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Scaling out Biztalk application server RRS feed

  • Question

  • Our current production environment has 2 physical Biztalk application servers which are Network load balanced and 2 Biztlak Sql servers which are clustered. We are running out of CPU resources on the 2 Biztalk application servers and we want to add another Biztalk server to the existing group and i have a couple of questions to get that working.

    1) 2 Biztalk application severs we have are physical machines and I am planning to get a VM which would be a clone of one of the existing application servers. I am not sure whether adding a VM machine to a existing group of physical machines will work seamlessly. Please advise whether doing so will cause any issues.

    2) After I get the cloned VM , I am planning to unconfigure the biztalk configuration in that VM and reconfigure it to add the VM to the existing biztalk group. I am not sure whether this is all i have to do to add the VM to existing group.

    Please advise on the above 2 questions I have. Thank you in advance.


    Dilip Bandi

    Monday, August 25, 2014 3:37 PM

Answers

  • Hi Buddy!

    When adding an additional machine to a cluster I usually recommend the following.

    1. Install a brand new machine, and use the same OS as you have on the other BizTalk Server

    2. Verify the DTC on the new server can communicate with the SQL Servers used by BizTalk

    3. Install BizTalk (same version as you have)

    4. Install any CU, adapters etc. you have on the other BizTalk Servers

    5. Configure BizTalk to join the old group

    6. Install any application (Unless you have good control, just export all the apps you have and install them on the New BizTalk Server)

    7. Create new host instances on the new server

    8. Start one and one host instance to see that everything is running smooth.

    I usually recommend people doing it from scratch, and by that I mean a machine that has not been cloned, or copied from another image. This could potentially give you more work that necessary. Like the RPC and unique ID for DTC. Always be careful when you're starting to utilize the new machine, monitor a little to ensure everything is running as expected.

    Best regards,

    Tord Glad Nordahl

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014 8:32 AM
    1. PLEASE DO NO CLONE - This creates problem as the System ID's of the clones are the same and when using MSDTC you will face issues which will cause problems with BizTalk functioning for distributed transactions. This forum has a lot of notes which can trace their origins to CLONES.
    2. If you wish to create a VM that you can deploy rapidly, I would suggest that you load the OS (Do NOT Join the Domain and SYSPREP will revoke the DOMAIN ID's), load (install) all the pre-requisite software such as SQL Client, your other clients, JRE, etc, etc. Install IIS if you want, Oracle Clients (if required), MQ Clients (if required) and BizTalk (install only). Then you can SYSPREP and keep the image ready for scalable deployment. Everytime you wish to create a new instance of BizTalk Front-end, you'd deploy a copy of the SYSPREP'ed image, give it a name, give it an IP address, JOIN the DOMAIN, then configure BizTalk, etc, etc.

    To get out of your current resource issue, you could look at MIGRATING, all VM vendors have a tool to help migrate physical instances to VM, to a system that has higher resources such as memory/CPU cores [careful that you choose the existing CORES as this AFFECT BizTalk Licensing].

    Regards.

    Monday, August 25, 2014 3:59 PM

All replies

    1. PLEASE DO NO CLONE - This creates problem as the System ID's of the clones are the same and when using MSDTC you will face issues which will cause problems with BizTalk functioning for distributed transactions. This forum has a lot of notes which can trace their origins to CLONES.
    2. If you wish to create a VM that you can deploy rapidly, I would suggest that you load the OS (Do NOT Join the Domain and SYSPREP will revoke the DOMAIN ID's), load (install) all the pre-requisite software such as SQL Client, your other clients, JRE, etc, etc. Install IIS if you want, Oracle Clients (if required), MQ Clients (if required) and BizTalk (install only). Then you can SYSPREP and keep the image ready for scalable deployment. Everytime you wish to create a new instance of BizTalk Front-end, you'd deploy a copy of the SYSPREP'ed image, give it a name, give it an IP address, JOIN the DOMAIN, then configure BizTalk, etc, etc.

    To get out of your current resource issue, you could look at MIGRATING, all VM vendors have a tool to help migrate physical instances to VM, to a system that has higher resources such as memory/CPU cores [careful that you choose the existing CORES as this AFFECT BizTalk Licensing].

    Regards.

    Monday, August 25, 2014 3:59 PM
  • Thank you for the information. So If i understand your statements, creating a VM from scratch, installing Biztalk , and configuring biztalk to join the existing group that has 2 physical machines should not be a problem. Right?


    Dilip Bandi

    Monday, August 25, 2014 4:50 PM
  • Agreed.  Do not attempt to clone one of the existing machines.

    BizTalk Server will be unaware of the VM/Physical difference.

    Monday, August 25, 2014 8:25 PM
    Moderator
  • Yes. No problem at all.

    Regards.

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014 4:04 AM
  • Hi Buddy!

    When adding an additional machine to a cluster I usually recommend the following.

    1. Install a brand new machine, and use the same OS as you have on the other BizTalk Server

    2. Verify the DTC on the new server can communicate with the SQL Servers used by BizTalk

    3. Install BizTalk (same version as you have)

    4. Install any CU, adapters etc. you have on the other BizTalk Servers

    5. Configure BizTalk to join the old group

    6. Install any application (Unless you have good control, just export all the apps you have and install them on the New BizTalk Server)

    7. Create new host instances on the new server

    8. Start one and one host instance to see that everything is running smooth.

    I usually recommend people doing it from scratch, and by that I mean a machine that has not been cloned, or copied from another image. This could potentially give you more work that necessary. Like the RPC and unique ID for DTC. Always be careful when you're starting to utilize the new machine, monitor a little to ensure everything is running as expected.

    Best regards,

    Tord Glad Nordahl

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014 8:32 AM