Information Governance

Microsoft Cluster Service won't recognize Enterprise Vault

In December 2007, Lisa, a Symantec systems engineer, was on-site at a customer installing Symantec Enterprise Vault to archive the customer's IBM Lotus Domino data. The customer uses Microsoft Cluster Service (MSCS) for failover, and when Lisa attempted to integrate Enterprise Vault into the clustering infrastructure, MSCS did not recognize the presence of Enterprise Vault.

Lisa called Jim, a Symantec tech support engineer with over four years of experience. After determining that the problem was most likely in the MSCS configuration and not with Lotus Domino, Jim referred Lisa to Mike, Symantec's resident expert on Microsoft Cluster Service.

Enterprise Vault, meet Microsoft Message Queuing

Using a remote monitoring tool from WebEx to obtain an overview of the customer's environment, Mike determined that Enterprise Vault was not interacting properly with Microsoft Message Queuing (MSMQ).

"When Microsoft Cluster Service is involved, configuration is a bit different than with a typical single installation of Enterprise Vault," he says. "Message queuing is a very vital piece of how Enterprise Vault works behinds the scenes. The MSMQ cluster resource has to share a physical hard disk with both the primary and standby nodes, and if that isn't configured right, then Enterprise Vault will not be able to see the MSMQ resource as being a clustered resource."

Mike was able to get the correct configuration instructions to Lisa quickly, making it possible for her to resolve the problem the same day and complete the installation of Enterprise Vault on the primary node.

Fast support enables proof of concept and sale

The next day, Lisa proceeded with her installation of Enterprise Vault on the standby node, but when messages failed to archive, she again contacted Jim. After looking at the operating system event log, Jim determined that Lisa had neglected to install the software license on the standby node. Once the license was installed properly, Lisa was able to complete installation and provide the customer with a solid proof of concept—which resulted in a sale.

"The technical issues that Lisa experienced weren't terribly difficult to solve, but she was under the gun to get everything up and running by a certain deadline, so she was feeling the pressure," says Jim. "The speed with which we were able to respond allowed her to finish the installation on time and win over the customer."

Comments

It would be helpful writing on exactly how he did the clustering piece.