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Version: v2.x

MS SQL Server Read Replicas - Docker Setup

Introduction​

The following tutorial helps setting up a Docker container setup for the MS SQL Server Read Replicas.

This tutorial was highly influenced by this blog

Step 1: Set up the Docker image with SQL Server​

Create Docker file​

FROM ubuntu:18.04
ARG DEBIAN_FRONTEND=noninteractive

RUN apt-get update
RUN apt-get install apt-utils -y

RUN apt-get install sudo wget curl gnupg gnupg1 gnupg2 -y
RUN apt-get install software-properties-common systemd vim -y
RUN wget -qO- https://packages.microsoft.com/keys/microsoft.asc | sudo apt-key add -

RUN add-apt-repository "$(wget -qO- https://packages.microsoft.com/config/ubuntu/18.04/mssql-server-2019.list)"
RUN apt-get update
RUN apt-get install -y mssql-server

RUN /opt/mssql/bin/mssql-conf set hadr.hadrenabled 1
RUN /opt/mssql/bin/mssql-conf set sqlagent.enabled true

EXPOSE 1433

ENTRYPOINT /opt/mssql/bin/sqlservr

Build Docker image​

docker build -t sqlag:ha .

Step 2: Create the Docker configuration file with 3 SQL nodes​

Create three nodes:

  • sqlNode1: Primary server
  • sqlNode2 and sqlNode3: Secondary Servers
services:
db1:
container_name: sqlNode1
image: sqlag:ha
hostname: sqlNode1
domainname: lab.local
environment:
SA_PASSWORD: "Password1"
ACCEPT_EULA: "Y"
ports:
- "1501:1433"
extra_hosts:
sqlNode2.labl.local: "172.16.238.22"
sqlNode3.labl.local: "172.16.238.23"
networks:
internal:
ipv4_address: 172.16.238.21

db2:
container_name: sqlNode2
image: sqlag:ha
hostname: sqlNode2
domainname: lab.local
environment:
SA_PASSWORD: "Password1"
ACCEPT_EULA: "Y"
ports:
- "1502:1433"
extra_hosts:
sqlNode1.lab.local: "172.16.238.21"
sqlNode3.lab.local: "172.16.238.23"
networks:
internal:
ipv4_address: 172.16.238.22

db3:
container_name: sqlNode3
image: sqlag:ha
hostname: sqlNode3
domainname: lab.local
environment:
SA_PASSWORD: "Password1"
ACCEPT_EULA: "Y"
ports:
- "1503:1433"
extra_hosts:
sqlNode1.lab.local: "172.16.238.21"
sqlNode2.lab.local: "172.16.238.22"
networks:
internal:
ipv4_address: 172.16.238.23

networks:
internal:
ipam:
driver: default
config:
- subnet: 172.16.238.0/24
docker-compose up -d

Step 3: Figure the IP address of the gateway to connect​

$> ifconfig

br-7d762e376414: flags=4163<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,MULTICAST> mtu 1500
inet 172.16.238.1 netmask 255.255.255.0 broadcast 172.16.238.255
inet6 fe80::42:b0ff:fe8b:57ef prefixlen 64 scopeid 0x20<link>
ether 02:42:b0:8b:57:ef txqueuelen 0 (Ethernet)
RX packets 20022 bytes 2157399 (2.1 MB)
RX errors 0 dropped 0 overruns 0 frame 0
TX packets 36571 bytes 8365375 (8.3 MB)
TX errors 0 dropped 0 overruns 0 carrier 0 collisions 0

From above, you can notice that the docker gateway is 172.16.238.1, Once the docker container is up, we can connect to the sql server via 172.16.238.1 and 1501, 1502 and 1503 ports.

Test it out by trying to connect to any one of the node:

$> sqlcmd -S 172.16.238.1,1501 -U SA -P "Password1"
1> SELECT name FROM master.dbo.sysdatabases;
2> GO

Step 4: Create certificates​

Follow the steps to create certificates on the nodes:

  1. Create certificate for primary node, store it in a temp location in the node
  2. Copy the certificate from the primary node to local system
  3. Copy the certificate from local system to secondary nodes
  4. Apply the certificate on secondary nodes
USE master
GO

CREATE LOGIN dbm_login WITH PASSWORD = 'Password1';
CREATE USER dbm_user FOR LOGIN dbm_login;
GO

CREATE MASTER KEY ENCRYPTION BY PASSWORD = 'Password1';
go
CREATE CERTIFICATE dbm_certificate WITH SUBJECT = 'dbm';
BACKUP CERTIFICATE dbm_certificate
TO FILE = '/tmp/dbm_certificate.cer'
WITH PRIVATE KEY (
FILE = '/tmp/dbm_certificate.pvk',
ENCRYPTION BY PASSWORD = 'Password1'
);
GO

Store the above sql file in 1-primary-setup-certificate.sql. Then apply the transaction to primary node via the following.

sqlcmd -S 172.16.238.1,1501 -U SA -P "Password1" -i 1-primary-setup-certificate.sql

Please note that for the rest of the setup, it would be easier if we do the following: 1. Create a sql file with the transaction 2. Run the transaction via sqlcmd

Now, let's copy the certificate from primary and paste them into the secondary nodes.

docker cp sqlNode1:/tmp/dbm_certificate.cer .
docker cp sqlNode1:/tmp/dbm_certificate.pvk .
docker cp dbm_certificate.cer sqlNode2:/tmp/
docker cp dbm_certificate.pvk sqlNode2:/tmp/
docker cp dbm_certificate.cer sqlNode3:/tmp/
docker cp dbm_certificate.pvk sqlNode3:/tmp/

Connect to all the secondary nodes and execute the following SQL:

CREATE LOGIN dbm_login WITH PASSWORD = 'Password1';
CREATE USER dbm_user FOR LOGIN dbm_login;
GO

CREATE MASTER KEY ENCRYPTION BY PASSWORD = 'Password1';
-- ALTER MASTER KEY REGENERATE WITH ENCRYPTION BY PASSWORD = 'Password1';
GO
CREATE CERTIFICATE dbm_certificate
AUTHORIZATION dbm_user
FROM FILE = '/tmp/dbm_certificate.cer'
WITH PRIVATE KEY (
FILE = '/tmp/dbm_certificate.pvk',
DECRYPTION BY PASSWORD = 'Password1'
);

Step 5: Create the endpoint for Always On and setup health monitoring for the server​

Execute the following SQL first on primary node and then on the secondary nodes.

CREATE ENDPOINT [Hadr_endpoint]
AS TCP (LISTENER_IP = (0.0.0.0), LISTENER_PORT = 5022)
FOR DATA_MIRRORING (
ROLE = ALL,
AUTHENTICATION = CERTIFICATE dbm_certificate,
ENCRYPTION = REQUIRED ALGORITHM AES
);
ALTER ENDPOINT [Hadr_endpoint] STATE = STARTED;
GRANT CONNECT ON ENDPOINT::[Hadr_endpoint] TO [dbm_login];

To enable the health monitoring, execute the SQL on all nodes:

ALTER EVENT SESSION  AlwaysOn_health ON SERVER WITH (STARTUP_STATE=ON);
GO

Step 6: Create Always on Availability Group​

Execute the following SQL on primary node.

CREATE AVAILABILITY GROUP [AG1]
WITH (CLUSTER_TYPE = NONE)
FOR REPLICA ON
N'sqlNode1'
WITH (
ENDPOINT_URL = N'tcp://sqlNode1:5022',
AVAILABILITY_MODE = ASYNCHRONOUS_COMMIT,
SEEDING_MODE = AUTOMATIC,
FAILOVER_MODE = MANUAL,
SECONDARY_ROLE (ALLOW_CONNECTIONS = ALL)
),
N'sqlNode2'
WITH (
ENDPOINT_URL = N'tcp://sqlNode2:5022',
AVAILABILITY_MODE = ASYNCHRONOUS_COMMIT,
SEEDING_MODE = AUTOMATIC,
FAILOVER_MODE = MANUAL,
SECONDARY_ROLE (ALLOW_CONNECTIONS = ALL)
),
N'sqlNode3'
WITH (
ENDPOINT_URL = N'tcp://sqlNode3:5022',
AVAILABILITY_MODE = ASYNCHRONOUS_COMMIT,
SEEDING_MODE = AUTOMATIC,
FAILOVER_MODE = MANUAL,
SECONDARY_ROLE (ALLOW_CONNECTIONS = ALL)
);
GO

ALTER AVAILABILITY GROUP [ag1] GRANT CREATE ANY DATABASE;
GO

Step 7: Join the secondary nodes to Availability Group (AG)​

Execute the following SQL only on secondary nodes.

ALTER AVAILABILITY GROUP [ag1] JOIN WITH (CLUSTER_TYPE = NONE);
ALTER AVAILABILITY GROUP [ag1] GRANT CREATE ANY DATABASE;
GO

Step 8: Setting up the primary node with some values and database​

In this step, we'll create a database on primary and add some data to it and verify that the replication happens on secondary nodes successfully.

Execute the following SQL on primary node.

CREATE DATABASE agtestdb;
GO
ALTER DATABASE agtestdb SET RECOVERY FULL;
GO
BACKUP DATABASE agtestdb TO DISK = '/var/opt/mssql/data/agtestdb.bak';
GO

ALTER AVAILABILITY GROUP [ag1] ADD DATABASE [agtestdb];
GO

USE agtestdb;
GO

CREATE TABLE inventory (id INT, name NVARCHAR(50), quantity INT);
GO
INSERT INTO inventory VALUES (1, 'banana', 150); INSERT INTO Inventory VALUES (2, 'orange', 154);
GO

Connect to secondary replica and see the database and values. Test if the database has been replicated on secondary nodes

➜ sqlcmd -S 172.16.238.1,1502 -U SA -P "Password1"
1> SELECT name FROM master.dbo.sysdatabases;
2> GO

Step 9: Setup Routing List URL​

In this step, we'll do the following:

  1. Change the secondary replicas to allow read only connections
  2. Create read only routing url for each nodes
  3. Create the routing list

Note that, the read only routing URL should be such that you are able to connect from outside the container, so it's better to provide the actual IP of the node.

Execute the following SQL on primary node.

ALTER AVAILABILITY GROUP [AG1]
MODIFY REPLICA ON
N'sqlNode1' WITH
(SECONDARY_ROLE (ALLOW_CONNECTIONS = READ_ONLY));

ALTER AVAILABILITY GROUP [AG1]
MODIFY REPLICA ON
N'sqlNode1' WITH
(SECONDARY_ROLE (READ_ONLY_ROUTING_URL = N'tcp://172.16.238.21:1433'));


ALTER AVAILABILITY GROUP [AG1]
MODIFY REPLICA ON
N'sqlNode2' WITH
(SECONDARY_ROLE (ALLOW_CONNECTIONS = READ_ONLY));

ALTER AVAILABILITY GROUP [AG1]
MODIFY REPLICA ON
N'sqlNode2' WITH
(SECONDARY_ROLE (READ_ONLY_ROUTING_URL = N'tcp://172.16.238.22:1433'));


ALTER AVAILABILITY GROUP [AG1]
MODIFY REPLICA ON
N'sqlNode3' WITH
(SECONDARY_ROLE (ALLOW_CONNECTIONS = READ_ONLY));

ALTER AVAILABILITY GROUP [AG1]
MODIFY REPLICA ON
N'sqlNode3' WITH
(SECONDARY_ROLE (READ_ONLY_ROUTING_URL = N'tcp://172.16.238.23:1433'));


ALTER AVAILABILITY GROUP [AG1]
MODIFY REPLICA ON
N'sqlNode1' WITH
(PRIMARY_ROLE (READ_ONLY_ROUTING_LIST=(('sqlNode3','sqlNode2'),'sqlnode1')));

ALTER AVAILABILITY GROUP [AG1]
MODIFY REPLICA ON
N'sqlNode2' WITH
(PRIMARY_ROLE (READ_ONLY_ROUTING_LIST=(('sqlNode1','sqlNode3'),'sqlnode2')));

ALTER AVAILABILITY GROUP [AG1]
MODIFY REPLICA ON
N'sqlNode3' WITH
(PRIMARY_ROLE (READ_ONLY_ROUTING_LIST=(('sqlNode1','sqlNode2'),'sqlnode3')));

GO

Step 10: Create the listener URL​

This listener URL is used to route the Read only request to one of the Read only secondary replicas

Execute the following SQL on primary node.

ALTER AVAILABILITY GROUP [AG1] REMOVE LISTENER 'AGListener';
GO

ALTER AVAILABILITY GROUP [AG1]
ADD LISTENER 'AGListener' ( WITH IP ( (N'172.16.238.21', N'255.255.255.0') ) , PORT = 1434 );
GO

Let's go ahead and test, if we could connect to our secondary replicas using the listener URL. Note that, since we marked read replicas as ReadOnly, we will only be able to connect to secondary nodes only when we provide the ApplicationIntent as ReadOnly

Let's first connect to out primary replica

sqlcmd -S 172.16.238.21,1434 -U SA  -d agtestdb -P "Password1"

Now let's connect to secondary replicas using ReadIntent Only

sqlcmd -S 172.16.238.21,1434 -U SA  -d agtestdb -P "Password1" -K ReadOnly