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SQL Logging: how to keep ISA running in case of failure?

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SQL Logging: how to keep ISA running in case of failure? - 8.Nov.2006 3:38:03 AM   
tvbruwae

 

Posts: 69
Joined: 19.Jul.2005
Status: offline
Hello

We are running a couple of ISA2004 Enterprise servers using local MSDE logging. For various reasons we would like to convert this to SQL logging, but this leaves us with a couple of questions.

First of all, will ISA Server continue to work when the SQL Server becomes unavailable (e.g. during a reboot)? I found an article on this site providing a workaround script for ISA2000 (where ISA stalled when the database came offline), but I did not find any information about ISA2004.

Second question: if ISA is really depending on the availability of the SQL database then we will have to keep the logs on the ISA Servers to reduce the risk for outages. In that case, does SQL Server (2000 - 2005) offer advantages over the MSDE version that comes installed by default?

Thanks for any replies!
Post #: 1
RE: SQL Logging: how to keep ISA running in case of fai... - 8.Nov.2006 6:39:12 AM   
Boedus

 

Posts: 195
Joined: 8.Sep.2006
Status: offline
SQL is the way to go for better performances and if you want to implement a third party reporting tool the most effective way.

Basically if the SQL server is unreachable the ISA will stop.

I have also read in some white papers if ISA is unable to write logs into the SQL for whatever reason, it will fail over. Bu I have personnally experienced this and I can say this did not append. We had a lot of errors in the ISA server even viewer telling us it is not able to write in the table....but the ISA was still up.
Well in our case the SQL server was UP but the Database was 60GB, so there was timeouts to write entries to the SQL database. So it is a bit different than the fact the SQL server is up or not.

The thing to keep in mind about SQL as well, is that the database sizes will be much more bigger than MSDE, so you have to implement a SQL script to clean old entries (Older than 10 days whatever) and that will run everyday with your SQL maintenance plan as well.
In the mean time you would also have a daily backup of your SQL database.

I am not aware about any workaround to keep the logging up even in the case of a SQL Server failure.

(in reply to tvbruwae)
Post #: 2
RE: SQL Logging: how to keep ISA running in case of fai... - 9.Nov.2006 9:42:32 AM   
tvbruwae

 

Posts: 69
Joined: 19.Jul.2005
Status: offline
With your remarks in mind I tried to do some tests with an offline ISA Server and it does not seem to stay trustworthy when the log resources are unavailable. Even when denying write access to the log folder (and SQL is still running) the firewall service starts to go mad.

We once used SQL (temporarily) for logging ISA2000 data and there we also noticed that the database kept growing. We always wondered when exactly the database would be cleaned up, but you made it clear that we could have been waiting for a long time

I still did not find a "MS supported" approach for keeping ISA running at all times, so I assume that we would better keep the logs on the same machine. As for SQL, I will advide to use it but considering the license costs the upgrade might not be worth it..

Thanks for the reply!

(in reply to Boedus)
Post #: 3

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