SQL Server Performance

Load balancing solutions needed

Discussion in 'SQL Server 2005 Clustering' started by SQLGuyChuck, May 9, 2009.

  1. SQLGuyChuck New Member

    I use SQL 2005 Active-Active cluster that replicates via transactional non-updateable subscriptions to 6 identical subscribers to offload authentication and common read only tasks for load balancing. We use F5 Big-IP to load balance, but recently have been having issues with the internal health monitor that runs as a Java service in the Big-IP. It locks up and all the nodes go offline, bringing the whole site down. We have specific patch that was supposed to fix this issue, but our senior management says that load balancing SQL server is not "industry best practice". I disagree in our situation as it read only data we load balance. So, I have been tasked with finding other solutions.
    I am searching for solutions that can work from the IIS app (connection string failover) and SQL to SQL connections via linked servers.
    I like the idea of www.xkoto.com Gridscale, but it doesn't support TDS, so linked server connections are not supported yet (they say next version will).
    Datadirect has a .net failover, but I have both classic asp and dot net.
    I also am opening a ticket with F5 to see if there is anything they can do as it has worked for us for many years with only one or two failures a year with sql health monitoring enabled.

    Chuck Lathrope
  2. melvinlusk Member

    I'm interested in what other solutions may be out there as well. I'm glad you mentioned that GridScale doesn't support TDS, as I wasn't aware of this (so no linked servers, BCP, XML?)
  3. satya Moderator

    There is no "standard" load balancing set up for SQL Server that you can run via a wizard. So the native methods of DB architecture decision and implemented at the database level not the server level. Techniques would be:
    • Scaling out/federating the database servers
      • Partitioning
        • Offload your reporting requirements
          • Perhaps replication
        • Clustering is not a PRACTICAL load balancing feature that can provide and as usual the database servers are usually IO and memory bound, so proper disk configuration (with appropriate filegroups) and as much RAM as possible will go a lot further than any solution above.
          So coming back to topic I see that SQL Clustering as an availability technology that is built on top of Windows Clustering. It provides redundancy at the hardware level and has no relation to the technique known as load balancing, i.e. distribution of a processing load.
          Unfortunately there is no ready to go “out of the box” solution for load balancing in SQL Server. If you have chosen or already looking into various third party or hardware/software based solution then it is better to provide further testing analysis.

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