Data center downtime is expensive. In their most recent report, Ponemon Institute puts the average cost per minute for unplanned downtime at $9000.[i] While somewhat less expensive, planned downtime for things like maintenance can also be costly as it disrupts the flow of business. The goal of Disaster Recovery and High Availability is to minimize both scheduled and unscheduled downtime.

Disaster Recovery and the benefits of Managed Disaster Recovery or Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) is a frequent topic on this blog. If you want a refresher on some of the best practices and insights from the experts, here are a few posts that may help:

Disaster Recovery: Are Your Bases Covered?
Three New Tips for Avoiding a Disaster This Spring
Considering DRaaS? A Guide to Help You Identify Your Best Path to the Cloud

Creating a rock-solid Disaster Recovery strategy is about more than just taking the right approach. The tools you use are a very important component. So, today, I’m going to turn our attention to one of those tools: SQL Server 2016.

Your High Availability Toolbox

The latest release of SQL Server offers a number of features that promote performance and availability. Here’s a quick recap of the major High-Availability features:

AlwaysOn Availability Groups — a high-availability and disaster-recovery solution that provides an enterprise-level alternative to database mirroring.

AlwaysOn Failover Clustering — provides high availability at the server-instance level by making use of Windows Server Failover Clustering (WSFC).

Database Mirroring —provides High Availability and protection for a single database, with one mirror allowed per database.

Log Shipping —involves maintaining one or more standby databases for one primary production database, with transaction log backups automatically sent from the primary to the read-only secondary databases.

The key is to think of the available features as a toolbox. Different organizations have different disaster recovery and availability objectives, usually stated in terms of Recovery Point Objectives (RPO) and Recovery Time Objectives (RTO). Your job is to determine which of these tools will help you accomplish your unique goals.

Webinar: Choosing the Right Tools for the Job

Aligning your tools to your objectives was the topic of our recent webinar: SQL Server: Understanding Your Options for Disaster Recovery & High Availability

Watch now: On-demand webinar_SQL Server: Understanding Your Options for Disaster Recovery & High Availability

This webinar is broken down into two parts. First, Matt Aslett from 451 Research goes through each of these features and explains them in far more depth than I did above. If you’re new to some of these, his presentation should help you get up to speed quickly.

Second, Mike Donaghey, Manager of our Database Administration Group at TierPoint, will take you through two real case studies. The goals and challenges of these organizations were different, so how they approached their implementation of SQL Server 2016 differs as well. Our two experts also field a few questions toward the end of the session.

[i] Cost of Data Center Outages, Ponemon Institute, January 2016.


Midd CarmackAs a Senior Product Manager, Midd is responsible for delivering key features to define and translate TierPoint’s cloud product strategy into innovative and compelling solutions. Midd brings over 20 years of IT infrastructure, operating system, database administration and product management experience to the TierPoint team.   


Subscribe to the TierPoint blog We'll send you a link to new blog posts whenever we publish, usually once a week.