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Is it possible to setup SQL Server mirroring and run it with only 1 server right now, then later add another server later?

p.s I cant afford to do mirroring right now, and don't want reconfigure the primary server all over again later on to do mirroring.

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Does the server need to be the same? – 001 Sep 4 '10 at 8:17
You can edit your own question to add more information you know. – ChrisF Sep 4 '10 at 9:31

The short answer is no, in order to turn on mirroring you need to have at least the two machines, and optionally a witness (heartbeat) so that it can auto-magically fail over. Now with that said, you won't have to re-configure your server... you'll only have to configure mirroring. Meaning that you won't have to reinstall your host machine or anything.

I'd suggest reading here, it's a pretty good step by step guide.

As someone who has done, and still does both mirroring and log shipping, I can say that in my opinion MS has made this process fairly easy to do without disrupting your whole current installation.

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It is technically possible to do mirroring with a single server, although you will need to install two instances of SQL Server. Whether you should do this in a production environment though may not make sense!

Mirroring is not something you need to configure upfront when the server is setup. If further down the track you get another server, then you simply configure the 2nd server and set it up for mirroring there & then. You will not save any time by configuring it now with a single server, you will just create more work for yourself.

My advice is that you get yourself a developer version of sql server & install some instances of it & play around with it to get yourself familiar with setting up & tearing down mirroring!

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Very doable. Install an instance each for primary (initial principal), secondary (initial mirror) and witness. Make sure to use different ports when configuring the endpoints. Here's an MSDN article that discusses exactly this setup (specifically, a common issue with setting up the endpoints). As Nick said though, probably don't wanna do this in Production. – coffeetocode Apr 8 '12 at 0:49

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