Q: How can I enable high availability for System Center App Controller?

A: System Center App Controller provides a web-based management interface for private and public cloud services such as System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012, hosters using Microsoft platforms, and Windows Azure. Many organizations looking to use System Center App Controller require high availability for the deployment, and there are two components that need to be made highly available.

First, App Controller uses SQL Server to store its configuration. To ensure the database information for App Controller is highly available, use a SQL Server instance that's part of a SQL Server cluster, which protects the availability of the database from a single-server failure.

The second part is the actual App Controller service, which is an IIS website. There are two ways to make App Controller highly available:

  • Install App Controller into a highly available virtual machine (VM).
  • Install multiple App Controller instances on multiple servers and place the multiple instances behind a load balancer such as Microsoft Network Load Balancer. When installing multiple App Controller instances, you must export the encryption key created when the first App Controller instance is created. Do this by using the Windows PowerShell cmdlet

    Export-SCACAesKey

    and use that key on the subsequent App Controller installations.