Normally, when I am asked to configure a BizTalk farm in high availability, I immediately think the simplest scenario where there is a SQL Server configured in failover cluster and at least two BizTalk nodes configured in network load balancing.
However, on some occasions, I’ve had to think of a failover cluster configuration for the front-end BizTalk. This is because some critical integration flows were based on FTP or POP3 ports, which are not supported in network load balancing configuration.
Just a couple of months ago I implemented a farm BizTalk 2013 on Windows 2012 and I wanted to add a few notes on the documentation found on MSDN that specifically refers to Windows 2008.
The article to which I refer is “How to Cluster SSO and a BizTalk Host in the Same Cluster Group” (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa559783(v=bts.80).aspx).
Although the differences related to the user interface between the management console of the failover cluster of Windows 2008 and Windows 2012 are remarkable, I have not found it necessary to rewrite the document that I think is sufficiently comprehensive as it is. I just wanted to add two small notes which made me lose a few hours of time.
Cluster resource dependencies
The first note concerns the configuration of the cluster resource dependencies. In particular, when from the BizTalk Administration Management Console, you configure a host as cluster resource, a corresponding cluster resource is created in the specified cluster resource group. Once you have created the resource, from the administrative console of the cluster, you must manually add the following dependencies:
· [Your Virtual Server Name]
· Enterprise Single Sign-On Service
The dependence between BizTalk host and Enterprise Single Sign-On service is not documented, but if not specified, during the start of the services is possible that the BizTalk host starts the SSO service outside of the context of the cluster, causing a malfunction of the services.
This occurs because the BizTalk host has a dependency with the SSO service at Windows level.
The MSDN article, refer you to another article for the IIS configuration as failover cluster resource “Configuring IIS 7.0 or later World Wide Web Publishing Service in a Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, or Windows Server 2012 failover cluster” (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/970759).
In the document section named “Set up a file share that will be used for IIS shared configuration” the possible scenario are listed. The scenario most natural, that proposes to configure the share on the same failover cluster that will host the high availability web site, it created me some issues. In particular, the IIS resource can take a long time to be available and in some cases it fails.
To prevent this behavior I suggest you to configure the share outside the BizTalk cluster.