SQL SERVER – Get High Availability with SQL Server 2012

I have received a lot of inquiries about how to learn High Availability. Please reach out to my friends at Koenig Solutions.

The SQL Server 2012 offers a plethora of solutions for high-availability that assures 99.999% server and database Availability. These solutions enhance database and server availability, hide the failures of software or hardware and maintain application availability to curtail user downtime. It simplifies management and deployment of high availability systems with incorporated monitoring and configuration tools.  It also enhances performance and cost efficiency of IT utilizing up to four Active Secondary. An SQL Server 2012 High Availability course helps you develop capabilities that contribute in taking your career to new horizons. Some of the key capabilities are utilizing standby hardware to the fullest, implementing disaster recovery and high availability and raising the total application uptime significantly.

UPDATE: Since the blog post I have received a lots of inquiries about how to learn High Availability. Please reach out to my friends at Koenig Solutions.

SQL Server 2012 High Availability Features

  • AlwaysOn Availability Groups- This is a feature of enterprise level that helps in maximizing user database availability. It entails the Server instances of SQL to exist in WSFC (Windows Server Failover Cluster) nodes.
  • AlwaysOn Failover Cluster Instances - This feature influences work of WSFC (Windows Server Failover Cluster). It offers high availability locally using the redundancy feature at the level of the server-instance.
  • Database Mirroring- It enhances DB availability by providing support to instantaneous failover. DB mirroring can easily be employed for maintenance of a single standby DB or mirror DB, for an equivalent production DB which is called a principal DB.
  • Log Shipping-It executes at the DB level. Users can maintain warm standby DBs (or secondary DB) for just one production DB, called the primary DB.
  • Multi-site Clustering – Various enterprises have their data centers located in multiple locations. The main reason for such a step is to maintain redundancy and use a secondary data center for disaster recovery. In this way, organizations can protect their site from failure; whether it is infrastructure, power, network or any other on-site disaster.

Several solutions are there that have executed failover clustering of SQL Server and Windows Server with the multi-site model.  Multiple nodes are included in a multi-site failover cluster. These nodes are scattered across data centers or various physical sites, aiming to offer availability through data centers if a disaster occurs at any site. At times, multi-site failover clusters are considered as multi-subnet clusters, stretch clusters or failover clusters that are dispersed geographically.

High Availability and Disaster Recovery Methodologies

Mastering the Disaster Recovery and High Availability capabilities in SQL Server 2012 environment helps add on to an IT professional’s existing skill-set and allows them to enjoy a promising career ahead. You can build the competencies necessary for a database administrator, developer or architect to understand and manage SQL Server 2012 internal infrastructure. Here are a few methodologies for high availability and disaster recovery-

  • Easy monitoring of the high availability configuration with AlwaysOn dashboard. It is an illustrative configuration to keep your DB up to the mark.
  • In case a failover happens, it helps in controlling the same. Also, it helps to remove false instances and DB failover.
  • Setting up Availability Group will ensure multiple database failover as a single unit. This ascertains that the application has all databases available, up and running.
  • With Availability Group Listener, you get a comprehensive set of alternative choices and a faultless application failover.

SQL Server 2012 High Availability Benefits

SQL Server 2012 has developed a platform which brings you a good amount of benefits that can add to your SQL server set up. These benefits include-

  • Diminished cost of Hardware without shared storage using AlwaysOn.
  • For performance improvement, secondary replica can take the load of performing backups rather than unnecessarily burdening the primary server.
  • With the AlwaysOn High Availability feature, availability of your applications is enhanced.
  • Automated page repair and high latency system support.
  • Provides confidence to deliver in mission critical situations.

SQL Server 2012 High Availability is a new course which can prove to be a feather in the cap of IT professionals. They can further their skills in High Availability and Disaster Recovery in SQL Server 2012 set up. SQL Server 2012 offers you everything required for addressing data dependability and availability at correct time and correct price at every level of the enterprise. With this, you will learn various techniques for leveraging SQL Server technologies for acquiring high-availability of database solutions.

I have received a lot of inquiries about how to learn High Availability. Please reach out to my friends at Koenig Solutions.

Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)

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SQLAuthority News – Microsoft Whitepaper – AlwaysOn Solution Guide: Offloading Read-Only Workloads to Secondary Replicas

SQL Server 2012 has many interesting features but the most talked feature is AlwaysOn. Performance tuning is always a hot topic. I see lots of need of the same and lots of business around it. However, many times when people talk about performance tuning they think of it as a either query tuning, performance tuning, or server tuning. All are valid points, but performance tuning expert usually understands the business workload and business logic before making suggestions. For example, if performance tuning expert analysis workload and realize that there are plenty of reports as well read only queries on the server they can for sure consider alternate options for the same. If read only data is not required real time or it can accept the data which is delayed a bit it makes sense to divide the workload.

A secondary replica of the original data which can serve all the read only queries and report is a good idea in most of the cases where there is plenty of workload which is not dependent on the real time data. SQL Server 2012 has introduced the feature of AlwaysOn which can very well fit in this scenario and provide a solution in Read-Only Workloads. Microsoft has recently announced a white paper which is based on absolutely the same subject. I recommend it to read for every SQL Enthusiast who is are going to implement a solution to offload read-only workloads to secondary replicas.

Download white paper AlwaysOn Solution Guide: Offloading Read-Only Workloads to Secondary Replicas

Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)

SQLAuthority News – 2 Whitepapers Announced – AlwaysOn Architecture Guide: Building a High Availability and Disaster Recovery Solution

Understanding AlwaysOn Architecture is extremely important when building a solution with failover clusters and availability groups. Microsoft has just released two very important white papers related to this subject. Both the white papers are written by top experts in industry and have been reviewed by excellent panel of experts. Every time I talk with various organizations who are adopting the SQL Server 2012 they are always excited with the concept of the new feature AlwaysOn. One of the requests I often here is the related to detailed documentations which can help enterprises to build a robust high availability and disaster recovery solution. I believe following two white paper now satisfies the request.

AlwaysOn Architecture Guide: Building a High Availability and Disaster Recovery Solution by Using AlwaysOn Availability Groups

SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOn Availability Groups provides a unified high availability and disaster recovery (HADR) solution. This paper details the key topology requirements of this specific design pattern on important concepts like quorum configuration considerations, steps required to build the environment, and a workflow that shows how to handle a disaster recovery.

AlwaysOn Architecture Guide: Building a High Availability and Disaster Recovery Solution by Using Failover Cluster Instances and Availability Groups

SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOn Failover Cluster Instances (FCI) and AlwaysOn Availability Groups provide a comprehensive high availability and disaster recovery solution. This paper details the key topology requirements of this specific design pattern on important concepts like asymmetric storage considerations, quorum model selection, quorum votes, steps required to build the environment, and a workflow.

If you are not going to implement AlwaysOn feature, this two Whitepapers are still a great reference material to review as it will give you complete idea regarding what it takes to implement AlwaysOn architecture and what kind of efforts needed. One should at least bookmark above two white papers for future reference.

Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)