I'm currently looking at hosting an SQL Server database on an Azure Virtual Machine Instance and connecting the website via two load balancing web-roles. Due to various limitations in our application architecture we can't yet go for the fully fledged Azure Database, so this is our middle ground. I just have a couple of questions on redundancy specifically with the VM and SQL Server.
Do I need to maintain two VM instances to ensure reliable failover?
If the primary VM went offline how long would the failover process take? Obviously to a degree I guess this depends on why it went offline, but is it possible to failover in seconds? or would I need to wait for the disk on the primary to be re-imaged to another node?
Any help would be much appreciated!