Friday, May 25, 2007

RSKEYMGMT command for failover to standby TFS server

We're a daring group of folks who have added a standby TFS App Tier server to our topology. We'd like to see TFS support true failover, but for now we're comfortable with a warm backup that with some manual intervention we can get up and running if need be.

We followed the How to: Activate a Fail-Over Application-Tier Serverto a tee and as it turned out, that was our downfall. I'm not saying the documentation is wrong, all I'm saying is we had to modify step 4) under Reporting Services to get our standby up and running.

After a number of hours, we broke down and called Microsoft Support who directed us to a very competent TFS support engineer. He correctly diagnosed the issue as being Reporting Services related and joined us with another very competent Reporting Services support engineer. Microsoft should be proud of the work they both did. Great support is one of the primary reasons we buy commercial software/support.

The issue was regarding the command "RSKEYMGMT –a –i <instance ID for AT2> -f c:\backups\My_RSBackup_TFS_AT01 -p aPassword". We got the error "Unable to locate the Report Server Windows service for instance <instance ID>". From what I understand, since the TFS install requires Reporting Services to be installed as a "default" instance (see step 10 in "How to: Install Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services for Team Foundation Server (Dual-Server Deployment)" which is located in the TFS install documentation.) you can't activate it by a named instance name. Thus the "–i " switch in the command was throwing the error.

Removing the –i and running the command "RSKEYMGMT –a -f c:\backups\My_RSBackup_TFS_AT01 -p aPassword" on the standby App Tier worked just fine.

Although the process is not perfect, we're now able to failover. Hope this helps if you run into the same issue.

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