Configuration Synchronization is an enterprise service in ORF 5 which helps organizations to reduce the administrative overhead of maintaining multiple ORF servers. This feature allows appointing a central settings repository server (“Publisher”) and takes care of distributing the setting changes to the rest of the servers (“Subscribers”).
The audience of this feature are organizations who maintain multiple ORF installations, e.g.
- Companies with two or more ORF servers on their network (e.g. one on the primary MX, another on the secondary MX)
- IT shops who manage the ORF installations of their clients centrally.
Back to the technical details, subscriber servers periodically check the publisher server for configuration changes. When a change is encountered, subscribers download the publisher configuration and reinitialize with the latest settings.
The entire process utilizes the same communication foundation as introduced in our previous Remote Access article. Thanks to this, administrators can grant Config Sync-only access to the subscriber clients.
In addition to the full configuration synchronization, ORF 5 also allows overriding certain settings from the publisher. This is called “localization” in ORF – when you “localize” something, the local settings of the subscriber will take effect, overriding the publisher settings.
ORF 5 has two localization scopes: Path Localization and Feature Localization.
Path Localizations are for overriding file system path settings, e.g. the path to the log files. This comes handy if the publisher and the subscriber servers are almost identical, having same role and location within the network, but the file system paths are different.
Feature Localizations allow overriding entire features, like the Intermediate Host List or the Sender Whitelist (a “feature” is something that has its own page in the ORF Administration Tool). This allows a versatile range of localizations, e.g. a different Intermediate Host List for a different location within the network.
As for fault tolerance questions, subscribers can operate with the last known configuration indefinitely if the publisher is not available for any reason (at least one successful initial sync is required, though).
Screenshots (some of the UI is subject to change):
Questions? Comments? Let us know.