Neverfail Continuity Engine 14 Release Notes

Neverfail Continuity Engine 14 Release Notes

Summary

The following information applies to the v14 release of Continuity Engine.

Continuity Engine 14

This release supersedes Continuity Engine v13.

What's New

Better User Experience

Offline Licensing Management via EMS

  1. Self-service offline licensing: customers may claim license keys directly from Engine Management Service for deployments which are not managed via EMS.
  2. Install Engine Management Service on any supported Windows machine with access to internet (i.e. Engine Licensing Server) then claim your license keys corresponding to your purchased software subscription from the Support section.

New Version Availability and Download Published via EMS

Configure Server Wizard Improvements

  1. [EN-5949]: IP address & Subnet mask fields have implicit validation - not allowing typos or values out of range.
  2. [EN-6389]: Improve UX for ReadOnly And Edit mode.
  3. [EN-2116]: Configuration changes events are captured in client logs. 

UI Improvements

  1. [EN-6360]: Change active server isolation enabled/disabled logic: isolation is enabled only if automated failover is enabled.

Available Plugins Visibility Update

  1. Bundled plugins list is linked directly from Engine Management Service UI support section. Engine plugin offers out-of-the-box automated protection for client applications (specific versions). 

    Patching Downtime Reduction with Passive Management Name

    1. Continuity Engine's Passive Management Name feature enables the ability of patching of standby passive nodes in centralized update management environment.
    2. Following document lists all the Patch Management or Backup Software Solutions / Technologies proven to work or scheduled in the near future for interoping validation with Continuity Engine's Passive Management Name feature: PatchManagement Solutions / Technologies supported by Continuity Engine'sPassive Management Name

    Mitel BluStar Plugin v201.5.1

    1. Mitel BluStar Plugin protects and proactively monitors Mitel BluStar subsystems.
    2. Supports Mitel BluStar 7.3.0.

    Automated Logic WebCTRL Plugin v201.5.1

    1. Automated Logic WebCTRL Plugin protects and proactively monitors Automated Logic WebCTRL environment’s configuration data, services, and application data files.
    2. Supports Automated Logic WebCTRL 8.0

    Clever Devices CleverCAD Plugin v201.5.1

    1. Clever Devices CleverCAD Plugin: protects and proactively monitors Clever Devices CleverCAD v9.9 and v10.x environments.

    Access to Continuity Engine Utilities Repo

    1. Access Continuity Engine collection of utility scripts and add-ons designed to extend core features
    2. Collaborate for enhancing and extending Continuity Engine functionality for specific scenarios 
    3. Utilities repo may be accessed directly from EMS UI> Support> Add-ons

    Snapshot Management Improvements

    Ransomware Recovery: With Snapshot Management organizations can take snapshots each 15 minutes and roll back the dataset to before the incident happened thus restoring the protected application server to full operating conditions.
    1. How to Use Continuity Engine For Ransomware Mitigation
    2. How to Setup Snapshot Management for Neverfail Continuity Engine

    CLI Installer v2 

    Engine command-line installer was consistently improved in version bundled with CE14. 
    1. [EN-6280]: Engine CLI v2 doesn't allow reboots when MSI Exec commands are executed.
    2. [EN-6299]: Add install flag to skip SMBv1 check.
    3. [EN-6305]: Add install/upgrade flag to consider/ignore SCOPE.
    4. [EN-6306]: Clean licensing data if Engine version is older than v9.
    5. [EN-6328]: Improvements to CLI logging mechanism.
    6. [EN-6339]: Log size has incorrect type and cannot be applied.
    7. [EN-6341]: Added checks for comparing installed version vs. upgrade version. Additional logic to allow a forced downgrade.
    8. [EN-6362]: CLI is enhanced with splash screen showing next steps / post-configuration for install/upgrade.
    9. [EN-6363]: CLI is changed to start Engine services after splash screen is shown.
    10. [EN-6364]: CLI execution captures and configures Engine Public and Channel connections (IP addresses, subnet masks).
    Engine command-line installer (CLI) may be used for installing, upgrading or uninstalling Continuity Engine on a specific node. 
    It was designed to be used in the scenarios where EMS-driven fully automated install/upgrade cannot be used. Contact Support for guidance.
      

    LogCollector Changes

    1. [EN-6410]: LogCollector was changed to collect Engine CLI logs.

    More Secure

    OpenJDK and Apache Tomcat version updated to latest

    New Supported Versions

    New or Updated Plugins

    1. Mitel BluStar Plugin protects and proactively monitors Mitel BluStar 7.3.0.

    VMware vCenter Server and VMware vCenter Converter Support

    1. Supported - Engine Management Service API Support for deployment using the latest versions of VMware vCenter Server 7.0 and VMware vCenter Converter 6.2.
    2. Supported - vSphere Integration Plugin Support for interoping with the latest versions of VMware vCenter Server 7.0
    3. Coming soon - Engine Management Service API Support for deployment using the latest versions of VMware vCenter Server 8.0 and VMware vCenter Converter 6.3.
    4. Coming soon - vSphere Integration Plugin Support for interoping with the latest versions of VMware vCenter Server 8.0

    Licensing Updates 

    Software Subscription Cancelation

    1. End-User License-Subscription Agrement changes are summarized in the below section extracted from Neverfail End-User Software Subscription License Agreement.
    Automatic Software Subscription Cancelation. Neverfail reserves the right to automatically cancel any Software Subscription if the Subscriber does not pay for either a monthly or a yearly subscription renewal for it within maximum 6 months past the Software Subscription’s end date. A Canceled Software Subscription is considered end of life, hence will not allow to be reactivated, renewed, or extended. If the subscriber will later want to continue the software usage, a new Software Subscription must be purchased to re-enable the subscriber with the Right of Use for the Licensed Software.

    Software Subscription Payment Awareness Improvements

    1. Improved in v14.0, the software subscription licensing mechanism is changed to be aware of software subscription's payment status. The changes are summarized in the below section extracted from Neverfail End-User Software Subscription License Agreement.
    Term Software Subscription is ready to be consumed immediately upon fulfilment. Depending on the payment status, the right to use may or may not be limited a follows: (a) if the payment is pending when software subscription is being activated (consumed), a limited forty-five (45) days license key counted from the term software subscription start date will be generated; as soon as the payment is confirmed, the full term software subscription period is unlocked; relicensing with a full term license key will be performed automatically for online licensing; (b) if the payment is confirmed when software subscription is being activated (consumed) a full term license key will be generated. Similar payment status usability rules apply also in the case of license term software subscription renewal.
    1. v14.0 licensing model is built on top of v9.0 model which transitioned Engine from a perpetual model to a software subscription term and rental model. Engine Licensing Service (ELS) enables call-home features that power our software subscription based licensing. The new cloud service is free but is required for Term and Rental deployments.  For more information on how the licensing works and upgrade notes please read Continuity Engine Licensing Model. 

    Backward Compatibility

    Continuity Engine 14 Management Service is compatible with older versions (i.e. EMS 14.0 manages correctly CE 9/10/11/12/13). 

    1. If I upgrade to Continuity Engine 14, will my perpetual license cease? Yes! You are accepting software subscription's  requirements outlined in the new EULA for Term and Rental. Neverfail will generate new software subscriptions expiring the same day as the support was paid through. This means you will need to pay for support to continue software operations yearly or monthly depending on the type of subscription.
    1. Can I upgrade using the Upgrade Wizard from older versions to Continuity Engine 14? Yes, the upgrade wizard is still supported. Keep in mind that Continuity Engine 6.7, 7.x, 8.x and 9.x are currently End-of-Life (EOL). To ensure organization continued support, you must upgrade to the latest Continuity Engine version.
    2. When will Continuity Engine EOL? Check End of Life Policy for Neverfail Continuity Engine

    3. Can I stay on previous versions of Continuity Engine? Yes, however, previous versions will eventually EOL and you will not be able to take full advantage of the new features of Continuity Engine v14. And evenly important, your systems will be more exposed to cyberattacks. For example:

      1. CEv9.0
        1. misses all the security fixes between OpenJDK 8u332-b09 (April 2022) and 8u412-b08 (May 2024)
        2. misses all the security fixes between Tomcat 9.0.64 (May 2022) and 9.0.89 (May 2024)

    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 SP3, SQL Server 2016 SP2, SQL Server 2017, SQL Server 2019
      • Exchange 2010 SP3, Exchange 2013 up CU17, Exchange 2016, Exchange 2019
        • ForeFront for Exchange up v10 SP1
        • Symantec Mail Security up to v7.9
      • SharePoint 2007 SP2, SharePoint 2010 SP2, SharePoint 2013 up to SP1, SharePoint 2016, SharePoint 2019
        • Microsoft Office Online Server 2016
      • File Server including Windows Server 2022
      • Internet Information Server including v10 on Windows Server 2022
      • VMware vCenter Server 6.0 up Update 3c, VMware vCenter Server 6.5 up Update 1d, VMware vCenter Server 6.7
      • 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 7.6
      • Progress MOVEit Central 8.0/8.1, MOVEit DMZ 8.1, MOVEit 2017, MOVEit 2018, MOVEit 2019.2, MOVEit 2020.1, MOVEit 2021.1, MOVEit 2022.1, MOVEit 2023.0, MOVEit 2023.1: Automation, Transfer, Mobile Servers, Analytics Agent
      • MySQL Server 5.x, 8.x
      • MiContact Center Server v9.0, MiContact Center Business 9.3, MiContact Center Business 9.5
      • 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
      • Oracle Database 19c, 18c, 12c, 11g
        • Oracle Management Agent v12, v13
      • System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) platforms: 2007, 2007 R2, 2012, 2012 R2, 2012, 2019 
      • Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 U3 & U4
      • Atlassian Confluence 6.x versions 
      • Atlassian Jira 7.x versions
      • PostgreSQL 9.3, 9.4, 9.5, 9.6, 10.x versions
      • Apache Tomcat 8.x.x., 9.x.x
      • OpenText CX-E Voice (formerly xMedius/AVST CX-E/CallXpress) up to version 23.4
      • Clever Devices CleverCAD 9.9, 10.15
      • Automated Logic WebCTRL 8.0
      • Hyper-V Server 2016, 2019, 2022(non-clustered architecture)
    • Additional supported plugins
      • Neverfail CE for Business Application

    Continuity Engine Plugins

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

    Engine plugins provide protection for specific installed application configuration data, services, and application data files.  

    The following plugins are included in this release of Continuity Engine and are installed automatically if the application is present and version supported:

    Plugin Installation

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

    To manually install a plugin follow the How to install a Continuity Engine Plugin using Advanced Management Client procedure.

    Fixed Issues

    1. [EN-6360]: Change active server isolation enabled/disabled logic: isolation is enabled only if automated failover is enabled.

    Known Limitations

    • Passwords starting and/or ending with space ( ) character(s) are not supported (EN-3935).
    • (Re)cloning limitation: Disconnected Engine cluster after a cloning or recloning action: recloned node is connected to wrong port group. Workaround documented in Continuity Engine Cloning and Recloning limitations: disconnected Engine cluster  (EN-3354)
    • Recloning limitations when Continuity Engine passive nodes when static routes are configured: these are listed in Continuity Engine Recloning limitations when static routes are configured  (EN-3355)
    • Continuity 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 (or newer) 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).
    • Continuity Engine .msi installer package is sometimes detected as having untrusted publishers (EN-969).
    • The FileServer plugin bundled with Continuity Engine v8.5 (or newer) 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 (or newer): 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 (or newer) (when Create and maintain shadows automatically was not enabled): Progress 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 (or newer): Some Ipswitch Failover 9.0/9.5 log and configuration files are not deleted when upgrading to Engine 8.5 (EN-2820, EN-2861)
    • [Applies to 9.0 (or newer) with Passive Node Management Identity configured] vCenter Inventory passive VMs are not detected as Protected nodes if management name is configured and webservices are stopped on the active. Dashboard's protected servers count in Global Inventory is also impacted. (EN-4647)
      • conditions: Management name configured AND active server webservices stopped
      • result: deployment.location is not available hence the clustername mechanism is used. that makes only the Active server to be reported as protected node (if VM). Passives cannot be determined as vmid is not available
    • [CE HTML5 UI] When extending from pair to trio (add DR to HA pair) Secondary webservices require restart in order to serve (when made active) the updated deployment topology (trio instead of pair). This is known as the webservices are not restarted on S and S is the T's cloning source. (EN-4657)
      • impact: only if S is made active before webservices restart: new HTML UI Datacenter info is not accurate on Tertiary. Possible Protected node count is wrong if management identity is configured on any of the passives.
      • remediation: restart webservices on Secondary/Tertiary
    • [AMFx]: User defined sponsor is not persisted in prefs till Engine service is restarted. Thus webservices don't know about it (till restart is done) (EN-4341)
    • [CE HTML5 UI] Active compression type is shown as 'Standard' when there are no passive instances present in the replication chain. Workaround: This issue is purely cosmetic and it will correct itself once there are passive instances present in the replication chain. (EN-4855)
    • [CE HTML5 UI] Data traffic value in serverlist API is not always accurate. (EN-4859)
    • [CE HTML5 UI] Reconstruct pair: transform from pair HA to pair DR> HA cached configuration must be cleaned up before defining new DR config (EN-4915)
    • [CE HTML5 UI] Startup Engine service may experience delay when unreachable nodes are selected for starting the service on. (EN-4949)
    • [CE HTML5 UI] EULA accept is required all the time when Engine service is stopped (even if previously accepted). (EN-4958)

    Known Issues

    Engine Management Service & Engine

    • With SQL Plugin + SQL 2014 & In-Memory Tables may result in an OFFLINE DB state during "In Recovery" state (EN-329). 
    • Trying to add a 6.7 pair/trio in EMS UI protected servers list fails with an error. 
      Workaround: Restart Engine Web Services on the active server. (EN-1354)
    • Virtual Bytes rule triggered at every check (EN-859).
    • The Engine Management Service MSI repair mode fails to operate properly (EN-1389).
    • 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).
    • [WS2022 only]: Sometimes file are not deleted on passive when they're being deleted on active. This may cause orphan files presence on passive nodes. (EN-6346). Workarounds:
      • Run Orphan Files Check on each of the passive nodes
      • Restart replication (stop/start)
      • Restart Engine service

    Install/Uninstall

    Administration

    • LogCollector - The process was terminated due to an unhandled exception (EN-2011).

    Applies To

    Continuity Engine v14


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