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Advanced Synchronization and Deployment

Microsoft Application Center 2000 (Application Center) provides the New Deployment Wizard for advanced synchronization and deployment. This wizard gives you more granular control over synchronization and deployment parameters.

In Application Center, advanced synchronization is the transfer of content and configuration settings within a cluster and deployment is the transfer of content and configuration settings from one cluster (usually a stager) to another (the production cluster). Other than this distinction, the processes and resources involved in both are identical.

Advanced Synchronization and Deployment Options

The New Deployment Wizard gives you more granular control of synchronization and deployment with the following options:

  • File and folder permissions—you can choose whether to synchronize or deploy file and directory ACLs. This setting is different than Synchronize file and folder permissions (NTFS only) in the cluster_name Properties dialog box and does not affect that setting.

    If you synchronize or deploy from a server with a FAT file system to a server with an NTFS file system, all ACLs on synchronized resources are set to Administrator (Full Control) on the target. The reason for this is that the FAT file system does not have ACLs; therefore, there is no way to know what the newly generated ACLs should be.

    Bb687512.caution(en-us,TechNet.10).gif Caution   Installation on FAT16 partitions is not supported (except for Administrative client installations).

    Synchronization from NTFS to FAT results in synchronization failure and rollback occurs because the ACLs cannot be applied to the FAT file system.

  • Global ISAPI filters—when you deploy global ISAPI filters to the cluster controller, they are automatically synchronized on the cluster and loaded on the cluster members when the Web Service restarts. You can deploy global ISAPI filters at any time, even if the targets are not in the synchronization loop.

    Per-virtual site ISAPI filters are deployed and synchronized automatically with the virtual site. You do not need to manually deploy or synchronize them if automatic synchronization is enabled on the targets.

    When changes are made to global ISAPI filters, use the New Deployment Wizard to synchronize these changes across the cluster to ensure that these changes are consistent across the cluster.

  • COM+ applications—you can use the New Deployment Wizard to synchronize or deploy COM+ applications. This can be done at any time, even if the targets are not in the synchronization loop.

  • Connection drain time—use this setting to configure whether to use the connection drain time specified on the target or to take the target offline immediately

  • Server image—the server image includes all content (excluding COM+ applications) and configuration settings on the controller. The server image can be synchronized to members that have been out of the synchronization loop to guarantee that their content is consistent with the content on the controller. Member synchronization will do this also.

Types of Deployment

Deployment is basically the transfer of applications from one cluster (the stager) to another cluster (the production cluster). The availability of your target cluster depends on whether you are deploying COM+ applications or global ISAPI filters, because both of these restart the Web Service on the target. There are four basic situations for deployment:

  • Without COM+ applications or ISAPI filters. Deployment of this type does not require that content is deployed directly to each member, nor is the Web Service restarted on the members. In this situation, you deploy one or more applications to the target cluster's controller only. Then, Application Center synchronizes the content across the cluster.

  • COM+ applications. Deployment of this type requires that you deploy content directly to each member. It also restarts the Web Service on all members. In this situation, you would take the entire target cluster offline (that is, scheduled downtime) and deploy the COM+ applications to the entire target cluster. Application Center does not synchronize the COM+ applications across the cluster.

  • Global ISAPI filters. Deployment of this type does not require you to deploy content directly to each member; however, it does restart the Web Service on all members. In this situation, you would deploy one or more applications to the target cluster's controller only. Then, Application Center synchronizes the content across the cluster. The filter is loaded when the Web Service on the targets restarts.

  • Phased. Deployment of this type is content deployment, usually COM+ applications, to only part of a cluster at one time. This is useful when you are using a CLB middle-tier cluster to service requests from a front-tier Web cluster and you need to refresh the CLB cluster after you have updated the COM+ applications.

    Although there are many possible methods for phased deployment, consider the following three:

    • Maintaining COM interface compatibility—adding newer components to the cluster that break existing interfaces can cause problems in both the deployment and programming maintenance. You should avoid this, if possible.

    • Scheduled downtime—most of the difficulty associated with phased deployment is maintaining router list integrity and making sure that new calls are not made to old components. To avoid this, use scheduled downtime.

    • Using a testing cluster—you would have an entire cluster arrangement, with two tiers, on which you make updates and test the configuration. When all tests succeed, you can change the testing cluster to a production cluster.

COM+ Applications

Application Center synchronization protects the integrity of a cluster by preventing certain components from being synchronized across the cluster automatically. For example, when you install COM+ component, the Web Service on the target is shut down. To prevent potential down time, Application Center provides complete control over which members are updated with COM+ applications during a synchronization session.

Application Center COM+ component deployment typically uses the following order of events:

  1. The receiving member is taken offline and no new connections are accepted.

  2. The existing connections to the member are drained.

  3. Services, such as IIS, are stopped.

  4. COM+ components currently in use are stopped.

  5. The new COM+ application is synchronized with the target.

  6. Services are restarted.

  7. The updated member is brought back online.

To synchronize a COM+ component or global ISAPI filter, you must create a specific application for that component or use an existing application. COM+ components and global ISAPI filters are not synchronized automatically.

Related Topics

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