Configure High Availability for SSRS in Enterprise and Standard
When we talk about SQL Server Reporting Services High Availability (HA), there are two components to it. First is the http web services which acts as a front end for Reporting Services, and second are the Reporting Services Databases which reside inside SQL Server Database Service. In this post, I am going to talk about how to configure high availability for SSRS in Enterprise and Standard Editions.
Reporting Services runs in two different modes:
- Native Mode
- SharePoint Integrated mode
Lets look at the High Availability (HA) Solutions for Reporting Services running in native mode first.
In SQL Server Reporting Services running in native mode, you would ideally need to configure High Availability (HA) in a two step process.
- Configure a Reporting Services Scale-Out Deployment with SQL Enterprise Edition. For Standard Edition, the front-end cannot be made highly available.
- Configure a minimum of a two node cluster for SQL Server that would host the reporting services databases. Alternatively, you can also host the Reporting Services Databases with Always On Availability groups using a listener.
Reporting Services Front End is not Windows Cluster Aware and cannot be clustered
For SQL Server Standard Editions, you can only deploy the Reporting Services Databases on a 2 node cluster with a shared storage (Always On Availability Groups are not supported in Standard Edition), making it highly available. There can only be a single front end server.
Remember, SSRS is a shared component and needs to be installed locally on each node of a 2 node cluster.
There are some 3rd party solutions where users have individual installations separately on individual servers and used “Merge replication” to replicate the data across. On the front end, have similar SSRS instances by importing the encryption key. This is not a solution supported or recommended by Microsoft and if anything breaks, you might get limited support. If you still would like to check out this 3rd Party solution, go here.
High Availability for SQL Server running in SharePoint Integrated Mode
When we talk about running Reporting Services in SharePoint integrated mode, we only have one option, that is SQL Server Enterprise Edition with SharePoint Enterprise Edition.
Note: SQL Server 2016 have discontinued the BI Edition. Learn more about SQL 2016 Licensing.
Unlike in native mode, Reporting Services in SharePoint Integrated Mode stores the following artifacts:
- Report Definition (RDL)
- Data Sources (DS)
- Report Models
- Other objects stored in SharePoint content databases
- Cache refresh plans
- Snapshots (report history/execution)
- Credentials for data sources (including embedded)
- Model item security
Reporting Services have native Service Application from SQL 2012 onwards
When you have deployed a SharePoint Farm with Multiple Dedicated Reporting Services Service Application running on it, it automatically load balances the workload for you at the Application Tier. You only need to ensure the WFE (Web Tier) and the Data Tier is made highly available.
I highly encourage you to download the E book from Microsoft to know more about this architecture.