Pros of Having High Availability and Disaster Recovery in Place for your SQL Server
If you run an SQL Server solution, then the chances are that it is a crucial cornerstone of some aspect of your business operations.
Because of this, downtime needs to be avoided and availability preserved at all costs. Likewise, you have to be prepared to recover quickly in the event that disaster strikes, or else face dire consequences.
Here is a look at exactly how important it is to embrace high availability (HA) and disaster recovery (DR) for your SQL Server ecosystem, and what this will mean for continuity in your organization.
Hardware failures can be overcome
Every server is susceptible to faults and flaws in its hardware, which could leave mission-critical apps and data inaccessible for protracted periods.
This is where HA comes into play, providing you with the option to add failover servers to your on-site or cloud-powered database setup. That way, when your primary database gets derailed for whatever reason, a secondary copy that is mirrored exactly will kick in to save your bacon.
These so-called always-on availability groups (AGs) have been around since SQL Server 2012, and remain an important continuity-preserving aspect of modern database implementations. Of course, you also need to get insight into the current state of your AGs if you want to test out your failsafe solutions ahead of a disaster, rather than crossing your fingers and hoping for the best.
Disaster recovery is streamlined
Even the most closely monitored and carefully configured databases can suffer costly unplanned downtime, whether due to power outages, inclement weather conditions, on-site dilemmas such as fires and flooding, and a litany of other catastrophes.
As such, you have to assume that calamity will strike at some point and plan to recover from such disasters in addition to attempting to avoid them in the first place.
HA can be powered by passive, secondary servers that sit in the cloud and provide almost instant initiation if an on-site primary database is rendered inoperable.
This means that rather than having to spend hours attempting to recover from disasters, you can have a nearly gapless level of availability for apps and services that are reliant on your SQL infrastructure.
Additional advantages are available
The use of secondary servers for backup and disaster recovery will not just be beneficial from an availability and continuity perspective.
For example, one oft-overlooked perk is that you can use secondary servers to check for database consistency, and thus gain an awareness of issues that may be otherwise undetected in your primary server.
Likewise, you can look into how resources are being used and analyze this data to gain insights into the capabilities of your hardware and the suitability of your software setup, letting you know if code needs to be improved.
In essence, if you want your SQL Server ecosystem to be as robust and reliable as possible, then implementing HR and DR should be a priority. It is far better to invest the time and money required to prepare for disasters ahead of time, rather than waiting for them to occur and only then taking action.