Safeguard for Privileged Passwords Appliances can be clustered to ensure high availability. Clustering enables the recovery or continuation of vital technology infrastructure and systems following a natural or human-induced disaster. This reduces down time and data loss.
Another benefit of clustering is load distribution. Clustering in a managed network ensures the load is distributed to ensure minimal cluster traffic and to ensure appliances that are closest to the target asset are used to perform the task. The Appliance Administrator defines managed networks (network segments) to effectively manage assets, account, and service access requests in a clustered environment to distribute the task load.
A Safeguard for Privileged Passwords cluster consists of three or five appliances. An appliance can only belong to a single cluster. One appliance in the cluster is designated as the primary. Non-primary appliances are referred to as replicas. All vital data stored on the primary appliance is also stored on the replicas. In the event of a disaster, where the primary appliance is no longer functioning, you can promote a replica to be the new primary appliance. Network configuration is done on each unique appliance, whether it is the primary or a replica.
The replicas provide a read-only view of the security policy configuration. You cannot add, delete, or modify the objects or security policy configuration on a replica appliance. You can perform password change and check operations and make password release and session access requests. Users can log in to replicas to request access, generate reports, or audit the data. Also, passwords and sessions can be requested from any appliance in a Safeguard cluster.
Current supported cluster configurations follow.
- 3 Node Cluster (1 Primary, 2 Replicas): Consensus is achieved when two of the three appliances are online and able to communicate. Valid states are: Online or ReplicaWithQuorum. For more information, see Appliance states.
- 5 Node Cluster (1 Primary, 4 Replicas): Consensus is achieved when three of the five appliances are online and able to communicate. Valid states are: Online or ReplicaWithQuorum. For more information, see Appliance states.
Some maintenance tasks require that the cluster has consensus (quorum). Consensus means that the majority of the members (primary or replica appliances) are online and able to communicate. Valid states are: Online or ReplicaWithQuorum. For more information, see Appliance states.
Supported clusters have an odd number of appliances so the cluster has a consensus equal to or greater than 50% of the appliances are online and able to communicate.
If a cluster loses consensus (also known as a quorum failure), the following automatically happens:
- The primary appliance goes into Read-only mode.
- Password check and change is disabled.
When connectivity is restored between a majority of members in a cluster, consensus is automatically regained. If the consensus members include the primary appliance, it automatically converts to read-write mode and enables password check and change.
The following tools are available to perform health checks and diagnose the cluster and appliances.
- Perform a health check to monitor cluster health and appliance states. For more information, see Maintaining and diagnosing cluster members.
- Diagnose the cluster and appliance. You can view appliance information, run diagnostic tests, view and edit network settings, and generate a support bundle. For more information, see Diagnosing a cluster member.
Shut down and restart an appliance
You can shut down and restart an appliance.
- Shut down an appliance. For more information, see Shutting down the appliance.
- Restart an appliance. For more information, see Restarting the appliance.
You can enable Offline Workflow Mode either automatically or manually to force an appliance that no longer has quorum to process access requests using cached policy data in isolation from the remainder of the cluster. The appliance will be in Offline Workflow Mode.
- For general information on Offline Workflow Mode, see About Offline Workflow Mode.
- To manually enable offline workflow or manually resume online workflow, see Manually control Offline Workflow Mode.
- To configure automatic Offline Workflow Mode and, optionally, automatically Resume Online Workflow, see Offline Workflow (automatic). When automation is turned on, you can still also manually control Offline Workflow Mode.
If a primary is not communicating, perform a manual failover. If that is not possible, you can use a backup to restore an appliance.
- Failover: If the primary is not communicating, you can perform a manual failover if there is a quorum (the majority has consensus). For more information, see Failing over to a replica by promoting it to be the new primary.
- Backup restore: Perform a backup restore if no appliance can be restored using failover. For more information, see Using a backup to restore a clustered appliance.
If the cluster appliances are able to communicate, you can unjoin the replica, then activate the primary so replicas can be joined.
- You can unjoin a replica in any state and place it in Standalone Read-only mode (StandaloneReadOnly state). For more information, see Unjoining replicas from a cluster.
- You can activate an appliance that has been been unjoined and placed in Standalone Read-only mode (StandaloneReadOnly state) if the appliance is not managed in anther Safeguard cluster. For more information, see Activating a read-only appliance.
If the appliance is offline or the cluster members are unable to communicate, you must use Cluster Reset to rebuild the cluster. If there are appliances that must be removed from the cluster but there is no quorum to safely unjoin, a cluster reset force-removes nodes from the cluster. For more information, see Resetting a cluster that has lost consensus.
Perform a factory reset to recover from major problems or to clear the data and configuration settings on a hardware appliance. All data and audit history is lost and the hardware appliance goes into maintenance mode.
You can perform a factory reset from:
- The desktop client. For more information, see Performing a factory reset.
- The Recovery Kiosk. For more information, see Factory reset from the Recovery Kiosk.
- The virtual appliance Support Kiosk. For more information, see Support Kiosk.