Alternatives to failover clustering for high availability

Posted on 2005-04-14
Last Modified: 2013-11-15
I developed an INTRANET app. (ASP NET) using visual, 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
    LVL 10

    Expert Comment

    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

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

    LVL 10

    Expert Comment

    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.

    LVL 1

    Author Comment


    Do you mean the Veritas Cluster Server Quick Start?

    I found the product here:

    Have you used it?

    LVL 34

    Accepted Solution

    "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


    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.  


    Write Comment

    Please enter a first name

    Please enter a last name

    We will never share this with anyone.

    Featured Post

    Highfive Gives IT Their Time Back

    Highfive is so simple that setting up every meeting room takes just minutes and every employee will be able to start or join a call from any room with ease. Never be called into a meeting just to get it started again. This is how video conferencing should work!

    How to fix error ""Failed to validate the vCentre certificate. Either install or verify the certificate by using the vSphere Data Protection Configuration utility" when you are trying to connect to VDP instance from Vcenter.
    Storage devices are generally used to save the data or sometime transfer the data from one computer system to another system. However, sometimes user accidentally erased their important data from the Storage devices. Users have to know how data reco…
    This tutorial will walk an individual through the process of installing of Data Protection Manager on a server running Windows Server 2012 R2, including the prerequisites. Microsoft .Net 3.5 is required. To install this feature, go to Server Manager…
    Viewers will learn how to use the UPDATE and DELETE statements to change or remove existing data from their tables. Make a table: Update a specific column given a specific row using the UPDATE statement: Remove a set of values using the DELETE s…

    737 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    21 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now