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Schedule Switchover

  • 1.  Schedule Switchover

    Posted 09-21-2016 13:32
    We are running CIC 4.0 SU6 and IT has informed me they will start patching our servers once a month. They will patch one server and then 2 weeks later patch the other. The first server they patched was the primary and it required a reboot so it went into backup mode, but now I need to do a switchover to ensure the patches don't have any adverse effects before they patch the other server. I was thinking of using handlers to schedule a switchover so I don't have to wake up in the middle of the night to do this. Has anyone done this and can give some best practices here? I was looking at possibly using the Monitoring -> "Stop IC Subsystems" tool to kill Notifier on the primary, which should cause a switchover, and then after 30 seconds or so use the "Restart IC Subsystem" to start it back up so it would be in the backup state? Thanks, Andrew W.


  • 2.  RE: Schedule Switchover

    Posted 09-21-2016 13:42
    By "Patch" are you referring to Windoze or CIC? It is STRONGLY recommended that the two servers be identical. With CIC, different Patch Levels mean no switchover, so be careful!!


  • 3.  RE: Schedule Switchover

    Posted 09-21-2016 13:43
    Windows High Security Patches only, definitely not CIC patches.


  • 4.  RE: Schedule Switchover

    Posted 09-21-2016 13:49
    Well, that's not quite as worrying, however, there is still the possibility that being on different OS Patches could cause issues. A remote possibility, but a possibility! I would recommend trying to get both servers done in as shorter timeframe as possible. As for scheduling a switchover like this. Are you sure? I get the desire not to want to have to be involved, but I'm not sure I'd want my servers to do anything like this "on their own", without supervision! Assuming you are adamant, I'd go for a full reboot using the command-line "Shutdown". The problem with messing with the subsystems like this is that it may not come back up as a Backup cleanly - even assuming IP ran the "restart" handler (given that the Subsystem(s) have been stopped....)


  • 5.  RE: Schedule Switchover

    Posted 09-21-2016 13:51
    I cannot answer your question about the starting and stopping the Interaction service but... If your IT department is going to apply the patches have them make sure they only apply the ININ approved patches! You can suffer all kinds of grief if you apply wrong one! Check for approved patches here: http://testlab.inin.com/wsus.aspx?ProductType=21 Personally, I prefer a complete reboot to make sure everything comes up proper.


  • 6.  RE: Schedule Switchover

    Posted 09-21-2016 13:57
    I definitely sent them the approved patches before they started this work. The only patches they really are wanting to do are the high security patches, so just a few here and there. The majority of windows patches will not be applied. I guess I will just do the switchovers when I need to without the scheduling. Thanks for all the input! Also, we apply these patches to our dev environment first and make sure everything is working as expected there before we even think of putting these into prod. Thanks, Andrew W.


  • 7.  RE: Schedule Switchover

    Posted 09-21-2016 15:39
    We do only the approved patches, but as soon you are no longer with your IC on the latest and greatest IC patch version, your toast with Microsoft patches. If a approved fix is installed on a previous version there is no guarantee that it won't break your IC environment, as we recently discovered the hard way and now Microsoft does roll-up security fixes, you can apply those as they will break each time your IC environment, so be aware that Microsoft fixes will cause you grief and it can be major grief, bringing your business to a grinding halt. So definitely do NOT do your IC serves the same day, wait at least a full 24 hours between them, so you have a quick fall-back scenario for the servers. For your workstations, select a few non business critical ones, if you use dialler make sure you have at least 4 that use the scripter installed and upgrade these prior to the rest, if they work fine for a day or two then do the rest. I've been burned badly in the past by Microsoft and they have stolen years of my life with 'please wait....' messages and reboot after reboot after.... So better safe than burned.... Ruud


  • 8.  RE: Schedule Switchover

    Posted 09-21-2016 15:45
    We apply all Security and Critical Windows patches on a bi-weekly schedule. The first (primary) server is patched and rebooted (forcing a switch over), 20 minutes later the second server (primary after switch over) is patched and rebooted (forcing a switch over). The patching coordinator has makes a phone call to an IVR that validates email connectivity, Database connectivity and call routing. We began this procedure while on CIC 3.0 and have progressed to 2016R2 with the same procedure. Recently I3 sent an alert concerning a desktop patch that would break the client login. Due to the timeliness of the alert, we were able to remove that update from our patching pipeline and suffered no problems. CIC patches go through a full regression test cycle in our development environment. After successful completion these are applied at a different time than Windows patches. YMMV but this has been a very successful method over the past several years.


  • 9.  RE: Schedule Switchover

    Posted 09-22-2016 00:39
    Awooster You can use the switchoverctrlU.exe and do a switchover that way. Honestly I would use a handler to check what server is primary firing off a timer initiator and then checking for primary vs backup and then running the command. As it can be run on any server but the command must be sent from the back up. Command line is: SwitchoverCtrlU.exe /immediate /notifier= "NAME OF BACKUP SERVER" PM me i can send you a handler that basically does this, you would only need to change the initiator and add any additional logic you may want.


  • 10.  RE: Schedule Switchover

    Posted 09-22-2016 13:02
    We wrote a VB script which ran off a timer. We used the SwitchoverCtrlU.exe executable as Ryan mentioned and it worked pretty well. We also added in some logic that would poll the interaction Center service and if it didn't start an email would go out to make sure the support group would check the status of the servers.


  • 11.  RE: Schedule Switchover

    Posted 02-10-2022 22:11
    Hi Ryan,
    could you please send me some details on this. we are trying to automate this process through ansible and do need a cli command to perform switchover.
    could you also send me the handler to help us see what option is better.
    thanks
    Monika

    ------------------------------
    Monika Jain
    Moneris Solutions Corporation
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  • 12.  RE: Schedule Switchover

    Posted 02-15-2022 08:07
    oof, I don't have that handler logic anymore.

    But it would be a pretty simple handler using the query back up tol step:




    Query Backup

    This System tool determines whether or not a CIC server is part of a switchover environment and whether or not it is a backup server. It does this by examining the machine on which it is running. Use this tool to have a handler decide whether it should perform functionality only on the primary server or backup server. For example, you might not want to have the handler send an email if running on the backup server. This tool allows you to build a patch in a handler that is dependent on the server being either primary or backup.

    Inputs

    Maximum time to wait for response (In seconds)

    Enter the number of seconds to wait before the backup server query fails.

    Outputs

    Backup

    This Boolean value is:

    TRUE if the CIC Server is a backup server.

    FALSE If the CIC Server is a primary server.

    Exit Paths

    Success

    This exit path indicates that the CIC server is in a switchover environment. The Backup output flag can either be TRUE or FALSE.

    Failure

    This exit path indicates that the server is not part of a switchover environment.





    Then write the server name where ever you want to pull it from, DB, Registry, txt file etc etc.




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    ryan hedlund
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