High Availability (Analysis Services - Multidimensional Data)
High Availability is the ability to provide a service with a minimum of interruptions; and when there are interruptions in service, they are planned and known by the users ahead of time. Yes, there are times when interruptions to the service come unexpectedly, and in those situations the time to recover service should be kept to a minimum. In essence, providing a high available service is a mix of software and hardware planning, solution layout, and a set of good processes.
You can design highly available solutions in Analysis Services by using: network load balancing (NLB) technologies, failover clustering technologies, or both.
You can use network load balancing when you are planning over a steady growth (also known as Scale Out) to standardize on cost and achieving high availability and growth at a minimum cost. However, Analysis Services databases in a NLB solution need to be defined as read only databases to ensure consistency across queries.
You can use failover clusters when you need to provide full access (read and writeback) to the database. However, scalability over a failover cluster solution is obtained by growing the cluster servers.
This document and others related assume that you have a good understanding of failover clustering and network load balancing concepts for Windows servers; if you need to refresh these concepts you are encouraged to read the documents mentioned in High Availability Concepts Reference under the See Also section.