Making System Center 2012 SPF SP1 Highly Available and Scalable


The overall architecture of Service Provider Foundation is very simple. SPF have two components Web Service and Database. As the database is SQL database it can be made highly available by making SQL Cluster and putting the database there. There is no information if SQL Always On is supported but the SPF database is not a complex one and Always On should be an option. After all SPF is part of Orchestrator and Orchestrator is supported on SQL Always On. But let’s talk about how to make the Web Service highly available and scalable. The Web Service is a static application which is front for the database. So it should be easy to install to install more than one instance of the web service and just put NLB to combine them. But lets test it.

I will not show you how to install SPF as there is a great guide by Marc van Eijk here. Lets say I have 3 servers:

  • SPF01
  • SPF02

I’ve already installed SQL Server 2012 SP1 on SPF01. Installed SPF in SPF01 and for the SPF database I’ve used the SQL on SPF01. I’ve installed the database and SPF on the same server just because it is home lab and I didn’t want to create another server.

Next step is to populate some data in SPF in order to have some information before deploying the second SPF server. I’ve added a VMM server and associated it with Stamp. You can see that information directly in the database.

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Now lets install SPF on SPF02. I’ve installed all prerequisites so I am ready to go.

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For database server I am pointing SPF01 where we have SPF database already deployed.

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Next Next Next

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And we push Install. Installation is started.

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As we are at the step of deploying the database we see message: UpdateDatabase instead of CreateDatabase.

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After successful install we can query the database to see if our records are still there.

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As we can see all the records are there as we left them.

Let’s add another server and another stamp from SPF02

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No errors during adding. Records also show in the database.

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Lets see if the records are visible from SPF01.

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Both SPF01 and SPF02 are working ok.

Installing more than one SPF Web Service servers is supported scenario just not well documented.

The rest is to configure IIS and NLB the right way. There are some challenges that could be met there.

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