From the Server Farm – New SQL Server

On Sunday May 9,2021 we added a new SQL server to the ActiveApplications Hosted data server farm and moved active users to it as the primary database server. The new server is quite a bit faster than the old one, has more memory and many more processors.

This change was made because we felt the performance of the hosted AA was not where we wanted it and some strange errors were occurring. Even though performance statistics did not tell us there was an issue, we chose to make the change.

Adding a SQL server allows some of the databases to be left on the old server to reduce the number of active databases. We also changed the version of SQL to a more recent release.

With all the changes Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were interesting with the support calls. We found many corrupt profiles that needed to be cleared. Although we do not know exactly the cause of the profile issues, we suspect that new version of SQL is a little more particular about the user login profile. Corrupt profiles are probably caused when users do not log out properly and servers are restarted on a regular (almost daily) basis.

Windows uses a profile to keep track of how each user logs in through remote desktop. The profile controls your desktop and what shortcuts are displayed. Profiles are going to be a big issue if we implement some of the changes we have planned.

Server pools are a feature of Windows Server 2019 that we would like to implement. When you log into an IP address a Server Pool will assign your login to the least busy server in the pool. This will help in load balancing and overall performance improvement for all users. It will, however, present a challenge.

That challenge is that a profile will no longer be attached to a server. It will be a roaming profile. One thing we learned from the SQL upgrade is that profiles can become corrupt. When they do you will not be able to use the profile to log in until it is fixed.

With a server-based profile logging into a different server gives you a different profile so the solution to a bad profile it to log into another server and you can still log in. With a roaming profile you will still get the corrupt profile unless we come up with a method to replace it.

We will have to have a method to activate a profile copy or log into another server to get a different profile so you can always log in to get work done without calling us to clear your corrupt profile.

Look for more information on this topic in a future blog.

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