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SQL Server 2012 High Availability Datasheet


Date Published:October 2011

  • Achieve maximum application availability and data protection using SQL Server AlwaysOn and other high availability features.
  • Reduce planned downtime significantly with SQL Server on Windows Server Core.
  • Improve IT efficiency and performance using Active Secondary.
  • Simplify deployment and management of high availability and disaster recovery using integrated tools.

Achieving the required business continuity service level involves ensuring continuous uptime of critical applications and protecting critical data from unplanned and planned downtime.

Microsoft® SQL Server® 2012 provides a set of features and capabilities that enable businesses to achieve the highest level of availability and data protection without the cost and complexity.

SQL Server AlwaysOn

The new integrated, flexible, cost-efficient high availability and disaster recovery solution provides redundancy within a datacenter and across datacenters and enable fast application failover providing maximum availability and data protection for your mission critical applications.

AlwaysOn provides flexibility in configuration and enables reuse of existing hardware investments including shared storage.

AlwaysOn supports configuring availability at both the database and instance level.

  • AlwaysOn Availability Groups is a new feature that greatly enhances the capabilities of Database Mirroring and ensures availability of application databases and provides zero data loss protection.
    Availability Groups provide an integrated set of options including automatic and manual failover of a group of database, support for up to four secondaries and two synchronous secondaries, fast application failover and automatic page repair.
  • AlwaysOn Failover Cluster Instances enhances the SQL Server Failover Clustering feature and supports multi-site clustering across subnet which enables cross-datacenter failover of SQL Server instances. Fast and predictable instance failover is another key benefit which enables fast application recovery.

Database Recovery Advisory

Database Recovery Advisory simplifies database restore and allows administrators to quickly and easily restore database to a point in time from an existing backup set using a visual timeline of the backup chain.

Peer-to-Peer Replication

Peer-to-Peer Replication is a versatile feature that helps increase scalability, availability, and processing capacity by configuring applications to use different peers and to fail over to another peer in the event of a failure. Applications can protect against accidental conflicts with conflict detection and increase availability by dynamically adding a new node to an existing topology.

Log Shipping

Log Shipping provides automated backup and restore capabilities within and across data centers and enables delaying recovery of databases to a previous point in time which can help recover from user errors like accidentally dropping a table.

Database Mirroring

Database Mirroring enables database availability and complete data protection by maintaining a single mirror copy of the data. Applications can automatically reconnect to the mirror in the event of a database failover.

The key reason for application downtime in any organization is planned downtime caused by OS patching, hardware maintenance, etc. This constitutes almost 80% of the outages in an IT environment.  SQL Server 2012 helps reduce planned downtime significantly by reducing patching requirements and downtime due to maintenance operations.

Windows Server Core

SQL Server is now supported on Windows Server® Core. By running on Windows Server Core the OS patching can be reduced by as much as 50-60% which greatly reduces planned downtime.

Online Operations

Enhanced support for online operations like LOB reindexing and adding columns with default reduces downtime during database maintenance operations.

Rolling Upgrade and Patching

AlwaysOn features enable rolling upgrade and patching of instances which significantly reduces application downtime.

SQL Server on Hyper-V

SQL Server instances hosted on Hyper-V environment get the additional benefit of Live Migration which allows migration of virtual machines without any downtime. This allows administrators to do maintenance operations on the host without impacting applications.

Typical high availability solutions involve redundant passive servers which is very costly in today’s environment.

Active Secondary

AlwaysOn Availability Groups enable secondary instances to be utilized for running reporting queries and backup operations which eliminates idle hardware and improves resource utilization.

The ability to utilize the secondaries improves performance of primary and reporting workloads due to better balancing of workloads across the instances.

Achieving the highest level of application availability need not be complex and costly. SQL Server AlwaysOn makes deploying and managing a high availability solution extremely easy.

Configuration Wizard, PowerShell support, dashboard, DMV’s and Microsoft® System Center integration simplifies deploying and managing Availability Groups.

Failover Cluster Instances come with easy setup and allows consolidation of greater than 26 instances on a single cluster which simplifies management and instance sprawl.

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