High Availability

The Hard Truth About Patching SQL Server Availability Groups (Hotfixes, Cumulative Updates, and Service Packs)

Whoa, be careful with that fix As a DBA, you’re responsible for identifying necessary updates to keep your SQL Servers healthy. Your business may have some mandates about the frequency of patches, but even if they don’t, you have a duty to look out for Cumulative Updates, Service Packs, and out of band hotfixes that can prevent…
Read More

Failing over an Asynchronous Mirror in SQL Server (video)

Database Mirroring
Will a long running open transaction block you from changing to synchronous mode and failing over to your SQL Server database mirror? Join Kendra to test performing a planned failover from an asynchronous database mirror. Brent Says: Often, when I’m working with developers, they’re totally surprised that SQL Server’s failover methods all break in-flight transactions. No matter…
Read More

How Would You Change Always On Availability Groups?

SQL Server 2012 introduced AlwaysOn Availability Groups, a way to achieve high availability, disaster recovery, and scale-out reads. SQL 2014 brought some improvements around higher uptime and more scale-out, and all signs point to continued improvements in the next version of SQL Server, too. (I love it when Microsoft brings out features like this and…
Read More

What Amazon RDS for SQL Server Users Need to Know about Multi-AZ Mirroring

Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) now supports multi-availability-zone SQL Servers. This means you can have a primary database in one data center, and a secondary replica in another data center. Those Portland folks were always a little bit backwards anyway. When your primary server goes down, OR when the entire AZ goes down, you can fail…
Read More

Careful Adding Indexes with Always On Availability Groups

In theory, you can add indexes online with SQL Server Enterprise Edition. In theory, with AlwaysOn Availability Groups, you can add and drop indexes on the primary replica whenever you want. In theory, you can perform read-only queries on the secondaries whenever you want, and nobody gets blocked. In practice, these things don’t always add…
Read More

Auto-Scaling SQL Server Always On Availability Groups with Virtualization

Time for a thought exercise. Thought exercises are hard. You’ve got a database application that has bursty and unpredictable loads. Out of nowhere, you’ll suddenly get socked with a large amount of SELECT queries. Due to the way the app is written, you can’t cache the query results – the queries keep changing, and the business…
Read More

Always On Availability Groups, Backup Checksums, and Corruption

The latest version of sp_Blitz® alerts you if you haven’t been using the WITH CHECKSUM parameter on your backups. This parameter tells SQL Server to check the checksums on each page and alert if there’s corruption. But what about corrupt backups? Books Online says: NO_CHECKSUM – Explicitly disables the generation of backup checksums (and the validation…
Read More

Update on Stack Overflow’s Recovery Strategy with SQL Server 2014

Back in 2009 (wow, seems like only yesterday!), I wrote about designing a recovery strategy for Stack Overflow. Back then, I wrote: With these answers in mind, Stack Overflow’s decisions not to do transaction log backups, offsite log shipping, database mirroring, and so on make good business sense. Us geeks in the crowd may not like it,…
Read More

Log Shipping FAQ

I’ve been working with and talking about SQL Server Log Shipping a lot lately! One way to ship logs… I’ve gotten a lot of great questions about log shipping, so I’ve put together an FAQ. What editions of SQL Server is log shipping available in? 2012 – Enterprise, Business Intelligence, Standard, and Web 2008R2 –…
Read More

VMware HA is Not Database Server High Availability

I served with High Availability. I knew High Availability. High Availability was a friend of mine.  VMware HA, you’re no High Availability. See, for us database administrators, high availability means protection when: The system drive fills up because some potato decided to download a bunch of files An operating system or database server update goes…
Read More