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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

AX 2012, SQL Server 2012 & NLB Reporting Services

Today I wanted to take the time, and give light to a specific topic, Network Load Balancing Reporting Services with AX 2012 & SQL Server 2012. As I have done in the past, to help shed light on this most important topic, I invited Matt Tortorice AX System Engineer for McWane, Inc. to give us some insights on this topic.

Matt, along with McWane, is currently implementing Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 for some of their divisions. Recently, I worked with Matt on the topic of clustering for reporting services, and he is here to help give valuable, customer based insight into the process.

Matt Tortorice LinkedIn Profile | @mtortorice

After following the “Configure a Report Server on a Network Load Balancing Cluster” article on TechNet, and generating my machine key from aspnetresources/machineKey I was able to apply the new Machine Key value to both of our load balanced Report Servers web.config file. In doing this, we ended up with a configuration that looks similar to what is pictured below.:

When first launching into the instance of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, that had three AOSes, users had no issues executing report. Users, that is, that where connected to the first AOS that has an Reporting Services configuration associated with it that is.

Those Users trying to run an SSRS Report when connected to the any other AOS instances (ax102, ax103) would get the following error message.: “The default Report Server Configuration ID could not be found in the SRSServers table.” This error message was presented in an infolog, similar to the one pictured below.:

To solve this problem, the answer was to create a Reporting Server Configuration for each AOS in the cluster by setting the Application Object Server Name to each AOS instance. In other words, 3 identical Server configurations except for the AOS Server name. Configuration ID 1 points to AX101, ID 2 points to AX102 and ID3 points to AX103 as seen below:

Once there was a Report Configuration for each AOS instance all of the reports SSRS Reports would generate when a client was connected to any AOS. All reports where able to execute, no matter what AOS a user was logged into. Further each of the report server configurations where pointing to the NLB, or Network Load Balancing server name.

Having done this, we where able to take full advantage of SQL Server 2012, with a scaled out, load balanced reporting servers that better meets are reporting needs. This will further enable, as needed, future scale as our users demand more, and more reports from our Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 instance.

I would like to thank Matt for taking the time to share with us, about this topic. Giving us insight into the trenches of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 and how the stack is helping him realize real value for his company needs.

Further, the following is more information about Matt and his blog, where he plans to continue his journey, and helping all of us along the way.:

With a Background in .Net Development, SQL Server Management and Microsoft Server Administration I began my unexpected adventure in Dynamics AX in late 2012 when I was tasked with setting up 3 Dynamics AX 2012 CU3 Single Server Environments using SQL Server 2012, and a 9 Server Production installation of Dynamics AX with 3 AOS Servers, 2 SharePoint EP Servers, 1 SharePoint Search Server, 2 SQL Server 2012 Servers in a High Availability Group and 1 Help/FileServer. I will continue to blog about my experiences and answer any questions I get at http://blog.thedeprecated.com

That's all for this post, check back soon as I will continue the focus of valued added content. We will dive further into the Dynamics based world, with more coverage of BI, Reporting, Services and more! Till Next Time!
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