This topic provides step-by-step instructions for installing and configuring the SIOS Protection Suite (SPS) for Windows. SIOS Protection Suite is a software bundle that includes DataKeeper (DK), LifeKeeper (LK) and the optional SIOS Protection Suite Microsoft SQL Server Recovery Kit.

The series of steps includes links into the documentation that describe each step in detail.

Prerequisites and Installation

  1. Read the SIOS Protection Suite for Windows Release Notes for late breaking information.
  1. Firewall Configurations – Make sure you understand what ports must be opened on any firewalls.
  1. Network Bandwidth – If replicating across a WAN, it is critical that a rate of change analysis be done to ensure there is adequate bandwidth.
  1. DataKeeper is a block-level volume replication solution and requires that each server have additional volume(s) (other than the system drive) that are the same size. Please review Volume Considerations for additional information regarding storage requirements.
  1. Review the section Understanding Replication to help understand how DataKeeper works and the difference between synchronous and asynchronous replication.
  1. Ensure that you have the correct version and/or capacity of all components for each SIOS Protection Suite server by reviewing Verifying Server Specifications. Note: All servers within a cluster should be running the same version of Windows.
  1. Plan your communication paths for your cluster. For optimal performance, multiple communication paths must be defined. Review Planning Server Communication for additional information.
  1. LK supports either shared storage or replicated storage. Review Storage and Adapter Requirements and Configuring Your Storage for additional information.
  1. In order for SIOS Protection Suite to function properly, it is important that your networking is configured as described in Verifying Network Configuration. In particular, you must make sure that your Public NIC is at the top of the binding order on all of the cluster nodes.
  1. Before installing any applications (Oracle, SQL Server, Exchange), please review Installing and Setting Up Database Applications.
  1. Installing SIOS Protection Suite is as straight forward as running the setup executable. The setup received from SIOS will go through the process of installing LK, DK and any optional ARKs. At the end of the setup, you will be prompted to enter your license key. Evaluation customers should use the time limited key that was supplied by SIOS. If you purchased the software, follow the instructions in Obtaining and Installing the License to complete your installation. For complete details, see the SIOS Protection Suite for Windows Installation Guide.
  1. When using the SIOS Protection Suite (LifeKeeper and DataKeeper) in a Workgroup environment, the LifeKeeper Service must use the same account (ID and Password) as the DataKeeper Service on each system DataKeeper Service Log On ID and Password Selection.


Once you have installed SIOS Protection Suite and ensured that your networking and storage are configured as described in the Prerequisites section, it is time to configure SIOS Protection Suite to protect your business critical applications. The detailed steps to configure protection are found in SIOS Protection Suite Configuration Steps.

A summary of the steps minimally required are described below with links for more information.

  1. Create your communication paths. Communication paths carry cluster information between nodes and also heartbeats that are used to detect when entire systems fail.
  1. Create your resource heirarchy. Depending upon the application being protected, create one or more of the following resources. Click on the resource type for detailed instructions on resource creation.

Volume – A volume resource can be a replicated volume or a shared physical disk. A volume resource(s) is used in just about every cluster configuration.

IP – An IP resource is used for client redirection between cluster nodes in the same subnet.

DNS – A DNS resource is used for client redirection between cluster nodes that are in different subnets.

File Share – A file share resource is used to protect and recover Windows file shares. The file share resource assumes that a Volume resource has already been created.

LAN Manager – A LAN Manager resource is used in environments that require NetBIOS name resolution. Alternatively, if DNS resolution is functioning properly, you can create an “A” record in DNS and have it resolve to the IP resource for client redirection.

Generic Application – The GenApp resource allows users to protect any application by writing a simple start, stop and recover script. The GenApp resource comes with an example script that easily allows the user to provide protection for any Windows Service.

SIOS Protection Suite Microsoft SQL Server – The SQL Recovery Kit allows users to build high availability and disaster recovery solutions for their SQL implementation. The entire SQL Server cluster creation process is also detailed in this online video screen capture demonstration.

  1. After creating your resources, the dependencies may need to be adjusted as described in Adding a Resource Dependency. Creating dependencies ensures that resources always fail over together and also ensures that dependent resources start and stop in the proper order.
  1. At this point, you have a functioning cluster. Don’t forget to take the time to read the rest of the documentation to discover other advanced features that you may wish to take advantage of in your environment.


While there are many things you may wish to do with your cluster, one of the first things you will want to do is test a manual switchover to ensure that your application can be moved from the active cluster to the standby server. To do this, right-click on the top level resource on the standby system and choose In Service. This will initiate a manual switchover.

Once you verify that a manual switchover completes as expected, you may wish to test Local Recovery. If SIOS Protection Suite detects a failure of a resource, it will attempt to recover that resource locally if Local Recovery is enabled. One easy way to test this is to stop the service of a protected application. Once the Quick Check runs, it will detect the failure and automatically restart the service.

The final test you will want to perform is a system recovery. If the active server fails completely, the standby server will detect the failure as it stops receiving heartbeats over the communication path(s). Once the timeout period expires (heartbeat interval X max missed heartbeats), the standby server will start recovering the protected resources. The best way to test system recovery is to pull the power cord on the active server. Simply shutting down the active server does not necessarily cause failover; it all depends on how the Shutdown Strategy is set. Once the standby server completes the recovery, turn the failed server back on, and it will come online as the new standby server.

For more information on SIOS Protection Suite Management, please refer to the SIOS Protection Suite Technical Documentation.


Use the following resources to help troubleshoot issues:


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