Windows Server Failover Clustering (WSFC) provides infrastructure features that support the high-availability and disaster recovery scenarios of hosted server applications such as Microsoft SQL Server. If a cluster node or service fails, automatically or manually transfer the services that the node hosts to another available node. This process is known as failover.
SQL Server Always On is a solution for high availability and disaster recovery that takes advantage of WSFC. Always On provides an integrated, flexible solution that increases application availability, offers better returns on hardware investments, and simplifies high availability deployment and management. Always On availability groups and Always On failover cluster instances use WSFC as a platform technology
WSFC can keep SQL Server databases online and customers happy when hardware or operating system problems strike. WSFC also makes life easier when performing maintenance on a physical server: Fail the SQL Server instance over to another server and complete the work with minimal downtime. But be careful, when misconfiguring clusters, poor SQL Server performance or extended unplanned downtime is bound to occur. Do not let an otherwise great high availability feature cause weak performance or outages.
The completely free technical 13-page whitepaper “Top 5 SQL Server cluster setup mistakes” provides information to help avoid the some of the most common SQL cluster setup mistakes:
- Skipping cluster validation or ignoring warnings
- Configuring quorum badly
- Selecting the wrong version of Windows or SQL Server
- Buying the wrong hardware
- Not planning your nodes and instances
WSFC is a powerful technology that can keep SQL Server instances and databases online and operational when hardware fails — which it will. Armed with the knowledge in this whitepaper, set up your next WSFC for SQL Server the right way.
The author, Kendra Little, works for Brent Ozar Unlimited. She is a Microsoft Certified Master for SQL Server. She has been working with SQL Server for more than ten years. She has performance-tuned databases ranging from 1 gigabyte to 80 terabytes. She is also a Microsoft Certified Master in SQL Server.
Refer also to the infographic “SQL Server High Availability and Disaster Recovery”, the Geek Sync webcasts “Are AlwaysOn Availability Groups Right for You?” and “Top 5 Tips to Keep Always On Always Humming and Users Happy”, and the whitepaper “Why Your Always On Solution is Not Always On”.
Monitor Always On availability groups with IDERA SQL Diagnostic Manager. Monitor availability groups, availability databases, and availability replicas. Display the health of all of the monitored availability groups, availability databases, and monitored availability replicas. Display the queue size and transfer rates of different availability groups. Monitor and warn about availability groups with metric alerts. Create alert response bundles for related alerts. Report on the current topology of the configuration of an availability group. Report on the health of availability groups, availability replicas, and availability databases over a specific time range.
Read the blog post “How to monitor Always On availability groups” with SQL Diagnostic Manager, download a fully functioning 14-day trial, request a one-on-one demonstration, and request a price quotation.