AlwaysOn Availability Groups
for SQL Server 2012, 2014, and 2016

SQL Server’s coolest new feature gives you high availability, disaster recovery, scale-out reads, and much more.  Here’s our posts and tutorials on how to use it.

Introduction to AlwaysOn Availability Groups – Brent explains why this new feature in SQL Server is better than any high availability or disaster recovery feature we’ve had before and how it can help your business.

How to Setup AlwaysOn Availability Groups

Free AlwaysOn Setup Checklist PDF – Get started with our big step by step tutorial setup checklist that covers planning, Windows, SQL Server, and the Availability Group setup.

An Introduction to SQL Server Clusters – AlwaysOn relies on Windows clustering, but relax – this isn’t your grandfather’s clustering.  Kendra Little explains the differences between shared disk clustering and the AlwaysOn Availability Groups clustering.

How to Set Up AlwaysOn Availability Groups – A screenshot tour showing a simple lab installation from start to finish.

How to Set Up Standard Edition AlwaysOn AGs in SQL Server 2016 – Brent walks you through adding protection to your existing database servers.

Video – How to Test Availability Groups in SQL Server 2012 – Kendra Little shows you how to set up a lab using free virtualization software and evaluation versions of Windows and SQL Server to get started learning AlwaysOn.

Using AlwaysOn Availability Groups in Amazon EC2 – If you’d like to use the cloud as a disaster recovery datacenter or just get higher availability by spreading your SQL Servers between availability zones, Jeremiah Peschka explains how to do it.

Why Availability Groups Make It Cool Again to Be a Sysadmin – Sideburns and sysadmins are back with a vengeance. DBAs need a lot of help from sysadmins in order to get AlwaysOn functionality up and running.

Gotchas and Problems with AlwaysOn Availability Groups

AlwaysOn Availability Groups FAQ – Brent gives you a quiz about AlwaysOn AGs to see if you’re a good fit, and then answers a lot of your common questions.

The Hard Truth About Patching Availability Groups – If you’re used to only patching your servers every couple of months, buckle up: things get much more challenging with AGs.

Careful Adding Indexes – in theory, you can add indexes online while people are querying your replica. In practice, they can get kicked out.

Corruption, Backup Checksums, and AlwaysOn AGs – an error in Books Online that you need to understand when designing a backup and DBCC strategy.

Urgent AG Bug in SQL 2012 SP2 CU3, CU4 and SQL 2014 CU5 – if you apply any of those patches, your AG may stop synchronizing.

Why Your Network Connection Matters – if your primary SQL Server’s network connection blips, even for a moment, your databases will go offline if they’re in an Availability Group.  Brent explains how to work around it.

Need High Availability? Use Windows Server 2012R2 – Kendra Little explains why Windows Server 2008R2 is such an incredibly bad idea for Availability Groups.

Managing SQL Server Availability Groups

Where to Run DBCC (And Backups) – you can run this corruption test against any of your SQL Server instances now, not just the primary, but should you only run it on a secondary? Brent explains why it’s closely related to where you run backups.

Before You Fail Over a Replica – when it’s time to do a manual failover, know how much data you will lose, how to handle Agent jobs, and what you’ll do in a split-brain scenario.

Common SQL Clustering, AlwaysOn, and High Availability Answers – we cover licensing, quorum, failover, and more.

Case Studies of Always On Availability Groups

AlwaysOn AGs at – the real-life story of how StackExchange used SQL Server 2008, what they needed from their AlwaysOn deployment, and how it worked out.

After many real-world deployments in production, here’s a recap of some of the most important lessons we’ve learned, including why you shouldn’t run AlwaysOn Availability Groups atop Windows Server 2008:

How Would You Change Availability Groups? We asked the readers and they came up with 84 comments about things they’d like to see tweaked.

Want Help? We Specialize in AlwaysOn.

We’re a boutique consulting company that specializes in high performance and high availability for Microsoft SQL Server. Some of our high-profile AlwaysOn deployments include StackOverflow, Discovery Education, and AllRecipes.

Our SQL Critical Care® process identifies the root cause of your performance and downtime problems, puts it in writing, and trains your staff how to work together to get pain relief – all in just 3-4 days.

Contact us now for a free 30-minute consultation.