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Prerequisites for the Log Database

This page describes the prerequisites for successfully installing and running the Nodinite Log Database. The Log Database is a SQL Server database and is installed in a SQL Server instance.

Nodinite Log Database Checklist

The Log Database sits at the end of the "spider web" and on a single box machine you may have virtually no administration at all to get everything working. On the other hand, in a locked-down distributed environment spanning multiple servers with network load balancing, firewalls, network zones (WLAN's), domains, DNS, group policies, anti-virus/antimalware you may end up spending a lot of hours to get every piece of the puzzle in place.

Rest assure, Nodinite is built on Microsoft standard products and these form the very foundation for most enterprise business applications today. We are working hard on cloud enabling Nodinite as the required services mature one piece at a time to make sure you get a future proof solution for your business.

Verified Topic
SQL Server
MSDTC
Windows rights
Trusted for delegation
Register SPN
Database rights
Firewall
Linked Server(s)

Use the checklist above to verify that you have performed all steps required to get Nodinite flying (most probably already managed when you performed similar tasks for the Configuration Database)


SQL Server

Nodinite is designed to be implemented according to customer needs and all modern SQL Server versions are supported (Enterprise, Standard, Express):

  • SQL Server 2019
  • SQL Server 2017
  • SQL Server 2016
  • SQL Server 2014
  • SQL Server 2012
  • SQL Server 2008 R2

Note: It's you (or your IT-organization/hosting partner/...) responsibility to make sure a backup of the Log Database is regularly taken, at least once per day

You can run SQL Server on Windows Servers implemented on physical machines, virtual machines and in the cloud. Actual Windows version used must match the prerequisites for SQL Server version being used.

To maximize your experience with Nodinite you should implement all suggestions below:

  • Nodinite should run in dedicated SQL instances to guarantee/dedicate HW resources and avoid competing demands for resources, aid in the troubleshooting and avoid blame game situations
    • At least assign dedicated disk volumes for the Log Database to make sure extended logging does not fault any other system/service
  • Keep the Logging Service close to the SQL Servers hosting the Log Database for Nodinite

Do repeat optimizations below on ALL SQL Server instances (Log Database, BizTalk Databases)

  • Use -T1118 Trace flag on SQL Instances - Optimizes TEMPDB
  • Disable PAC Verification if your policy allows for this option to be set on all Windows Servers running any of Nodinite Core Services - Less RPC calls, improves performance
  • Nodinite should be installed on machines with dedicated Windows swap volumes (>2,5*physical RAM) and SQL discs should have > 300 MB/S R/W.
  • There should be a secured backup volume (or network share) available with sufficient free space for Nodinite databases
  • Windows Servers hosting any of the Core Services should have at least 16GB RAM. Environments with a large number of messages logged and processed may need additional RAM
  • For each core assigned with your SQL Instance (up to 8), create 1 tempdb file with 128 MB in size (no auto growth)

    If you have 14 cores that means you have 8 tempdb files. Putting the tempdb files on different volumes may increase the overall performance of your system

  • The Nodinite Log Databases, when used together with BizTalk Server, the Simple recovery mode option can be used to increase the general performance

Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator (DTC)

The Log Database is involved in all SQL Server related operations and Nodinite uses the Windows Service Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator (DTC) that is responsible for coordinating transactions that span multiple resource managers. We have written a dedicated tutorial for Nodinite with our best practices for how to install and configure the DTC Windows Service.

You must configure the DTC as documented otherwise Nodinite will not be able to function

What Windows rights does the Log Database require?

Nodinite keeps the identity of the user account for running Core Services related threads when traversing servers on your network. This means for example that when the Logging Service fetches data from Log Databases and/or BizTalk tracking database it will be the configured account that actually performs the remote operation. For the Windows Integrated Security to be able to pass and authenticate the user identity across servers all tasks outlined in the checklist at the beginning of this tutorial must be properly configured.

The Log Database is a SQL Server database and is installed as part of the Core Services package. Since the Log Database is a SQL Server database You must use a Windows account that has been configured with the appropriate rights in SQL Server, see SQL Server database rights.

Trusted for delegation

For Kerberos to function properly, the included Windows Server instances must be properly configured.

sequenceDiagram opt Kerberos TGT Logging Service ->> Domain Controller: Service account credentials Domain Controller ->> Logging Service: Kerberos TGT end opt Service ticket Logging Service ->> Domain Controller: Send TGT to request a service ticket Domain Controller ->> Logging Service: service ticket end Logging Service ->> SQL (Log Database): Client TGT and service ticket opt SQL service ticket SQL (Log Database) ->> Domain Controller: Clients TGT to request a service ticket Domain Controller ->> SQL (Log Database): service ticket end SQL (Log Database) ->> BizTalk SQL (BizTalkMgmtDb): Client TGT and SQL service ticket BizTalk SQL (BizTalkMgmtDb) ->> SQL (Log Database): Response SQL (Log Database) ->> Logging Service: Response

anonymous A common error for problems related to not having trusted for delegation

Note: A restart is required if these settings is changed in the Active Directory

Make sure to run the following command to make sure your server gets the new configuration (allow some time for your Domain Controllers to replicate new setting first)

gpupdate /force

You can make enable Trusted for delegation in two ways:

  1. Service level (recommended)
  2. Server level

Service level

In the Active Directory, you can enable the option to grant the SQL Server instance the right to be Trusted for delegation. In order to do so, the SQL Server instance must run with an AD service account (not a local account).

Server level

The Trusted for delegation option can be set on the server level (listener name, cluster name, node names) in the Active Directory. For more information see https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-desktop-optimization-pack/appv-v4/how-to-configure-the-server-to-be-trusted-for-delegation

Register SPN

When running Nodinite in a distributed environment, Kerberos requires all SQL Instances (both physical node names and cluster names) have its SPNs registered in Active Directory.

Example1: If you have a single box server with BizTalk, SQL Server and Nodinite you don't have to register the SPN (not a distributed environment)

Example2: If you have Nodinite Log Database installed on one Windows Server with a SQL default instance and BizTalk in another two node fail-over cluster running 2 SQL instances (1 default and 1 named instance), one for other BizTalk databases and one dedicated for the messagebox (BizTalkMSGBoxDb) you will have to register 7 SPNs in total (1 for Nodinite, 3 for the BizTalk instance, 3 for the BizTalk Messagebox instance)

  1. SQL Server name for default instance with Nodinite Log Database
  2. SQL Server first node name for default instance with BizTalk databases
  3. SQL Server second node name for default instance with BizTalk databases
  4. SQL Server cluster name for default instance with BizTalk databases
  5. SQL Server first node name for named instance with messagebox database
  6. SQL Server second node name for named instance with messagebox database
  7. SQL Server cluster name for named instance with messagebox database

SQL Server Default Instance

The following example registers account name for the default SQL Instance using an elevated command prompt (requires 'Domain Admin' rights):

setspn -A MSSQLSvc/myhost.redmond.microsoft.com account name

Using Always on? Please review the steps outlined in the Always On | Kerberos section

SQL Server Named Instance

The following example registers account name for the named SQL Instance using an elevated command prompt (requires 'Domain Admin' rights): repeat for each combination of named instance /account name)

setspn -A MSSQLSvc/myhost.redmond.microsoft.com:instancename %accountname%

What SQL Rights does the Log Database require?

For performance reasons, the following Core Services accesses the Log Databases through the linked server from the Configuration Database using as default the Windows Service Account configured.

graph LR subgraph SQL Server roConfigDatabase(fal:fa-database Configuration Database) --- |Linked Server| roLogDatabase(fal:fa-database fal:fa-database fal:fa-database Log databases) end

What Firewall settings are required for the Log Database?

The Log Database requires both inbound and outbound ports to be opened. Since Nodinite is highly configurable, the actual ports in use may differ from what's being exampled here.

These ports should always be allowed:

Port Name Inbound Outbound TCP UDP Comment
53 DNS The Agent needs to know where your other servers/services are (can sometimes optionally be solved with user-defined entries in the hosts file in each Windows server instance), review the following 'Microsoft' user guide
88 Kerberos Review 'Microsoft Kerberos' user guide

The following image shows which Core Services are using the Log Database through linked servers from the Configuration Database:

graph LR subgraph "SQL Server" roConfigDatabase(fal:fa-database Config Database) --- |Linked Server| roLogDatabase(fal:fa-database fal:fa-database fal:fa-database Log databases) end subgraph "Application Server" roLogAPI(fal:fa-cloud-download Log API) --- |SQL, DTC, DNS, RPC, ...|roConfigDatabase roWebAPI(fal:fa-cloud Web API) roWebAPI --- |SQL, DTC, DNS, RPC, ...|roConfigDatabase roLoggingService(fal:fa-hdd Logging Service) --- |SQL, DTC, DNS, RPC, ...|roConfigDatabase roMonitoringService(fal:fa-watch-fitness Monitoring Service) --- |SQL, DTC, DNS, RPC, ...|roConfigDatabase end
  1. TCP Ports between Core Services and Log Databases
  2. TCP Ports between Log Database and Log Databases / BizTalk SQL Server

The Log API, Web API, Logging Service and the Monitoring Service accesses the Log Database using the configured Windows Service Account.

1. TCP Ports between Nodinite Core Services and Log Databases

Port Name Inbound Outbound TCP UDP Comment
135 DTC/RPC This port is shared between many Windows Services
1433/... SQL Server instance ports (multiple) Depends on policies and settings on target environment. Please review the How to configure RPC dynamic port allocation to work with firewalls user guide

2. TCP Ports between Log Database and Log Databases / BizTalk SQL Server

The following Windows Components are accessing the Log Database and used/configured ports must be allowed, follow each link for details:

graph LR subgraph "SQL Server Hotel" roLogDatabase2(fal:fa-database fal:fa-database fal:fa-database Log databases) end subgraph "SQL Server" roConfigDatabase(fal:fa-database Log Database) --- |Linked Server| roLogDatabase(fal:fa-database fal:fa-database fal:fa-database Log databases) end subgraph "BizTalk SQL Server" roBizTalkMGMTDB(fal:fa-database BizTalkMGMTDb) end subgraph BizTalk SQL Server 2 roBizTalkDTADb(fal:fa-database BizTalkDTADb) end roConfigDatabase -.Linked Server.-roBizTalkMGMTDB roConfigDatabase -.Linked Server.-roBizTalkDTADb roConfigDatabase -.Linked Server.-roLogDatabase2

Before installing Nodinite, a SQL DBA must add the following linked servers (match the conditions that apply for your environment):

  • localhost
  • localhost\instancename
  • remote SQL Server (with historical databases)
  • remote SQL Server\instancename (with historical databases)
  • remote BizTalk SQL Server with:
    • BizTalkDTADb
    • BizTalkMGMTDb
If you are using SQL Server Always on availability groups make sure to follow the additional instructions on this page

The BizTalk database(s) named above must be added as linked servers (even for localhost). Make sure to set the 'be made using the login's current security context' option on the security setting of the linked server connection.

To add a linked server in SQL use the following commands:

EXEC sp_addlinkedserver @server = 'LOCALHOST\instance';
EXEC sp_serveroption 'LOCALHOST\instance', 'rpc', true;
EXEC sp_serveroption 'LOCALHOST\instance', 'rpc out', true;

Read more about the RPC and RPC Out option in the 'About Linked Server RPC and RPC OUT option' user guide.

Running the SQL MMC you should now be able to retrieve the list of databases (including BizTalk management database and BizTalk tracking database) available on the BizTalk SQL instances.
linkedserver

Note: For single box solutions the Kerberos security protocol is not activated, however for distributed solutions, for example when Nodinite is installed on one (or more) server(s) and the databases are located elsewhere, the logins used for linked server must use the Kerberos protocol. Using SQL Server in mixed mode allows you to impersonate a Windows account to use a SQL account totally bypassing Kerberos related problems. We urge you to only use this solution as a temporary solution until you have resolved your Kerberos related problems.

Always on

If your SQL Server environment is configured for Always on availability groups then additional configuration is required:

Linked Serves

the linked server configuration must be setup as follows:

  • On each and every SQL node
  • Use the cluster name and if applicable the instance name

SQL Accounts

Remember SQL accounts are not replicated between the nodes

Kerberos

Even though the SQL instance is configured to use a specific port, for example 50123 the listener still uses 1433 (default) and hence there must be a SPN registered for this configuration.

Use the following command setspn -l [Domain\User] (replace [Domain\User] with the account for the SQL Instance). The list should contain at least:

  • Clustername
  • Clustername:1433
  • NodeA:50123
  • NodeB:50123 ...
  • NodeA:InstanceName
  • NodeB:InstanceName ...

For a 2 Node AOAG example the command would yield:

MSSQLSvc/Clustername:1433
MSSQLSvc/Clustername
MSSQLSvc/NodeA:50123
MSSQLSvc/NodeB:50123
MSSQLSvc/NodeA:InstanceName
MSSQLSvc/NodeB:InstanceName

If your are using DNS suffix the list is doubled with each entry with it's DNS suffix added.

Frequently asked questions

Common problems and FAQ for the Log Database can be found in the troubleshooting page.


Next Step

Install Nodinite
System Parameters