Failover Settings

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(Updated 2018.04.13)

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Failover feature provides maximum possible uptime for the displays. Failover requires two Userful servers to be located on the same subnet; if that is the case, then if Primary server fails, the Secondary server takes over the network zero-client devices of the Primary i.e. failed server.

This page outlines best practices and steps to take when preparing for and executing failover procedures using network zero clients.

Note: This feature is NOT applicable for USB zero clients, since USB zero clients will be connected to a specific Userful server only.


Before configuring failover group, following requirements and caveats must be met:

  • Primary-Secondary relationship
Although all members in the failover group are equivalent; we still suggest that user should indicate one server as the Primary and the other as the Secondary
Primary is the server with assigned displays that is added first when a failover group is created
Secondary is the server with only onboard display running (i.e., without any assigned display)
  • Same hardware specifications
Both Userful servers should have similar hardware specifications
  • Same working environment
Both Userful servers should have identical version of all the software packages (specially the "userful-control-center" package)
  • Same media content
Any local content must be added manually to both servers and CMS subscription may be required for both hosts
  • Same license
Both Userful servers should have identical licenses, please contact Userful Sales Representative or send an email to for more details

Setting Failover Group

Enable Failover.png

The first step in setting failover group is to Enable Failover on the Primary server.

  1. Open Control Center > Settings > Failover Group Settings.
  2. Select "Enable Failover".
  3. Allow Control Center to restart.

The next step is to define the failover group, i.e. the failover relation among two servers.

Follow the below mentioned steps to define failover group:
  1. Open Control Center of the "Primary" server.
  2. Go to Settings > Failover Group Settings
  3. Enter the Group Name and click "Create Group" to create a new group.

Failover Settings2.png
  1. Once the failover group is created, the name of the "Primary" server will be listed under "Servers".
  2. Select the Failback Setting to be "Automatic" or "Manual" depending on the use case.

"Failback" occurs once the Primary server comes back online where the failed over displays from the Secondary server will be re-assigned back to the Primary server. This failback can happen automatically or manually as mentioned above.

Next step is to log in to the Secondary server.
  1. Open Control Center.
  2. Go to Settings > Failover Group Settings.
  3. Select "Enable Failover" and allow Control Center to restart.
  4. Again open Control Center.
  5. Go to Settings > Failover Group Settings.
  6. Create a new group or Join an existing group from the drop-down menu as shown in the image.
  7. Click “Join Group” button.
  8. Note: Joining an existing failover group will copy and overwrite current display mapping with the display mapping from the failover group's shared database.

The newly added Secondary server is now listed under the list of servers.

Note: When a new server is added to an existing failover group, the sources and other settings of the "Primary" server gets copied to the newly added server automatically. Blackmagic Capture source and Video Capture source will not get copied on the "Secondary" server as the capture card is directly connected to the "Primary" server.

Follow the below mentioned steps to test the Failover process:

FG 5.png
  1. Ensure that the “Primary” server and “Secondary” server are both online under the same subnet.
  2. Shutdown or unplug the network cable from the "Primary" server
  3. Within few seconds, the displays that were assigned to the Primary (failed) server should come back online, but these displays are now running on the "Secondary" server as failover displays
    Please note that the failover displays have orange display icon with display ID Failover Display.png
  4. Reboot or plug the network cable back to the Primary host.
  5. Within few seconds, all failover displays will unassign from the "Secondary" server and restored back to the "Primary" server automatically or manually depending on the Failback Setting selected.
Images shown in the right show the messages that will appear while displays failback from Secondary server to the Primary server.

Please Note:

  • Failover is designed to automatically transition to the designated backup system in the event of an unrecoverable failure of the primary host system. Restoration from the backup state is currently manual and some care must be taken when restoring the host system to ensure that the failback process is smooth.
  • If you have a specialized failover need, please contact Userful Sales Representative or send an email to with details of your use-case.

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