Walkthrough: Replicating the Web database using Azure active geo-replication

Abstract

How to accelerate Sitecore publishing speed by using Azure active geo-replication.

You can speed up the publishing of content to multiple Web databases by using Azure active geo-replication. Instead of publishing separately to each Web database, you publish to only one and let Azure replicate that database. However, before you can take advantage of geo-replication, you must move the EventQueue, Properties and Tasks tables out of the local Web database and into a separate and shared Web database because they cannot be replicated.

This walkthrough describes how to:

  • Deploy the application and storage roles

  • Configure the Azure active geo-replication

The traditional publishing configuration

Consider a configuration that consists of the following: A main USA region that handles the content management, a European affiliate region, and an Asian affiliate region. In a traditional publishing configuration, the USA region Content Management (CM) role publishes the content to the Web databases in all three regions, and each regional Web database has its own EventQueue, Properties, and Tasks tables.

Diagram illustrating a traditional publishing configuration.

Region

Content Management role

Web database including EventQueue, Properties, and Tasks tables

Content Delivery role

USA

cm_usa

web_usa (publishing target)

cd_usa

Europe

None

web_europe (publishing target)

cd_europe

Asia

None

web_asia (publishing target)

cd_asia

The accelerated replication configuration

By reconfiguring the same scenario to use Azure active geo-replication, the USA region CM role only publishes to the USA region Web database. On completion, Azure active geo-replication replicates the USA region Web database to the European and Asian Web databases. The three regions share a separate Web database containing the EventQueue, Properties, and Tasks tables that cannot be replicated.

Diagram illustrating an accelerated replication configuration.

Region

Content Management role

Web database

Content Delivery role

Shared Web database with EventQueue, Properties, and Tasks tables

USA

cm_usa

web_usa (publishing target)

cd_usa

web_shared_system

Europe

None

web_europe (replication target)

cd_europe

Asia

None

web_asia (replication target)

cd_asia

Deploy the application and storage roles

You must deploy the main USA region as a standard Sitecore installation and remove the Core databases from the Europe and Asia regions.

To deploy the application and storage roles:

  1. In the USA region, deploy the CM and CD roles.

  2. In the Europe and Asia regions, deploy the CD role only.

    Note

    You must configure Azure active geo-replication target databases as read-only.

  3. In the Europe and Asia regions, remove the Core database from both regions. You can Disable the Security database on a Content Delivery instance because the CD role can run without it.

  4. Deploy an empty Web database for sharing the separate EventQueue, Properties, and Tasks tables.

    Important

    You might experience decreased performance when the EventQueue, Properties, and Tasks tables are shared by all regions.

  5. Configure your Sitecore roles to share the separate EventQueue, Properties, and Tasks database.

Configure the Azure active geo-replication

All that is left to do is to configure Azure active geo-replication to replicate data from the USA region Web database (web_usa) to the Europe and Asia region Web databases (web_europe and web_asia).

Warning

On CD roles using replicated Web databases, visitor requests can potentially repopulate the newly cleared cache with old content, until the replication is completed. Sitecore is working on a solution to this.