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Clustering & Load Balancing MyWorkDrive Servers

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MyWorkDrive supports clustering for enterprise licensees above 200 users that wish to run multiple MyWorkDrive servers with fail-over or load balancing.   There are some important steps to ensure proper identification by the MyWorkDrive systems to support multiple license activation and to ensure uniqueness with our Office 365 editing features.

New in Version 6

Version 6 of MyWorkDrive Server introduces dedicated support for Clustered environments supporting both Load Balanced and Fail-Over.  You’ll now be able to configure servers as Primary or Secondary, and your Primary server will do most all the configuration – which will automatically be picked up by the Secondary servers, removing most of the duplicate administration work previously required. A Clustering Enabled license is required. If Clustering is not available in your Admin panel, contact sales to inquire about a license upgrade. Versions prior to 6 will need to continue to manually apply settings and make configuration changes to each server individually using the exports/import feature, see below for instructions if you have not yet upgraded to Version 6.

Key Features

  • Each server must have its own unique device id as assigned by our software upon installation – do not clone the MyWorkDrive Servers.  Setup each server separately, then configure clustering settings in the Clustering menu in server admin.  Cloning my MyWorkDrive will cause all servers with the cloned hardware ID to be unlicensed by the licensing service and users will not be able to login.
  • Contact [email protected] to allow additional servers to be activated with your MyWorkDrive License key.  You can then input the same key into your MyWorkDrive Servers however the cumulative usage across all servers must not exceed your subscription license count.
  • Shared configuration files are stored on a UNC Path accessible to all the MyWorkDrive servers.  We recommend using a hidden share.
  • Each Server’s computer account must be granted permissions to write to the share.
  • Shares, server configuration, and user settings (including favorites) are now stored at the specified location. When deployed, settings are copied there from the Primary server. The Primary server denotes the server where changes can be made. Secondary servers cannot make settings changes and simply use the changes as set on the config files they have access to.
  • When enabled, the Secondary server(s) has/have limited configuration settings (log level, Office 365).  All configuration is done on the Primary server (client settings/limits, shares, features, etc)
  • Changes made to settings on the Primary server are immediately processed on the Secondary servers, there is no syncing or delay.
  • Log level, log storage, and Office 365 enabling are still handled on a per-server basis.
  • IIS configuration is handled on a per-server basis – port/SSL bindings, so each server will need a connection set up if you are using inbound 443 and binding an SSL.
  • Use the sticky session feature (also known as session affinity) on the load balancer, which enables the load balancer to bind a user’s session to a specific instance and for persistence use client Source IP Address.
  • Favorites are now stored alongside other shared configuration data and are no longer configured separately.
  • An unlimited number of Secondary servers are supported.
  • Version 6 can be run in the classic mode manually maintaining the configuration files if you so choose, or if you want to maintain an existing configuration while you plan a migration to the new Cluster configuration.

Installation

Primary Server

Install and configure MyWorkDrive on your Primary server. Make sure you have a license that supports clustering (will appear in the menu, contact sales if you do not see “Clustering” as a top level item alongside Settings, Enterprise, Logs, etc). Enable Clustering from the menu Set the server as Primary Specify a UNC path for the share location (we recommend using a hidden share). ie \\server\share$ Save your configuration. Your Primary server’s current configuration will be placed on the specified UNC Path. Future changes to settings on the Primary server will update the configuration files stored on the UNC Path.

Secondary Server

To support the new Cluster feature, we’ve enabled skip on the wizard to simplify the process for the Secondary server. Install your Secondary server. Apply the clustering enabled license. Skip the wizard. On the cluster tab, do NOT specify it as a Primary server (only one Primary server is supported per environment), simply enter the same UNC path as the Primary server, ie \\server\share$ The Secondary server will now use the same settings as the Primary server for most things except for those noted above (Office Online, Log level, etc).  Settings on the Settings and Enterprise tabs in server admin which are managed by the Primary server are shown, but changes are not permitted on the Secondary server.

Deploying in an existing environment

If you already have a MyWorkDrive server and want to deploy a cluster with a Secondary server, or you already have a cluster and want to upgrade to the Version 6 clustering features, the process is straightforward. Enable Clustering on the Primary server and specify the UNC path to store the configuration files.  This will copy the existing configuration to the new shared location. Enable Clustering on the Secondary server and specify the UNC path to the shared configuration files (the same path used on the Primary server).  The Secondary server will switch to using the Cluster configuration files.  A copy of the then-current configuration will be retained locally on the server, but will not be updated.  The cluster configuration is stored exclusively on the shared location.

Upgrading servers in a Cluster

It is not necessary to disable clustering on the servers in MyWorkDrive to update them. Cluster servers can be individually upgraded.  If you are upgrading within the same version (6.0.0.54 to 6.0.0.55), clustering servers can be updated individually without taking the cluster offline unless otherwise noted in the release notes. If you are updating between versions of MyWorkDrive (ie 6.0 to 6.1), we recommend taking all nodes of the cluster offline and upgrading all of them.

Disabling a Cluster

If you disable clustering, the servers will revert to the last known local configuration.  In the case of a Secondary server, that may not be current or there may not be any at all if it was deployed specifically as a Secondary cluster member. Should you want to revert to individual MyWorkDrive servers, use the export feature on the Primary server to capture the current cluster configuration to apply to Secondary servers after removing them from the cluster.

Configuration Examples

Sample Azure Load Balancer Setup Article

Sample Kemp Load Balancer with settings tested and approved by MyWorkDrive Support with Source IP Address Persistence

Create VIP Service in Kemp

  • Set VIP Lan IP Address
  • Install SSL Certificate
  • Persistence Options: Source IP Address
  • Enable SSL Acceleration and Enable Reencrypt
  • Add Backend MyWorkDrive Real Server Lan IP’s

Kemp Support Article  

Previous Versions

As mentioned earlier, version 6 of MyWorkDrive Server includes new features for clustering.  If you are running an older version of MyWorkDrive Server, clustering is accomplished manually.

  • Each server must have it’s own unique device id as assigned by our software upon installation – do not clone the MyWorkDrive Servers.  Setup each server separately, then install MyWorkDrive on each.   They will then each be assigned a unique device id.
  • Contact [email protected] to allow additional servers to be activated with your MyWorkDrive License key.  You can then input the same key into your MyWorkDrive Servers however the cumulative usage across both servers must not exceed your subscription license count.
  • Use the sticky session feature (also known as session affinity), which enables the load balancer to bind a user’s session to a specific instance and for persistence use client Source IP Address.
  • Enable Favorites: By enabling favorites, users will see a new option in the web file manager browser client to create and delete favorites to folder paths.  By default, favorites are saved to the local MWD Server.  In clustered environments, favorites may also be saved to a shared hidden share on the network. For example, \\domain.com\favorites$ (each MyWorkDrive server computer account will need NTFS permissions to create and modify favorites in this hidden file share).
  • Server Configurations: You may use the backup configuration under settings to backup your configuration on your Primary server in the admin panel.  To restore it, use the restore settings feature on the destination server.   This will restore settings such as file shares and configuration options without overwriting unique server device ids on the destination server.