Transactional Replication Architecture – One Article – Multiple Subscribers

All we need is an easy explanation of the problem, so here it is.

Q: Is less expensive/more efficient for a Distributor server to use 1 publication to 2 subscribers or to use 2 publications with the same articles going to a single subscriber each?


We have been having an issue recently with our Transactional Replication were the Distributor to Subscriber processes will halt an will not recovery gracefully. It is almost like some transactions get skipped or get applied out of order. Historically we have just resolved this with reinitializing the publication and moving on.

We have narrowed this down to a resource utilization issue on the Distributor server. Most times we can resolve by restarting the server from Azure but the larger publications don’t always recovery on their own.

All of our articles need to be delivered to two different servers (one for reporting functions owned by the IT department and another for reporting functions owned by a Data Analyst team). We will break the various articles into groups, each group getting 2 publications and send them to our separate Distributor server which accepts both Publications. One publication going to the IT server, the other going to the Data Analyst server. Something like below:Transactional Replication Architecture - One Article - Multiple Subscribers

The resource utilization issue in part is due to expensive queries on the Data Analyst server blocking the application of the replication commands. We are working with that team to improve the queries but I also want to see if we can make an architecture adjustment to help.

I am looking to see if there is any reason why it would be less expensive for the Distributor to send 1 publication to 2 subscribers instead of using 2 publications going to a single subscriber each. Something like below:Transactional Replication Architecture - One Article - Multiple Subscribers

Does anyone have any experience with this potential kind of implementation?

How to solve :

I know you bored from this bug, So we are here to help you! Take a deep breath and look at the explanation of your problem. We have many solutions to this problem, But we recommend you to use the first method because it is tested & true method that will 100% work for you.

Method 1

I don’t think it’s should make much of a noticeable difference, but generally unless there’s a need for a second Publisher on the same Article (each using different row or column filters for example), there’s no reason to have two Publishers and would cause some slight extra work for the Distributor to manage two instead of one.

If my memory servers me correctly, Transactional Replication Distributors copy the commands for the transactions to replicate to the Subscriber server first, and then they’re applied. So if your issue is a locking / blocking one on one of the Subscribers, then that shouldn’t have anything to do with your Publisher to Distributor architecture anyway.

Note: Use and implement method 1 because this method fully tested our system.
Thank you 🙂

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