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MIS Systems Thread, Clustering SIMS.net in Technical; Hi Everyone Just wanted to get some feedback on my ideas. We are having all our servers replaced in July ...
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    mattstevenson2005's Avatar
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    Clustering SIMS.net

    Hi Everyone

    Just wanted to get some feedback on my ideas.

    We are having all our servers replaced in July and I was wondering if we could cluster our Sims servers to provide failover support. What I am thinking of is to have two servers running the full version of SQL 2005 with load balancing enabled. Then to provide failover for the SIMS s:\ drive to use some sort of DFS distributed file system software to mirror the Sims folder across the two servers.

    Has anybody else got this set, or looking to something like this, any help would be great

    Cheer

    Matt

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    You can't use the built in load balancing with SIMS.net, it isn't supported. The reason I saw was that it changes the schema of the DB in some way. What was suggested was a sort of 'semi-failover', ie. Run a backup of the DB and attach it on a second server at a specific frequency.

    Then you could use something like Nagios, and a couple of scripts to switch things around should a failure occur.

    This would mean that any changes made between backups would be lost though.

    EDIT: I have been informed that the stance has changed since I was told MSSQL clustering doesn't work. According to Capita Supportnet's KB72633 it will work, so long as you follow their instructions.
    Last edited by localzuk; 14th May 2009 at 11:50 AM.

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    wesleyw's Avatar
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    You can use SQL Server mirroring though this will provide a backup should the primary server fail you'll need a heartbeat type server to change the secondary to the primary and vice versa this will work as long as sims use the sql native client not some freakish monster to connect to the server (You may have to change the connect.ini file as well to allow when failing over)

    Wes

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    Theblacksheep's Avatar
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    I was hoping to use FT in vSphere when its released to achieve FT in sims.

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    mattstevenson2005's Avatar
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    Thanks guys

    Do you think the DFS will work ok with the sims share?

    Cheers

    Matt

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    mattstevenson2005's Avatar
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    I have tried to search for that KB ID but support net doesnt find anything, does anyone have a direct link?

    cheers

    matt

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    I don't have a direct link - but it is in the solutions section, there is a KB number button on the right. I had the same problem you've had.

  8. Thanks to localzuk from:

    mattstevenson2005 (14th May 2009)

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  10. Thanks to Steve_T from:

    mattstevenson2005 (14th May 2009)

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    mattstevenson2005's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link, thats great, the capita site is crap for searching LOL

    Matt

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattstevenson2005 View Post
    Thanks guys

    Do you think the DFS will work ok with the sims share?

    Cheers

    Matt
    Yes, will work.

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    When I spoke to our local support team about this I was told that it is possible and there is one local(ish) school doing it but Capita don't fully support it so we would probably, unless we have a lot of experience with SQL, need outside support to set it up and maintain it. Also, I'm not sure, but I think clustering needs the enterprise version of SQL server which makes it very expensive. We have gone for the low tech but cheaper solution of having a second - lower spec - server with SIMS installed and kept up to date on to which we can restore our latest database back up. This gives us down time of < 1/2 an hour with a potential data loss of 1 day - back to last nights backup. It has been agreed that this is an acceptable compromise

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    wesleyw's Avatar
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    SQL Standard can do the mirroring which means a downtime of about 30 seconds it'll be up to date as of a few minutes.


    Wes

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    If you're setting up anything new and whizzy which might take a lot of time (particularly multiple SQL Servers) don't forget that you're going to need to migrate from SQL 2005 to SQL 2008 at some point between October 2009 and October 2010.

    Just worth bearing in mind.

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