Alternatives to failover clustering for high availability

Posted on 2005-04-14
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-15
I developed an INTRANET app. (ASP NET) using visual basic.net, and SQL server. Please note that I am using as client the Internet explorer so I don't keep connections to the database

I have no experience with clustered servers. I need almost  100% availability so I want to have a redundant configuration like this:

2 clustered servers Active-Passive. with external RAID disks for the data.

But the vendor says I need at least 2 W2k3 Enterprise and one SQL Server Enterprise + CAL ( lot of $ for a very small company)

To achieve high availability, are there alternatives to the Enterprise solution? (No Microsoft OS and or DB is out of the question, it is too late)
For instance licensing two standard sql server and two standard W2k3 and use replication? Or
if I choose to have W2K3 Enterprise and the two standard SQL, could I use the MSCS (Cluster Server) somehow to have the second server up when the first fails?

My boss is not very happy about having to pay a lot more to Microsoft for a second server that will not be normally used. Please help, or confirm the bad news.

(almost, above, means downtimes of no more than half an hour in a year)
Question by:dsuarez1
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Expert Comment

ID: 13783903
Sounds like a cluster is required for such high availability requirements.   If you look into using two stand-alone servers with SQL replication, you'll need SQL Server Enterprise to deliver the replication I think (I'll stand corrected if that's not the case but I think it is).  Just confirm on the MS website.

LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 13783970
or... you could look at cheaper clustering solutions.   Veritas has a clustering product for example.  

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Expert Comment

ID: 13784033
actually, it's all coming back to me now... veritas works out cheaper for a few reasons but one of the main reasons is that it doesn't require SQL Serer Enterprise.  Standard will do.

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Author Comment

ID: 13785488

Do you mean the Veritas Cluster Server Quick Start?

I found the product here:


Have you used it?

LVL 34

Accepted Solution

arbert earned 1000 total points
ID: 13786007
"Sounds like a cluster is required for such high availability requirements."

What are your requirements, I never really seen any listed.....

Logshipping with a warm standby server can offer you really goo recoverability and uptime....If you have enterprise edition, you can configure it with a maintenance plan.  If you don't, you can manually configure it:


LVL 10

Assisted Solution

AustinSeven earned 1000 total points
ID: 13788676

I didn't know about the quick start product.  Looks like a smaller/cheaper version aimed at small businesses and maybe that's ok.   I have come across the 'bigger' Veritas clustering product: -


I used to work for managed service company and one its clients used veritas clustering in order to keep the cost down. I didn't have a lot to do with setting it up but cans say that it's doing a job.  


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