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Availability Groups
An analysis of Microsoft SQL Server Always-On Availability Group architectures


Derik Hammer
 Database Administrator (Traditional/Operational/Production)
 Spent a year pretending to be a .NET developer then back to being a DBA
 Specialize in High-Availability, Disaster Recovery, and Maintenance Automation
 Rebuilt the Hampton Roads SQL Server User Group in Virginia Beach, VA before moving.
 Chapter leader of FairfieldPASS in Stamford, CT.

 BS in Computer Information Systems with a focus in Database Management
 Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases (70-461)
 Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases (70-462)

 Skill level: 200-300, assuming some familiarity
 Not a “how to”, but there are demos

Not a SQL
 Stand-alone instances
 Stand-alones with multiple subnets
Server 2016
 AG with Failover Cluster Instances Preview Talk
 Hybrid approach (DR on the cheap)
 AG Specific features, i.e.
 Back-up off-loading
 Read-only routing

This slide will be shown again at the end of the groups/ All presentations http://www. When I update the material.sqlhammer. the most recent updates will be available.sqlhammer.Materials Slide deck and demo material available at: This deck http://www. 4 .com/community/ This material has already been posted.

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log shipping. 6 . and Basic HA (DB Mirroring) have the same capability.Benefits of Availability Groups  When should you use them?  Automatic failover between local replicas.  Off-load backups  Off-load read loads.  Group databases together and failover separately from other groups.  Manual failover between DR sites.  BasicHA (DB Mirroring) and FCIs have the same capability.  Replication.

Stand-alone instances Server Server Availability Availability Replica A Replica B Local Disk(s) Local Disk(s) 7 .

a complete Replica A Replica B set of drives and data per replica.Stand-alone instances (cont. Local Disk(s) Local Disk(s) The beauty of this architecture is everything that it is not. Availability Availability  Data duplication . 8 .  Must synchronize server objects between nodes manually.)  Database level automatic Server Server fail-over available with synchronous commit.

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Stand-alone instances – multi-subnet Server Server Availability Subnet 2 Availability Replica C Replica D Local Disk(s) Local Disk(s) Server Server Subnet 1 Availability Availability Replica A Replica B Local Disk(s) Local Disk(s) 10 .

remote nodes don’t speak to each other.Stand-alone instances – multi-subnet (cont. • Even more data duplication. • Asynchronous Commit recommended for remote site. • Availability Group Listener handles multiple IPs across multiple subnets. • One of the few reasons that I might consider favoring a hybrid with FCIs. which only supports manual failover. 11 .) • Nodes synchronize from the primary.

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AG with Failover Cluster Instances Server Server Subnet 1 Shared Disks Availability Replica B Server Server Availability Subnet Replica A 2 Shared Disks 13 .

 Configurations where all nodes are active are no longer as possible.  Can’t group DBs for failover.  Forces you to have more nodes to your cluster.  Still need to across the subnets. 14 . entire instance moves.  Can’t ever have one AG replica reside on the same node as another.AG with Failover Cluster Instances (cont.)  No need to synchronize server objects within subnet.  Shared storage dependency.  Shared storage can’t cross subnets.  Instance level failovers within subnets.

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Hybrid Architecture AKA DR on the cheap Subnet Subnet 2 1 Shared Disks Server Availability Server Server Replica B Availability Replica A Local Disks 16 .

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Quorum  Voting mechanism  Prevents “split-brain”  Node majority is typical  Potential voters include  Servers (physical or virtual)  File shares  Remote shared disks  Weight your votes for a complete drop of your connection to your disaster recovery site 18 .

Quorum Demo Why you need to use Windows Server 2012 R2 and above  Dynamic Quorum  Dynamic Witness  Tie breaker 19 .

 Different VNN for each AG on the cluster.Why use the Listener?  Read-only routing. regardless of where the Availability Group (AG) lives.  No instance names to worry about.  Allows for groups of databases to failover to different servers. 20 .  Configuration files between DR sites can be identical.  It is capable of faster failovers.  One virtual network name (VNN).  Your applications do not have to wait for DNS time to live to expire.

 Changing database context after connection has been established won’t cut it. JDBC 4.NET 4.0  Not available for OLEDB or ODBC connections (expect in SQL Native Client 2012+ some restrictions apply). 3.  Connections must specify a database in the Availability Group in order to perform read-only routing.Limitations of the listener bells & whistles  ApplicationIntent and MultiSubnetFailover requires . 21 .com/en-us/kb/2654347  Or.  https://support.5 SP1 with hotfix  Or.0. parameters-in-sql-server-management-studio/  SQLCMD.sqlhammer.exe  SQLPS module’s Invoke-SqlCmd (Not a demo.Listener Demos  SQL Server Management Studio  Persist parameters – Supposedly fixed in vNext as per MS  Not fixed for SQL Server 2016 RC0  Reference the workarounds - http://www. hard to show the non- existence of something)  Add MultiSubnetFailover and ApplicationIntent options – Vote up on MS Connect! 22 .

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 Must connect using an Availability Group database context. thus the 2-slide emphasis.  Common stumbling point.Read-only routing  Manually configured and optional.  No SSMS wizard for configuration.  Incurs a round-robin connection performance hit. 24 .

Read-only routing connection flow Step 1: Client connects using ApplicationIntent=ReadOnly Primary Replica Step 2: Primary replica replies (Includes Listener) with IP for redirection Client Step 3: Connection is made with read-only instance Secondary Replica (Read-Only) 25 .

co/applications/hosted-by- you/alwayson-tools  Verify .Read-only Routing Demos  Configure .Dynamic Management Views 26 .T-SQL  (Non-demo reference) AlwaysOn Tools - Denny Cherry and Associates - http://dcac.

Back-up Off-loading  Transaction log backups  COPY_ONLY full backups  Differentials cannot be taken  Various preferred replica configurations available  sys.fn_hadr_backup_is_preferred_replica 27 .

Monitoring Demo Availability Group Dashboard 28 .  PowerShell driven desired state Availability Group failover test  29 .References of interest  Syncing server objects between sites  availability-groups/  Step-by-step work through of the AG + FCI architecture   SSMS AG Listener connection work around  management-studio/  Lazy log truncation and filestream  http://www.sqlhammer.

sqlhammer.Materials Slide deck and demo material available at: This deck availability-groups/ All presentations http://www.sqlhammer.sqlhammer. When I update the material. @SQLHammer 30 www. the most recent updates will be .com/community/ My Contact Information: This material has already been posted.