An Introduction to SQL Server Clustering

By : Brad McGehee
Apr 03, 2002

If your mission-critical SQL Server should experience a motherboard failure, how long will it be down? One hour, four hours, a day, or longer? How much will this cost your business in lost sales or productivity? And perhaps even more important to you, what will it do to your stress level?

Being a SQL Server DBA can be demanding and stressful, especially as the success of your company is often a function of your SQL Server’s uptime. While we, as DBAs, have some control over the uptime of our SQL Servers, we don’t have full control. There is not much we can do if a motherboard fails on a server, other than be prepared.

As you may already be aware, there is one way to help boost your SQL Server’s uptime, and that is by clustering SQL Servers. This way, should one SQL Server fail in the cluster, another clustered server will automatically take over, keeping downtime to minutes, instead of hours or more.

The purpose of this article is to introduce you to SQL Server clustering, along with its pros and cons. If you are considering clustering SQL Server to help reduce potential downtime, this article is a good place to start.



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