Top 5 Reasons You Need to Worry about SQL Server High Availability

From June 18-20, 2012, Microsoft MVP and SQL Server high availability expert Allan Hirt will join Data Education to teach a course on high availability on SQL Server 2012 and 2008. In this blog post, Allan breaks down the top five reasons high availability should be first and foremost in every SQL Server DBA’s mind.

Interested in taking the course? There are still seats remaining. Read more about course details.

I’m often asked why high availability matters when it comes to SQL Server. In some companies, admins (usually not DBAs) are prone to false confidence that their current solution–which has nothing to do with SQL Server–is a better mouse trap. Nine times out of ten that is not the case. There’s a reason SQL Server has tried-and-true methodologies and techniques for making instances and databases available.

Below are five reasons you should concern yourself with SQL Server high availability. They are also all good reasons you should consider attending my upcoming course with Data Education. I’ll be covering all of these and much more, although you’re on your own with Number 5. :) Hope to see you there!

  1. There is more to SQL Server than performance.
    Performance matters. It always has and it always will. However, if your system is down, you won’t have to worry about how fast or slow things are: Nothing will execute. That is not the position you want to find yourself in, nor is it one your business will like, either. When you design SQL Server solutions, you need to take everything into account. Performance is just one aspect.
  2. Achieving availability is more than a technology like failover clustering.
    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve talked to people who, when the subject of availability comes up, go right to the technology. Here’s the reality: Before you can talk technology or build a solution, you need to put in a lot of pre-work and understanding to know how to be able to do the right thing. Using technology for technology’s sake or because something is the latest and greatest is never the right way to approach a problem.
  3. SQL Server 2012 is all about mission critical.
    Unless you’ve been living under the proverbial rock, you’ve noticed that Microsoft is making a big push with SQL Server 2012 around mission critical deployments. Whether you plan on deploying SQL Server 2012 very soon or in several months, it’s always beneficial to understand what’s coming. You’ll be better equipped to create your own 2012 road map, a way to get there from where you are now.
  4. Understanding hardware and operating system basics goes a long way.
    Unfortunately, many DBAs have SQL Server blinders on: Anything below SQL Server, like Windows or disk configuration, is someone else’s problem. At talks I’ve given, I’ve even received comments like “If I don’t configure those things, why do I need to know them?”
    The answer to that is simple: Regardless of the current structure of your company’s IT department, it’s essential that you develop some understanding of hardware and the operating system. When it comes to availability, it all matters. Think about it: If Windows isn’t configured properly or if the disks aren’t up, neither is SQL Server. The more you know, the better off you will be, and hopefully you will not only achieve higher uptime, but have a better working relationship with your non-SQL coworkers.
  5. You don’t want to have to update your resume sooner than you had originally planned.
    Sure, this sentiment is a bit cheeky, but it’s something I’ve seen in action. Part of your job is ensuring that your instances and databases are up and running. Yet an outage could put your employment status in jeopardy, especially an outage that could have been prevented or a situation that winds up with an outcome of data loss. Your company is counting on you to know how to keep the SQL Server lights on with minimal to no impact to the business. Can you say that you’re ready to achieve that now?

Hope to see you on June 18! (Don’t forget that a discount is still in effect!)