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Nettica FailSafe Services

Protecting Your Investment

Overview

Nettica FailSafe gives you the tools you need to monitor and manage your servers. Hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters happen every year, costing billions of dollars, and leaves little doubt the importantance of server monitoring and DNS failover services. We have many capabilties to help get people back on their feet when disaster strikes. However, our FailSafe services are equally useful for the day-to-day management of your networks, letting you know when there's a problem, and having a plan in place when it does.

Planning

While it's not necessary to plan every aspect of your configuration up front, it is prudent to do some up-front investigation. Our FailSafe service is typically used to monitor server health, not the health of an individual domain. You may need multiple rules to monitor multiple IP addresses for a single domain. By the same token, you may be able to monitor and failover multiple domains with a single rule if they all have the same basic configuration. You will want to make two groups for each rule, one for the normal configuration of the domain(s) on that server, and one for the failover state. In our example, we will use the names of the cities as the names of the groups. Boca is our primary site. Atlanta is the backup.

Failsafe failover group

Failsafe recovery group

Note that the only difference between the two groups is the IP address of the root domain. Even though the mail server is also running at this IP address, because they have Nettica's Backup Mail Service, they do not need to failover that record. Our FailSafe service is not a mere search and replace for the IP address. You can specify much more powerful interactions than your typical failover service.

Purchasing Service

Nettica FailSafe requires Nettica Bulk DNS Service. As you can see above, it is to allow you to setup your FailSafe groups. Current Bulk customers have their purchase pro-rated to their current expiration date, so you can easily add service for minimal cost. When you purchase Nettica FailSafe, you'll immediately notice a new control panel added to your account summary, as well as a new item in the main menu:

FailSafe Summary

Failsafe Menu

FailSafe Service

After purchasing service, click on the Failsafe main menu item to go to the FailSafe summary view, and click on failsafe > create new failsafe rule to get started on your first rule.

Adding Rules

example failsafe rule

In the example above the customer is creating a rule that checks the overall state of their server using an HTTP GET request over port 80. If the server is not entirely down, but say, the database has failed, it automatically fails over to the backup server. The customer wrote the script at the given URL to report the proper status. If the entire machine is unreachable, this will also trigger the FailSafe service to failover to the backup location.

Round-Robin

To configure Nettica FailSafe for round-robin there are two things to keep in mind. With round-robin failover you must have one rule setup for each IP address in the round-robin. In addition, you only configure a single group containing the IP addresses of the round-robin servers. Finally, note that with round-robin failover only the round-robin entries will be affected by the failover. In other words, you cannot completely rewrite your DNS with round-robin failover like you can with our regular failover.

A round-robin template looks like this:

Example FailSafe Round-Robin template

Note that the plus sign ("+") indicates the entry is part of a round-robin collection and must be present on all entries in the round-robin list.

Nettica FailSafe for Round-robin is appropriate for customers with geo-located servers running in round-robin, and for customers with multiple service providers serving the same location. If you have want to load-balance/round-robin multiple servers in the same location with a single network connection we recommend using a hardware solution (eg, a load-balancer) over our solution. Our solution works for the scenario, but we do not recommend our solutions when more appropriate alternatives are avaialble.

Testing

There are many ways to test FailSafe before putting it into service. You can setup two empty groups, add the domains into the normal group, and then setup a rule that is sure to fail. This will cause the groups to change without affecting current service. You can also some dummy records to verify changes in the DNS. Since you have our Bulk DNS Service, you can create some non-registered, test domains and use DNS Lookup tools such as DIG and NSLOOKUP against our nameservers to verify the proper behavior. Be sure to test the email notifications, that's clearly the most important feature of the service. Please feel free to contact support if you have any special circumstances that may be difficult to test.

Monitoring Service

Nettica FailSafe includes real-time charts and statistics. Even if you do not use Failover, the monitoring alone is worth the cost of the service.

example failsafe chart

Are you getting the reliability your ISP claims in their SLA? When is the service down, and for how long? With our real-time and historical charting you will know how reliable your service is, and whether or not any changes are needed.

Conclusion

Nettica FailSafe is the right set of solutions for maximizing your service uptime. With geo-located servers and comprehensive management tools, Nettica FailSafe ensures your sites are always available.

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