sios technology

jerry melnick

SQL Server High Availability

Jerry Melnick, COO of SIOS Technology, says:

SIOS Technology just issued the results of its premier SQL Server High Availability survey of large corporations in the United States (76%) and Europe (9%).  The survey elicited responses from 191 IT professionals across a wide range of vertical industries to understand current trends and challenges related to providing high availability (HA) and disaster protection (DR) for SQL Server.

Specific areas covered by the survey, included identifying the most important challenges to providing HA and DR; understanding the costs of HA and DR for SQL Server; and determining the plans and priorities for 2014/2015.

The following are key findings based on the survey results:

  • Improving SQL Server performance is a top priority for 43 percent of respondents.
  • Rising costs are a significant challenge for SQL HA and DR. The most important challenges to providing HA and DR for SQL were: SQL licensing costs (17 percent), vendor lock in (14 percent) and the cost of SAN storage (13 percent).
  • Licensing costs have risen sharply since the introduction of SQL 2012. For nearly one third (30 percent) of respondents, licensing cost increases were either significant (20-30 percent increase annually) or dramatic (>30 percent annually).
  • SQL Enterprise Edition for HA and DR. The reason most companies (68 percent) purchased SQL Server Enterprise Edition instead of more cost-effective SQL Server Standard Edition was for HA and DR features.
  • Shared storage (SANs) slowed SQL performance for more than half of respondents (51 percent).
  • Need for flexibility. Most respondents (73 percent) want flexibility to use any type of storage as part of a cluster configuration without the limitations of a SAN.
  • SQL in the cloud. Nearly half (47 percent) of respondent would run SQL in the cloud provided that they have failover cluster protection.

sql server high availability

Improving SQL performance was rated as the highest priority for the next 12 months (43 percent) followed by improving SQL Server disaster protection (recovery point and recovery time objectives) (24 percent). This emphasis on DR is further reflected by 40 percent who agreed or strongly agreed that “Our SQL DR strategy needs improvement.”

Companies want more flexibility in their HA and DR configurations. Seventy-three percent agreed or strongly agreed with the statement: “We want flexibility to use any type of storage as part of a cluster configuration without the limitations of a SAN.” Companies would also run SQL in a cloud if they could have high availability cluster protection.

The top SQL Server HA and DR priorities and plans for enterprises for the next six to twelve months, include improving SQL performance; improving SQL disaster recovery protection; reducing SQL licensing costs; having more flexibility in hardware choices for SQL HA environments, and moving SQL Server to the cloud and to use the cloud for DR.

In today’s enterprise SQL Server environments traditional shared storage adds significant cost, often causes slow SQL performance, and limits configuration flexibility, making them impossible or impractical in cloud, hybrid cloud and high performance storage environments.  Companies should consider SANLess cluster solutions that not only eliminate the cost of SAN hardware and administration, but also provide HA and DR protection in the cloud, high performance SSD and mixed environments. Enterprises can also use them with SQL Server Standard Edition to get HA and DR protection in two-node cluster configurations without the need for costly Enterprise Edition licenses.

For more information about SIOS’ SQL Server High Availability Survey, please visit: