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SteelEye DataKeeper for Linux Release Notes

Version 7.5


Read This Document Before Attempting To Install Or Use This Product!
This document contains last minute information that must be considered before, during and after installation. 


These release notes are written for the person who installs, configures and/or administers the SteelEye DataKeeper for Linux product. The document contains important information such as package versions, last-minute changes to instructions and procedures, product restrictions and troubleshooting hints and tips that were discovered through final product testing. It is important that you review this document before installing and configuring your SteelEye DataKeeper software.

Product Description

The SteelEye DataKeeper product:

  • Provides volume-based synchronous and asynchronous data replication.

  • Integrates into the LifeKeeper Graphical User Interface for administration and monitoring.
  • Automatically resynchronizes data between source and target servers at system recovery.
  • Monitors the health of underlying system components and performs local recovery in the event of failure.

  • Allows manual resource switchovers and failovers of mirrored volumes. 

  • Can be easily upgraded to provide high availability clustering and automatic failover and recovery using a license key to enable new functionality.

LifeKeeper Core 

LifeKeeper for Linux is bundled and runs on 32-bit and 64-bit systems (x86, AMD64, and EM64T systems).  The LifeKeeper Core Package Cluster includes the following installable packages:


Package Name




The LifeKeeper package provides recovery software for failures associated with core system components such as memory, CPUs, the operating system, the SCSI disk subsystem and file systems.

LifeKeeper GUI


The LifeKeeper GUI package provides a graphical user interface for LifeKeeper administration and status monitoring.

LifeKeeper Man Pages


The LifeKeeper Man Page package provides reference manual pages for the LifeKeeper product.

SteelEye DataKeeper


Data Replication (synchronous or asynchronous mirrors, with intent logging)

LifeKeeper Product Requirements

LifeKeeper for Linux is currently targeted for any Linux platform that satisfies the minimum requirements included in the Linux Configuration table.

The SteelEye DataKeeper package requires the following disk space: Approximately 1800 (1024-byte) disk blocks in /opt.

Client Platforms and Browsers

The LifeKeeper web client can run on any platform that provides support for Java Runtime Environment J2RE 1.4 or later.  The currently supported configurations are Firefox 1.5, 2 or 3 and Internet Explorer 6, 7 or 8 on Linux, Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003, Windows 2008 R2, Windows XP, Windows 7 or Windows Vista with J2RE 1.4, JRE 5 or JRE 6.  Other recent platforms and browsers will likely work with the LifeKeeper web client, but they have not been tested by SIOS Technology Corp.

You should specify all the hostnames and addresses in your cluster in the client machine’s local hosts file (usually /etc/hosts or C:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts).  This minimizes the client connection time and allows the client to connect even in the event of a Domain Name Server (DNS) failure.

Installation and Configuration

See the Installation/Configuration section of SteelEye DataKeeper Technical Documentation for installation and configuration instructions.


LifeKeeper can be upgraded while preserving existing resource hierarchies.  See Upgrading LifeKeeper for instructions on upgrading from a previous LifeKeeper version and also for information about upgrading your Linux operating system.

Before Starting Your Upgrade 

If you are already running LifeKeeper v4.3.0 or later and are upgrading to a later version, use the /opt/LifeKeeper/bin/lkbackup command to create a backup copy of your LifeKeeper configuration files.

Upgrading to LifeKeeper v7

It is recommended that LifeKeeper customers follow the upgrade instructions included in the Upgrading LifeKeeper topic.  This includes switching all applications away from the server to be upgraded before running the setup script on the LifeKeeper Installation Support CD and/or updating your LifeKeeper packages.

Technical Notes

We strongly recommend that you read the following technical notes concerning configuration and operational issues related to your LifeKeeper environment.

LifeKeeper Features




LifeKeeper requires unique runtime license keys for each server.  This applies to both physical and virtual servers.  A license key is required for the LifeKeeper core software as well as for each separately packaged LifeKeeper recovery kit.  The installation support script installs a Licensing Utilities package that obtains and displays the Host ID of your server.  The Host IDs, along with the Activation ID(s) provided with your software, are used to obtain license keys from the SIOS Technology Corp. website.  

Internationalization and Localization

LifeKeeper for Linux supports wide/multi-byte characters in resource and tag names but does not include native language message support. The LifeKeeper GUI can be localized by creating locale-specific versions of the Java property files. However, many of the messages displayed by the GUI come from the LifeKeeper core, so localization of the GUI will provide only a partial solution for users until the core software is fully localized.

LifeKeeper MIB File

LifeKeeper can be configured to issue SNMP traps describing the events that are occurring within the LifeKeeper cluster.  See the lk_configsnmp(8) man page for more information about configuring this capability.  The MIB file describing the LifeKeeper traps can be found at /opt/LifeKeeper/include/LifeKeeper-MIB.txt.

LifeKeeper Operations



Coexistence with Linux Firewalls

LifeKeeper uses specific ports for communication paths, GUI, IP and data replication.  When using the Linux firewall feature, the specific ports that LifeKeeper is using need to be opened.  Refer to the Running LifeKeeper with a Firewall topic for details.

Server Configuration



BIOS Updates

The latest available BIOS should always be installed on all LifeKeeper servers.

Linux Configuration

Refer to the topic Linux Configuration for Operating System, kernel updates and other specific configuration information.

DataKeeper Configuration



SDR Feature/ Distribution Matrix

SDR supports Linux kernel versions 2.6 and higher. Several SDR features have additional minimum kernel requirements.

The table below lists each SDR feature with an “X” indicating which Linux distributions the feature is supported on.

SDR Feature

Red Hat







Multiple Target Support (kernel 2.6.7+)






Bitmap Intent Logging (kernel 2.6.16+)






Asynchronous (WAN) Replication (kernel 2.6.16+)






Bitmap Merging (2.6.27+)






*Applies to RHEL 5.4 only.  Bitmap merging code was backported into the Red Hat EL5 Update 4 kernel by Red Hat.

DataKeeper documentation

SteelEye DataKeeper for Linux Technical Documentation.


GUI Configuration



GUI client and server communication

The LifeKeeper GUI client and server use Java Remote Method Invocation (RMI) to communicate.  For RMI to work correctly, the client and server must use resolvable hostnames or IP addresses.  If DNS is not implemented (or names are not resolvable using other name lookup mechanisms), edit the /etc/hosts file on each client and server to include the names and addresses of all other LifeKeeper servers.

GUI Server Java platform

The LifeKeeper GUI server requires that the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) - Java virtual machine, the Java platform core classes and supporting files - be installed.  The JRE 5.0 for Linux is available on the LifeKeeper Installation Support CD or it can be downloaded directly from

Note: By default, the LifeKeeper GUI server expects the JRE on each server to be installed in the directory /usr/java/j2re1.5.0_07.  If this is not found, it will look in the directory /usr/java/j2sdk1.5.0_07 for a Java Software Development Kit (JDK).  If you want to use a JRE or JDK in another directory location, you must edit the PATH in the LifeKeeper default file /etc/default/LifeKeeper to include the directory containing the java interpreter, java.exe.  If LifeKeeper is running when you edit this file, you should stop and restart the LifeKeeper GUI server to recognize the change.  Otherwise, the LifeKeeper GUI will not be able to find the Java command.

Java remote object registry server port

The LifeKeeper GUI server uses Port 82 for the Java remote object registry on each LifeKeeper server.  This should allow servers to support RMI calls from clients behind typical firewalls.

LifeKeeper administration web server

The LifeKeeper GUI server requires an administration web server for client browser communication.  Currently, the LifeKeeper GUI server is using a public domain web server, mhttpd, for its administration web server.  The installation of the LifeKeeper GUI installs and configures this web server, using Port 81, which should be different from any public web server.

GUI client network access

LifeKeeper GUI clients require network access to all hosts in the LifeKeeper cluster.  When running the LifeKeeper GUI client in a browser, you will have to lower the security level to allow network access for applets.  Be careful not to visit other sites with security set to low values (e.g., change the security settings only for intranet or trusted sites).

GUI Limitations



GUI interoperability restriction

The LifeKeeper for Linux client may only be used to administer LifeKeeper on Linux servers.  The LifeKeeper for Linux GUI will not interoperate with LifeKeeper for Windows.

Restrictions or Known Issues 

See the Troubleshooting section of SteelEye DataKeeper for Linux Technical Documentation.

Product Documentation

Documentation providing instructions for installing, configuring, administering and troubleshooting SteelEye DataKeeper is available in our SteelEye DataKeeper for Linux Technical Documentation. The following sections cover every aspect of SteelEye DataKeeper for Linux:

Section Description


Gives an overview of mirroring with SteelEye DataKeeper and describes how replication works.  


Contains detailed information and instructions for installing and configuring the SDR software on each server in your cluster.
Administration Provides information to help in understanding and managing SDR operations and issues after DataKeeper resources are created.
Multi-Site Cluster Discusses the use of a LifeKeeper shared storage configuration between two or more servers with the additional ability to replicate the shared disk(s) to one or more target servers using SteelEye DataKeeper.
Troubleshooting Describes possible problems, their symptoms and suggested actions.
Glossary Contains a list of commonly used terms within SteelEye DataKeeper.

SteelEye LifeKeeper for Linux:


LifeKeeper training is available through SIOS Technology Corp. or through your LifeKeeper provider.  Contact your sales representative for more information.

Technical Support

As a SIOS Technology Corp. customer with a valid Support contract, you are entitled to access the new SIOS Technology Corp. Support Self-Service Portal.

The SIOS Technology Corp. Support Self-Service Portal offers you the following capabilities:

  • Search our Solution Knowledge Base to find solutions to problems and answers to questions

  • Always on 24/7 service with the SIOS Technology Corp. Support team to:

  • Log a Case to report new incidents

  • View Cases to see all of your open and closed incidents

  • Review Top Solutions which provides information on the most popular problem resolutions being viewed by our customers.

Contact SIOS Technology Corp. Support at to set up and activate your Self-Service Portal account. 

You can also contact SIOS Technology Corp. Support at:

1-877-457-5113 (Toll Free)

1-803-808-4270 (International)


© 2012 SIOS Technology Corp., the industry's leading provider of business continuity solutions, data replication for continuous data protection.