How to Cluster Analysis Services

Some scenarios require a fault-tolerant SSAS installation. In a real-life project, an active-active cluster met this requirement. Instead of installing an active-passive cluster where one node just plays a sitting duck waiting for the active node to fail, with the active-active cluster we had two active nodes to distribute processing and achieve high availability. The first node had the SQL Server database engine hosting the data warehouse database while the second had SSAS. If one of the nodes would fail, its services will fail over to the other.

Configuring a failover cluster requires many steps. Luckily, Microsoft just published a whitepaper “How to Cluster SQL Server Analysis Services” by Allan Hirt (SQL Server MVP) that includes step-by-step instructions of how to configure SSAS (Multidimensional or Tabular) on a Windows Server failover cluster (WSFC). Although not discussed, instead of WSFC, yet another way to achieve high tolerance that gains popularity is to use VM failover capabilities.