ODBC Driver on Linux and macOS Support for High Availability and Disaster Recovery

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The ODBC drivers for Linux and macOS support AlwaysOn Availability Groups. For more information about AlwaysOn Availability Groups, see:

You can specify the availability group listener of a given availability group in the connection string. If an ODBC application on Linux or macOS is connected to a database in an availability group that fails over, the original connection is broken and the application must open a new connection to continue work after the failover.

The ODBC drivers on Linux and macOS iterate sequentially through all IP addresses associated with a DNS hostname if you are not connecting to an availability group listener, and multiple IP addresses are associated with the hostname.

If the DNS server's first returned IP address is not connectable, these iterations can be time consuming. When connecting to an availability group listener, the driver attempts to establish connections to all IP addresses in parallel. If a connection attempt succeeds, the driver discards any pending connection attempts.

Note

Because a connection can fail due to an availability group failover, implement connection retry logic; retry a failed connection until it reconnects. Increasing connection timeout and implementing connection retry logic increases the chance of connecting to an availability group.

Connecting With MultiSubnetFailover

Always specify MultiSubnetFailover=Yes (or =True) when connecting to a SQL Server 2012 availability group listener or SQL Server 2012 Failover Cluster Instance. MultiSubnetFailover enables faster failover for all Availability Groups and failover cluster instance in SQL Server 2012. MultiSubnetFailover also significantly reduces failover time for single and multi-subnet AlwaysOn topologies. During a multisubnet failover, the client attempts connections in parallel. During a subnet failover, the driver aggressively retries the TCP connection.

The MultiSubnetFailover connection property indicates that the application is being deployed in an availability group or Failover Cluster Instance. The driver tries to connect to the database on the primary SQL Server instance by trying to connect to all the IP addresses. When connecting with MultiSubnetFailover=Yes, the client retries TCP connection attempts faster than the operating system's default TCP retransmit intervals. MultiSubnetFailover=Yes enables faster reconnection after failover of either an AlwaysOn Availability Group or an AlwaysOn Failover Cluster Instance. MultiSubnetFailover=Yes applies to both single- and multi-subnet Availability Groups and Failover Cluster Instances.

Use MultiSubnetFailover=Yes when connecting to an availability group listener or Failover Cluster Instance. Otherwise, your application's performance can be negatively affected.

Note the following when connecting to a server in an availability group or Failover Cluster Instance:

  • Specify MultiSubnetFailover=Yes to improve performance when connecting to a single subnet or multi-subnet Availability Group.

  • Specify the availability group listener of the availability group as the server in your connection string.

  • You cannot connect to a SQL Server instance configured with more than 64 IP addresses.

  • Both SQL Server Authentication or Kerberos Authentication can be used with MultiSubnetFailover=Yes without affecting the behaviour of the application.

  • You can increase the value of loginTimeout to accommodate for failover time and reduce the application's connection retry attempts.

  • Distributed transactions are not supported.

If read-only routing is not in effect, connecting to a secondary replica location in an availability group fails in the following situations:

  1. If the secondary replica location is not configured to accept connections.

  2. If an application uses ApplicationIntent=ReadWrite and the secondary replica location is configured for read-only access.

A connection fails if a primary replica is configured to reject read-only workloads and the connection string contains ApplicationIntent=ReadOnly.

Specifying Application Intent

When ApplicationIntent=ReadOnly, the client requests a read workload when connecting to an AlwaysOn enabled database. The server enforces the intent at connection time and during a USE database statement but only to an AlwaysOn enabled database.

The ApplicationIntent keyword does not work with legacy, read-only databases.

A database can allow or disallow read workloads on the targeted AlwaysOn database. (Use the ALLOW_CONNECTIONS clause of the PRIMARY_ROLE and SECONDARY_ROLETransact-SQL statements.)

The ApplicationIntent keyword is used to enable read-only routing.

Read-Only Routing

Read-only routing is a feature that can ensure the availability of a read-only replica of a database. To enable read-only routing:

  1. Connect to an Always On Availability Group availability group listener.

  2. The ApplicationIntent connection string keyword must be set to ReadOnly.

  3. The database administrator must configure the Availability Group to enable read-only routing.

It is possible for multiple connections that use read-only routing to connect to different read-only replicas. Changes in database synchronization or changes in the server's routing configuration can result in client connections to different read-only replicas. To ensure that all read-only requests connect to the same read-only replica, do not pass an availability group listener to the Server connection keyword. Instead, specify the name of the read-only instance.

Expect longer connection times with read-only routing than connecting to the primary. Therefore, increase your login timeout. Read-only routing first connects to the primary and then looks for the best available readable secondary.

ODBC Syntax

Two ODBC connection string keywords support AlwaysOn Availability Groups:

  • ApplicationIntent

  • MultiSubnetFailover

For more information about ODBC connection string keywords, see Using Connection String Keywords with SQL Server Native Client.

The equivalent connection attributes are:

  • SQL_COPT_SS_APPLICATION_INTENT

  • SQL_COPT_SS_MULTISUBNET_FAILOVER

For more information about ODBC connection attributes, see SQLSetConnectAttr.

An ODBC application that uses AlwaysOn Availability Groups can use one of two functions to make the connection:

Function Description
SQLConnect Function SQLConnect supports both ApplicationIntent and MultiSubnetFailover via a data source name (DSN) or connection attribute.
SQLDriverConnect Function SQLDriverConnect supports ApplicationIntent and MultiSubnetFailover via DSN, connection string keyword, or connection attribute.

See Also

Connection String Keywords and Data Source Names (DSNs)

Programming Guidelines

Release Notes