.1 Update 3, vCenter Server 5.5 Update 1a, vCenter Server 5.5 Update 2, vCenter Server 5.5 Update 3, vCenter Server 5.5 Update 3a, and vCenter Server 5.5 Update 3b
    • VMware View Composer 5.3, VMware View Composer 6.2.5, VMware View Composer 7.3.2
    • MOVEit Central 8.0/8.1, MOVEit DMZ 8.1, MOVEit 2017: Automation, Transfer, Mobile Servers, Analytics Agent
    • MySQL Server 5.x
    • MiContact Center Server v9.0
    • Any of the following SolarWinds Orion Network Management components: SolarWinds NPM v12.0.1, v12.1, SolarWinds APE v12.0.1, v12.1, SolarWinds NCM v7.5.1, v7.6, SolarWinds SAM v6.3.0, v6.4, SolarWinds NTA v4.2.1, v4.2.2
  • Additional supported plug-ins
    • Neverfail CE for Business Application

 

Pre-requisites

  • For information about pre-requisites for deploying Neverfail Continuity Engine v8.5, refer to the following:
    • Neverfail Continuity Engine v8.5 Installation Guide

 

Neverfail Engine Plug-ins

Note: Detailed information about each plug-in is contained in the plug-in's knowledgebase file that is available by clicking on the link.

Neverfail plug-ins provide protection for specific installed application configuration data, services, and application data files.  

The following plug-ins are included in this release of Neverfail Continuity Engine and are installed automatically if the application is present:

 

Plug-in Installation

Initial installations of Neverfail Continuity Engine Plug-ins must be performed using the Engine Management Service. Subsequent plug-in re-installations and upgrades may be performed using the Applications: Plug-ins tab of the Neverfail Advanced Client. However, Neverfail recommends that any subsequent plug-in repair installations or upgrades to be performed using Engine Management Service.    

To manually install a Neverfail Continuity Engine Plug-in using the Neverfail Advanced Client, follow the steps below:

  1. Unzip the plug-in to the desired location.
  2. Launch the Neverfail Advanced Client.    
  3. Navigate to Application -> Plugins.
  4. Click on the Install button.    
  5. Click the Browse button and navigate to the location of the <plug-in name>.dll file.
  6. Click OK to complete the installation.    
  7. Repeat this process for each individual plug-in.

 

Remove/Uninstall a Plug-in

To remove/uninstall/reinstall a Neverfail Continuity Engine Plug-in using the Neverfail Advanced Client, follow the steps below:

  1. Launch the Neverfail Advanced Client.
  2. Navigate to Application-> Plugins.
  3. Select the <plug-in name>.dllto be removed/uninstalled.
  4. Click on the Uninstall button in the 'Plugins' pane.
  5. Click on the Install button.
  6. Click the Browse button and navigate to the location of the <plug-in name>.dll file.
  7. Click OK to complete the installation.

 

Known Limitations

  • Neverfail Engine doesn't replicate local account settings, so any changes to the local users or their passwords on the active is not replicated to the passive(s) except by way of re-cloning. This may cause upgrades and other features that take active server credentials to fail. (EN-3358)
  • Neverfail Engine Localization limitations: following localized versions of Windows Server targets/topologies are supported for Engine installation: (EN-3221)
    • any WS2008R2, WS2012/R2, WS2016 OS domain or workgroup member protected by HA, DR or HA+DR Engine topology having only alphanumeric chars in its hostname and AD domain name
    • any WS2008R2, WS2012/R2, WS2016 OS domain or workgroup member protected by HA or DR-with-same-Public-IP Engine topology having only alphanumeric chars in the AD domain name
  • Engine Management Service will not uninstall a server with an expired license (EN-1315).
  • Affects only vCenter Server 6.x protected by Engine v8.x DR deployments with the DR-node configured with different IP address: Managed ESXi hosts appear as disconnected in vCenter Server/vSphere Client after making DR node active. (EN-2042).
  • The Neverfail Continuity Engine .msi installer package is sometimes detected as having untrusted publishers (EN-969).
  • The FileServer plug-in bundled with Neverfail Continuity Engine v8.5 properly replicates DFS namespaces. The DFS Management Client does not load the namespaces correctly each time.
  • Affects only MOVEit Central/Automation Server protected by Engine v8.5: Local folders specified as source/destination in MOVEit Automation tasks require user-defined filters for protection. (EN-2879)
  • Affects only Engine clusters upgraded from Ipswitch Failover 9.0/9.5 to Engine 8.5 (when Create and maintain shadows automatically was not enabled): Ipswitch Failover shadows are still visible as restore points in DRM after upgrading to Engine 8.5 (EN-2863)
  • Affects only upgrades from Ipswitch Failover 9.0/9.5 to Engine 8.5: Some Ipswitch Failover 9.0/9.5 log and configuration files are not deleted when upgrading to Engine 8.5 (EN-2820, EN-2861)
  • [Vulnerability notice] Example scripts information leakage vulnerabilities in Apache Tomcat: by default the C:\Program Files\Neverfail\tomcat\apache-tomcat-7.0.82\webapps\examples directory is included in the Tomcat source code package. This directory contain a number of examples, but some of them have security risks.
    Remediation: Delete the C:\Program Files\Neverfail\tomcat\apache-tomcat-7.0.82\webapps\examples directory.(EN-3662)

 

Fixed Issues

  • Neverfail Engine requires that Windows Feature SMB 1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support be enabled prior to installing Neverfail Engine (EN-2473).
  • Time response is too short for delete service. Command response not received in time (EN-2003).
  • The SysTray icon fails to display on the Secondary/passive server (EN-2628)
  • vPostgreSQL Plugin configured password is incorrectly read from registry (EN-1313).
  • Due to the current design, Engine Management Service is not Managment IP aware (only Public IP aware) (EN-1946).
  • Some licensing error messages are not useful (EN-967).
  • Downgrade of Engine Management Service v8.0 to v7.1 is not supported (TD-82).
  • After uninstall of Engine and during Engine deployment on the primary fails with error "Failed to validate credentials. The network name cannot be found" (EN-1602).
  • In the event the registry preferences are lost, they will be restored during the Neverfail Continuity Engine Service restart (EN-1447).
  • After performing a switchover with VMware Platform Services Controller installed, the user must restart their browser and re-login to the vSphere Web Client v6.0 (EN-1310).
  • The Neverfail Continuity Engine – Configure Server wizard is missing the management page instructions and help (EN-1854).

 

Known Issues

Engine Management Service

  • [EMS UI]: Internet explorer shows old Client version after upgrade. (EN-3223)
  • [EMS-UI] - Add file filters: autocomplete patterns not working for sub-folders if root folder string contains unicode chars. (EN-3246)
  • Latched Rules should be displayed in the EMS UI with only one "On Failure Action" drop-down field (EN-2023).
  • With SQL Plug-in + SQL 2014 & In-Memory Tables may result in an OFFLINE DB state during "In Recovery" state (EN-329). 
  • If the targets for network monitoring are not configured, the network status shows -1 missed pings (EN-704).
  • Trying to add a 6.7 pair/trio in EMS UI protected servers list fails with an error.
    Workaround: Restart Neverfail Web Services on the active server. (EN-1354)
  • Downloading the Advanced Client from EMS silently fails in Chrome (EN-1836).
  • Virtual Bytes rule triggered at every check (EN-859).
  • The Engine Management Service MSI repair mode fails to operate properly (EN-1389).
  • Neverfail Continuity Engine does not allow a user to create a VM (Secondary) server when only a Primary and Tertiary server are present (EN-508). 

Install/Uninstall

  • Neverfail Continuity Engine Secondary server deployment hangs at: Waiting for Secondary VM to complete auto configuration... Workaround: Neverfail Continuity Engine Secondary server deployment hangs at: Waiting for Secondary VM to complete auto configuration...   (EN-3380)
  • Engine 8.5 re-clone P->V doesn't fully reconfigure networks card on clone target (EN-3352)
  • DHCP-set gateway and DNS servers present on Secondary-HA post-cloning/configuration (EN-1996).
  • Neverfail Engine fails to uninstall on the Tertiary server (EN-1589).
  • Upgrading from v6.7.0 to v7.1 fails with the error message "Failed looking-up Shut-down state" (EN-1327).
  • If the Engine is running, a new license is added to the list of licenses. If the Engine is stopped, it replaces the list of licenses (EN-902).

Administration

  • Applications Task user account's password containing ` [grave accent] character is not saved correctly. Workaround: Change the user account password so it won't contain ` [grave accent] character OR change the user account with another one which doesn't have ` [grave accent] character in its associated password (EN-3776)
  • LogCollector.exe - The process was terminated due to an unhandled exception (EN-2011).

 

Install/Uninstall Information

Installation instructions are found in the following document:

  • Neverfail Continuity Engine v8.5 Installation Guide 

Uninstalling Engine Management Service

  1. Stop the Engine Management Service. 
  2. From the Control Panel, uninstall Engine Management Service.
    Note:If you receive a popup warning about another process accessing a log, start Task Manager and terminate any instances of nfremoteexec.exe 

 

Applies To

Neverfail Continuity Engine v8.5

  

KBID-3027

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