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I have been assigned a project where sql server is running on a single server with single raid 1 volume. This setup has worked fine until hardware failure resulted in about a day worth of downtime for small business. There is no strict budget for this project, but don't want to go too crazy.

First option I looked at is SQL Server Cluster with two nodes. Hardware is already available and I have tested the setup in test environment with a great success. However, that still leaves me with storage as a single possible point of failure.

What would be a good option to go along with sql server clustering failover?

Software: Windows Server 2012 and Microsoft SQL Server 2012

Note: I do understand that besides storage failure there is also a possibility of network card or switch failure that would cause as much downtime, however, just for the sake of it let's assume it is taken care of.

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Always on would let you have separate storage for each node. (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff877884(v=sql.110).aspx) However this gets trickier in win10 with the new storage HA features.

  • With "Always on" enabled, how does the sql cluster react to storage failure on either node? Say I SQL Cluster with two nodes and Always on enabled. What happens when storage on secondary node fails, will there be a notification that node two is no longer available? I am sure this is described somewhere on Always on page but I can't seem to find it. – jM2.me Jan 7 '15 at 5:34
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You haven't mentioned what you're using for storage, but if you're using a SAN you could also use SAN replication with your SQL cluster.

If you don't already have the various pieces for that, however, Always On might be a better option. (Like Jim B suggested.)

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    At the moment, a single server hosts all the storage files and storage for database itself. The drives on the said storage are in raid and are being backup, but that won't matter for sql if say raid controller fails and storage is no longer accessible. Always on is rather awesome feature now that I have read about it, so it probably is optimal solution without going to crazy on budget. – jM2.me Jan 7 '15 at 19:56

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