9 Replies Latest reply: Nov 8, 2012 11:24 AM by LJ LongWing RSS

ARS High Availability

Jairo Martinez-Vargas

What is the best configuration in order to provide High Availability (HA) at both levels Mid-Tier Servers and also AR System Server Group? Currently we have:
(2) DELL  Power Edge T310 - Windows Server – Apache WebServer
(2) SUN: T5120 – Solaris -- for AR Servers
Both pairs of server have the same configuration, but are working as an active-passive schema (IP configuration must be change at failure event, in order to restore services on alive peer).

The reference Architecture shows load balancers (LB) in front of both levels, and those look as hardware implementations. Are there any model/reference tested or recommended?
Or is it better to provide HA by software configurations? Apache Tomcat? OS Clusters? Any way are those LBs necessary?

  • 1. Re: ARS High Availability
    Laurent Matheo

    Hardware LB are more performant than software LB.

     

    Your vsd only shows a regular server group design, meaning a user connects to LB in front of mid tiers, the LB balances to  one of the mid-tier behind it (one or the other, both are active), the query then goes to the second LB that balances the query to one of the 2 ARS servers behind him (one or the other).

    In this vsd, all servers are active and working, no need to chqnge IPs and they're connected on the same database.

     

    Let's call mid tiers servers MT1 and MT2, ars servers ARS1 to ARS3 (the one not accessible from LB).

    ARS3 is in charge of administrative tasks, heavy operations (reconciliations, fts indexing, emails...).

     

    If MT2 is down, LB in front of mid tiers will see that (if you coded some life control) and only route queries to MT1, hence no outage, only a possible slowr response time since MT1 would have to handle more connections.

    If ARS1 is down, LB in front of ARS servers will detect it (if you coded some life control) and will only forward queries to ARS2, same principle.

     

    If ARS3 is down, if you defined ranking form properly, the operations he handled would be handled by the next ars server defined in the ranking form.

     

     

    In your case I guess you "just" have a mid tier and an ARS right? the other servers are backups running on another database, possibly backuped up live?

  • 2. Re: ARS High Availability
    Jairo Martinez-Vargas

    Thanks Laurent for your very good explanation, according with our previous understandings, that is the state that we must pursuit. But Let me clarify some points:

    Firstly, I upload a.vsd file with a generic recommended architecture for a small deployment.

    Currently, I upload a new file (ARS.pdf) with a closer actual environment diagram.

    The initial provider builds this implementation without the load balancers (due oblivion (forgetfulness) at procurement / purchase process). So, currently, on this active-passive schema the failover processes must be made manually, at AR System and Mid-Tier levels.

    We are looking for changing forward in order to provide active-active functionalities, at both levels.

    So we need help in order with a manufacturer / model /reference /part number recommended and tested as hardware Load Balancer?

    Also I want to know if AR Server Group configuration can provide HA functions as Automatic Failover Recovery and/or Load Balancing. Without HW load balancers, neither using OS clusters (Sun/Solaris in our case)

    Additionally, we want to hear about any experience (supported by BMC) about software configurations for HA (Automatic Failover Recovery and/or Load Balancing) for Apache/Tomcat Services. Without HW load balancers, neither using OS clusters (MS-Microsoft in our case).

  • 3. Re: ARS High Availability
    Laurent Matheo

    Well you could contact BMC for those kind of "real life" hardware, my last project involved Big IP F5, worked ok.

     

    Something you could do in the mean time is something like this, you are in a server group, but since you don't have a LB in front of ARS, one Mid-tier is linked to an ARS "directly".

     

    Instead of having a LB before the Mid-Tier, it could be an apache reverse proxy / loadbalancer, I saw some customers use this, but don't have a clue of configurations.

     

    If MT 1 is down, LB "Apache" should be able to ping it and balance to MT2.

    If ARS1 is down of course it's a problem since MT1 is connecter to ARS1. Easy way would be in MT1 to change the "hosts" file and change the IP / DNS so it points to ARS2.

     

    Not a perfect solution but it would be better already.

  • 4. Re: ARS High Availability
    Vineet NameToUpdate

    Hi,

     

    I would want to go with the following appraoch.

     

    1. Have a LB (Big IP F5) in front of the mid tiers

    2. And have another Virtual LB between AR and Mid Tier connection.

     

    This is a tested methodology by BMC for more their customers. They have even implemented this in their OnDemand Solution.

     

    There are certain configurations which needs to be made in the host files of mid tier servers and ar.cfg file. Putting servers in HA also involves few API level configurations.

     

    Let me know in case you want to go for this approach and I will share the details of the configurations with you.

     

     

    Thanks.

    Vineet Bhargava

  • 5. Re: ARS High Availability
    Laurent Matheo

    Interesting. What kind of virtual LB are they using?

  • 7. Re: ARS High Availability
    Jairo Martinez-Vargas

    Hello Vineet

     

    That sounds good. So please let us know the details about that configuration.

     

    We are reviewing “Hardware LB”:

    http://www.serverwatch.com/trends/article.php/3937981/5-Load-Balancers-You-Need-to-Know.htm

    And also interesting “Software LB” solutions like:

    http://www.zenloadbalancer.com

    But, at the end our big concern continues being the official position of BMC about “supported” configurations.

     

    Best Regards,

    Jairo

  • 8. Re: ARS High Availability
    Jairo Martinez-Vargas

    Which considerations must be taken with licensing?

    Is it necessary to acquire them for each server on the server group?

    The whole list? Just the base of Remedy suite? Also for each modules? SD/ Change  Users?

  • 9. Re: ARS High Availability
    LJ LongWing

    Jairo,

    When setting up a Server Group, each server in the group must be licensed, but all user licenses are shared between the group, so the only increase in licensing is the extra server.