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Choosing the Right SQL Server 2016 High Availability Approaches

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This excerpt explicitly defines a formal design approach to be used as a roadmap to navigate the appropriate high availability solution for each business scenario introduced.

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This chapter is from the book


  • A Four-Step Process for Moving Toward High Availability

  • Step 1: Launching a Phase 0 HA Assessment

  • Step 2: Gauging HA Primary Variables

  • Step 3: Determining the Optimal HA Solution

  • Step 4: Justifying the Cost of a Selected High Availability Solution

Chapters 1, “Understanding High Availability,” and 2, “Microsoft High Availability Options,” describe most of the essential elements that need to be defined in order to properly assess an application’s likeliness of being built utilizing a high availability configuration of some kind. This chapter describes a rigorous process you can step through to determine exactly what HA solution is right for you. It begins with a Phase 0 high availability assessment. Formally conducting a Phase 0 HA assessment ensures that you consider the primary questions that need to be answered before you go off and try to throw some type of HA solution at your application. but the four-step process described in this chapter helps you determine which solution is the best one for your situation.

A Four-Step Process for Moving Toward High Availability

In order to make the best possible decision about which high availability solution matches your business requirements, you can follow a simple four-step process.

  1. Step 1 is a typically brief Phase 0 HA assessment to gather all the needed information as quickly and as accurately as possible. It may not be brief, however, if decide to drill down a bit further in each requirement area.

  2. Step 2 requires involves gauging the high availability primary variables as completely and accurately as possible. This gauge is actually a deliverable of the Phase 0 HA assessment, but it is worth calling out individually as a separate step because it can be used as a high-level depiction of your application’s HA requirements and is easily understood by management-level folks in an organization (refer to Figure 1.8 in Chapter 1).

  3. Step 3 involves using the assessment and the gauge information to determine the optimal high availability solution that technically and fiscally matches your business needs. A hybrid decision-tree selection method can help in this step.

  4. As an added bonus, this chapter runs through a basic return on investment (ROI) calculation as an optional Step 4 of this high availability decision process. The ROI calculation is optional because most folks don’t bother with it; they are already losing so much money and goodwill during downtime that the return on their investment can be overwhelming. Very often, the ROI cannot be clearly measured, and no financial impact can be calculated.

This four-step process is, in effect, a mini-methodology designed to yield a specific high availability answer that best matches your needs.

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