while you can plan and organize availability on farm level by configuring Network Load Balancing and also SQL Server database mirroring and failover clustering, you do also have the possibility to plan for high availability on service application level, especially for critical service applications like PerformancePoint. In order to perform this, you must have a failover database server along your normal SQL server.
Higher availability for PerformancePoint Services can be achieved by adding additional failover databases to the PerformancePoint Service Application.
Go to the Central Administration, choose the row of the PerformancePoint Services Application (don’t click the name, otherwise you’ll “Manage”), and select “Properties” from the ribbon. Just like in Fig. 1
Fig.1: Open the properties window for the PerformancePoint Service Application
Next, in the “Failover Database Server”, insert the name of your failover database server.
Fig. 2: Specify the database failover server
After you did this, click “OK” to confirm.
Before fully relying on this mechanism, it could make sense to do a test run to verify whether the failover is working at all.
Caution: Do not execute the following steps in a production environment, unless you know what you are doing. At all costs, before testing the settings, notify users, schedule downtimes and make sure to do this together with a SQL administrator. Before applying any changes in production, test them in a similar test environment. The following steps assume that you have a working failover cluster for SQL server. If you don’t, DO NOT PROCEED at this point. If you are having only a single instance of SQL server (tested or untested) or a failover cluster that has been untested or is known not to be working, DO NOT EXECUTE the following steps. Otherwise you might lose data and functionality of your SharePoint environment.
1. Open a PPS dashboard.
2. Then, shut the principal SQL server instance down (again: Caution! do not do this in a production environment or without experience. You might lose all or partial functionality of SharePoint temporarily). This is the machine that is running Configuration Manager.
3. The failover server should now take over all the workload of the principal server.
4. Refresh the dashboard. It should work fine.
5. Try to modify it to see whether also write operations work on the PPS failover database.
6. Make sure to start again the SQL Server instance and verify that everything is up and working again.
The PowerShell approach:
The same result can also be achieved using the following PowerShell cmdlet:
Set-SPPerformancePointServiceApplication –Identity <Identity> –DatabaseFailoverServer <Servername>
This is very straightforward and increases the availabilty of your PerformancePoint Services.
Upshot: If you have a running SQL Server failover cluster, with little effort you can achieve high availability also for you Business Intelligence data. Not bad, is it?
Stay tuned, and till next time!
Martin (still in Calabria)
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