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Monthly Archives: April 2014

How to Create a load balancing cluster in Dynamics AX 2012

For what I have learned over the years, we can have several different AOS setups, starting from a single AOS environment (usually used in a development and/or test machine) to a multi AOS (cluster) environment.
So, the following are the differences (based on my opinion)

Standalone AOS Environment

It is obvious that this is the simplest configuration. Usually, I would follow this pattern when I have to create a development and/or test environment. The reason is that for development scenarios (in small –mid companies) we don’t deal with 70 – 80 developers at a time.
In addition, we can add (if we want to) extra AOS servers if the need to handle a larger number of users and/or connections is necessary. This will create a side by side configuration.

Multiple AOS’s (not clustered)

As stated earlier, we know that multiple AOS’s in a single Ax environment can exist side by side. Typically the way it works is that a user will connect to the AOS that has been configured in the AX configuration Utility. However, if we were to have more than one AOS listed in the AX configuration utility, the first available will be used to fulfill the connection request by a client.
I guess that if we are listing (and using) more than one AOS in our AX configuration utility is a good thing as this will ensure that a connection is guaranteed to the client because it will use the first available(except if all the AOS servers are down of course).
Side Note:  When using multiple AOS’s we can also define how the user connects to it. For example, in the project I’m working on right now we deal with two different time zones (USA and Asia), so in our cluster we define that the users in Asia will connect to AOS Asia, and the users in the US to the AOS US.

You can distribute the user load in Microsoft Dynamics AX across multiple instances of Application Object
Server (AOS) by creating a load balancing cluster.

Clustering overview
Microsoft Dynamics AX offers two types of load balancing clusters:

  • cluster that includes a load balancer
  • cluster that does not include a load balancer

A cluster that includes a load balancer
If you set up a cluster that includes a load balancer, the load balancing AOS instance is dedicated to
distributing the user load. The load balancing AOS instance does not process Microsoft Dynamics AX
business logic or data.
In this configuration, you must set up client configurations to connect to the load balancing AOS instance.
You can then add and remove other AOS instances from the cluster without updating client configurations.
When a client starts, it connects to the load balancing AOS instance. The load balancing AOS instance
returns a list of active AOS instances in the cluster, sorted by workload. The client attempts to connect to
the first AOS instance in the list. If that connection fails, the client attempts to connect to the second AOS
instance in the list, and so on.

A cluster that does not include a load balancer

If you set up a cluster that does not include a load balancer, each AOS instance functions as both a load
balancer and an active AOS instance that accepts client connections.
When a client starts, it sends a request to the first server that is listed in the client configuration. That
server returns the list of active AOS instances in the cluster, sorted by workload. The client attempts to
connect to the first AOS instance in the list. If that connection fails, the client attempts to connect to the
second AOS instance in the list, and so on.

Before you begin
Before you can create a cluster, you must install multiple AOS instances. Each instance must point to the
same database.

Create a cluster

1. Click System administration > Setup > System > Cluster configuration.
2. Press CTRL+N to create a new cluster.
Caution
You cannot configure the Non Load Balanced AOS Instances as a load balancing cluster. The Non
Load Balanced AOS Instances is a default entity that enables AOS communications for non-load
balanced AOSs. To create an AOS cluster, you must create a new cluster.
3. Enter a name and description for the cluster.
4. Press CTRL+S to save your changes.

Add an AOS instance to a cluster
1. Click System administration > Setup > System > Cluster configuration.
2. In the Map AOS instances to clusters section, select an AOS instance.
3. If you want the AOS instance that you selected to function as a load balancer, select the Load
balancer option.
4. Click the Cluster name field to display a list of available clusters. Select the cluster that you want to add the AOS instance to.

5. Press CTRL+S to save your changes.

Change client configurations

If the cluster uses one or more load-balancing AOS instances, set client configurations to connect to these
load balancing AOS instances.

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