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BizTalk Server 2009 Operations : Disaster Recovery (part 1) - Configuring the Destination System for Log Shipping

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12/25/2012 5:39:55 PM

Business-critical software solutions must have a disaster recovery plan in order to protect against major system disruptions. A disaster recovery plan must include steps to bring the backup site online as well as steps to deal with potential data loss as a result of the major system disruption. BizTalk Server 2009-based solutions require a comprehensive disaster recovery plan that covers both the BizTalk servers and the BizTalk Group running in SQL Server. BizTalk Server 2009 disaster recovery requirements include the following:

  • BizTalk Server 2009 Log Shipping configuration for disaster recovery

  • BizTalk Server 2009 Log Shipping procedures for restoring the BizTalk Group as part of disaster recovery

  • BizTalk runtime environment disaster recovery procedures

These items make up the core disaster recovery requirements for BizTalk Server 2009. Additional disaster recovery procedures are required for any additional application databases, application code, other middleware products, and so on.

NOTE

Application teams must plan to test disaster recovery procedures before entering production and on a recurring basis to ensure current operations personnel understand the process and can implement it successfully.

There is better automation of the required tasks to configure and implement disaster recovery for a BizTalk Server 2009 solution that helps to simplify the process. Also, the BizTalk Server 2009 core documentation greatly increases the amount of documentation regarding BizTalk Server Log Shipping and disaster recovery.

The steps to manually update the required database fields in order to move a BizTalk Group to a new set of database server instances without using BizTalk Log Shipping are not documented for BizTalk Server 2009. Therefore, we strongly recommend configuring BizTalk Log Shipping as part of any BizTalk Server 2009 production environment.


Next, let's take a look at how BizTalk Log Shipping works.

1. How Does BizTalk Log Shipping Work?

Because BizTalk Server 2009 implements distributed transactions between BizTalk databases in the BizTalk Group through log marks, typical SQL Server disaster recovery technology such as SQL Server Log Shipping and Database Mirroring cannot be used for BizTalk databases that participate in DTC transactions. Therefore, BizTalk Server 2009 provides BizTalk Log Shipping.

When referring to BizTalk Log Shipping, the source system is the production SQL Server database instances, and the destination system is the disaster recovery SQL Server database instances.


BizTalk Log Shipping uses capabilities within SQL Server that takes into account log marks and DTC transactions while providing very similar functionality to SQL Server Log Shipping. As with SQL Server Log Shipping, BizTalk Log Shipping performs log backups at the specified interval in the Backup BizTalk Server SQL Agent job. The log backups are then continuously applied to a SQL Server instance that is the disaster recovery server.

The primary difference between SQL Log Shipping and BizTalk Log Shipping is that when performing a disaster recovery event with BizTalk Group databases, the last log is applied with the STOPATMARK SQL Server RESTORE command option to restore all databases to the same point by the SQL Agent job named BTS Log Shipping—Restore To Mark for each database instance in the destination system. Figure 9-4 describes how BizTalk Log Shipping works.

When the disaster recovery SQL Server instances in the destination system are configured for BizTalk Log Shipping, the backup files created by the Backup BizTalk SQL Agent job are restored at the disaster recovery site every 15 minutes. The backup files are copied over the network by a SQL RESTORE command. Full backup files are copied only in the following situations:

  • When BizTalk Log Shipping is first configured

  • When a new database is added to the BizTalk Log Shipping SQL Agent job

  • When a RESTORE failure occurs

Each SQL instance at the disaster recovery site is configured individually as part of BizTalk Log Shipping. When a SQL instance is configured for BizTalk Log Shipping and the SQL Agent job is enabled, the SQL Agent job will connect to the management database on the production BizTalk Group, find the most recent full backup set at the UNC share, and attempt to restore the database.

NOTE

If you move the full or log backups for a source database from the location in which the Backup BizTalk Server job put them, the associated row for that database in the bts_LogShippingDatabases table on the destination system must be updated by setting LogFileLocation or DBFileLocation to the new location where the destination system should retrieve them. By default these values are Null, which tells the destination system to read the backup files from the location stored in the adm_BackupHistory table.

Figure 1. BizTalk Log Shipping process

On the disaster recovery SQL instances configured for BizTalk Log Shipping, the databases will be displayed in a "restoring" state in SQL Server 2005. This is because the last log in a backup set is never restored automatically. Once a new log is available, BizTalk Log Shipping restores the next-to-last log. When a disaster recovery event occurs and the disaster recovery site must be brought online, the last log is restored automatically using the STOPATMARK command by the SQL Agent job named BTS Log Shipping—Restore To Mark on each destination system SQL instance to recover the databases, and the databases will no longer be in a "loading" or "restoring" state.

BizTalk Server 2009 Log Shipping supports two scenarios: In one scenario, all databases on all BizTalk databases on all production SQL server instances are log-shipped to a single disaster recovery SQL server database instance. The other scenario maps all source databases on each source SQL Server instance to an associated destination SQL Server instance. Note that it is fully supported to have the same number of SQL Server database instances in the disaster recovery site as there is in production, but on fewer physical servers. In other words, it is not required to have the same number of physical servers, just the same number of database instances for the second option.

The next subsection covers configuration of the destination system SQL Server instance for BizTalk Log Shipping.

2. Configuring the Destination System for Log Shipping

Here we cover the steps to configure BizTalk Log Shipping. As mentioned previously, ensure that the same path where database files are located in production exists on the destination system. So, in the earlier example where there are three SQL Server database instances in production, all three database instances must store the database files (MDF and LDF files) in the same path on each server, and this path must also exist on the destination system SQL Server database instances. The database file path can be set or changed within SQL Server.

Another configuration step on the destination system SQL instances is to create a linked server that points to the source system SQL instances. There should be a linked server created that points to the production SQL instance hosting the management database. This will allow the SQL Agent job running on the destination system SQL Server instances to access the BizTalk Management Database to retrieve the backup history and database and log backup file location.

A key requirement for BizTalk Log Shipping to function is that the same file path where the BizTalk database files (MDF and LDF files) are installed must exist on the destination system. Therefore, if a database in the production BizTalk Group is stored at F:\Data, the drive/path F:\Data must exist on the server where the destination system SQL Server instance is configured. Otherwise, an error message similar to this one will occur: "File 'DBFileName' cannot be restored to 'drive\path'. Use WITH MOVE to identify a valid location for the file." BizTalk Log Shipping does not support WITH MOVE, so the path must be present on the destination system for BizTalk Log Shipping to work.


NOTE

Path references to Microsoft BizTalk Server 2009 will be located in the Microsoft BizTalk Server installation directory if an in-place upgrade was performed when BizTalk Server 2009 was installed. For example, if you upgrade BTS 2006 to BTS 2009, your installation directory will be {Program Files}\Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006\.

Follow these steps to configure BizTalk Log Shipping:

  1. In Management Studio on SQL Server 2005/2008, open a query window to execute a SQL file. Connect to the SQL instance on the destination system that must be configured for Log Shipping.

  2. Select File => Open, and then browse to the location of the script LogShipping_Destination_Schema.sql. This script is located on the drive where BizTalk Server 2009 is installed in the following default directory location: \Program Files\Microsoft BizTalk Server 2009\Schema\LogShipping_Destination_Schema.sql.

  3. Execute the query.

  4. Select File => Open, and then browse to the following SQL script: LogShipping_Destination_Logic.sql. This script is located on the drive where BizTalk Server 2009 is installed in the following directory: \Program Files\Microsoft BizTalk Server 2009\Schema\LogShipping_Destination_Logic.sql.

    NOTE

    This script is located on the server where BizTalk Server 2009 is installed in the directory \Program Files\Microsoft BizTalk Server 2009\Schema\ by default, so you may need to copy it to the SQL Server machine.

  5. Execute the query.

  6. In SQL Server 2005/2008, the Ad Hoc Distributed Queries option is disabled by default. This must be enabled on the destination system or disaster recovery SQL Server database instances in order to allow the disaster recovery SQL Server database instances to perform the necessary steps. To enable this option, execute the following SQL command in the master database on each production SQL Server database instance:

    sp_configure 'show advanced options', 1;
    GO
    RECONFIGURE;
    GO
    sp_configure 'Ad Hoc Distributed Queries',1;
    GO
    RECONFIGURE
    GO

    To confirm the change, run this query to view the configured value:

    SELECT * FROM sys.configurations ORDER BY name

    Ad Hoc Distributed Queries should now be set to a value of 1.

  7. Open a new query window, and enter the following command:

    exec bts_ConfigureBizTalkLogShipping @nvcDescription =
    '<MyLogShippingSolution>',
    @nvcMgmtDatabaseName = '<BizTalkServerManagementDatabaseName>',
    @nvcMgmtServerName = '<BizTalkServerManagementDatabaseServer>',
    @SourceServerName = null,
    -- null indicates that this destination server restores all databases
    @fLinkServers = 1
    -- 1 automatically links the server to the management database

  8. Replace <MyLogShippingSolution> in the preceding command with a description of the solution, surrounded by single quotes. Also, replace <BizTalkServerManagementDatabaseName> and <BizTalkServerManagementDatabaseServer> with the name and location of your source BizTalk Management Database, surrounded by single quotes.

  9. If there are multiple SQL Server instances in the source system, each source SQL instance can be restored to its own destination SQL instance. On each SQL instance in the destination system, run the preceding scripts and command, but in the @SourceServerName = null parameter, replace null with the name of the appropriate source server, surrounded by single quotes: @SourceServerName = 'SQLSvrInstance1'.

  10. Execute the preceding command in the query window. The BizTalk Server 2009 documentation has this information: If the command fails, after you fix the problem with the query, you must start over from step 1 of this procedure to reconfigure the destination system.

    NOTE

    When you execute the preceding command, this warning will occur, which can be ignored: "Warning: The table '#Servers' has been created but its maximum row size (25059) exceeds the maximum number of bytes per row (8060). INSERT or UPDATE of a row in this table will fail if the resulting row length exceeds 8060 bytes."

  11. View the Jobs node in the SQL Management Studio depending on which version of SQL you are running. There will be three new jobs:

    • BTS Log Shipping Get Backup History: This SQL Agent job copies backup history records from the source system to the destination every minute, and it is enabled by default.

    • BTS Log Shipping Restore Databases: This SQL Agent job restores backup files for the specified databases from the source system SQL Server instance on to the destination system SQL Server instance. It is enabled by default and runs continuously.

    • BTS Log Shipping Restore To Mark: This SQL Agent job restores all of the databases to a log mark in the last log backup. It ensures that all databases are transitionally consistent. It also re-creates the SQL Server SQL Agent jobs on the destination system, saving the administrator from having to manually re-create the SQL Agent jobs running on the source system.

  12. Create SQL Server security logins for the disaster recovery site that correspond to the production site so that in the event that a failover to the disaster recovery site is required, all required security logins are present on the destination system.

  13. Once everything is configured, check the status of the newly created SQL Agent jobs to make sure that they are running successfully. Here are a couple of items to check in the event a SQL Agent job is failing:

    • Ensure that the system time and time zone are consistent between all servers.

    • Ensure that the job has the correct account as the owner.

    • Ensure that NETWORK COM+ and NETWORK DTC are enabled in Add/Remove Windows Components.

    • Ensure that the MSDTC security configuration in Control Panel => Administrative Tools => Component Services is configured correctly for your environment. Try checking Network DTC Access, Allow Remote Clients, and Transaction Manager Communication Allow Inbound and Allow Outbound to see if doing so resolves connectivity issues.

  14. The last step is to edit the update scripts and XML files to prepare for a disaster recovery event by following these steps:

    1. On a computer running BizTalk Server 2009, browse to the following folder: \Program Files\Microsoft BizTalk Server 2009\Schema\Restore.

    2. Right-click SampleUpdateInfo.xml, and then click Edit.

    3. For each database listed, replace "SourceServer" with the name of the source system SQL Server database instance, and then replace "DestinationServer" with the name of the destination system SQL Server instance.

      Do not perform a blanket search and replace, since databases may be present on different SQL Server instances in the source system and may be restored to different SQL Server instances in the destination system. Be sure to include the quotation marks around the name of the source and destination SQL Server instances. Also, if you renamed any of the BizTalk Server databases, you must also update the database names as appropriate.


    4. If you have more than one Messagebox database in the source system, add another MessageBoxDB line to the list, and then set IsMaster="0" for the non-master databases.

    5. If the source system is using BAM, SSO, the Rules Engine, or EDI, uncomment these lines as appropriate.

    6. If custom databases have been added to the Backup BizTalk Server SQL Agent job, add the custom databases as appropriate under the <OtherDatabases> section.

    7. When finished editing the file, save it and exit.

This completes the configuration of BizTalk Log Shipping. The next two subsections cover disaster recovery procedures for the BizTalk Group and for BizTalk servers, respectively.
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