Howto: WSS 3.0 & SQL 2008 High Availability

I am looking to implement WSS 3.0 in a high availability enviroment.  High utilization is not really an issue.  I am more worried about uptime.  My solution to this would be to have the following

1. Two internet providers
2. Two Cisco ASA Firewalls (Cisco1, Cisco2)
3. Two Physical Servers (Server1, Server2)
4. Two Virtual Servers on Each physical Server, running Esx 3.5, W2k8, SQL 2008
5.  Server1 would run a VM for the WSS Front End and the other for SQL 2008
6.  Server2 would run a VM for the WSS Front End and the other for SQL 2008
7.  Both Front End VMs would be in the same farm
8. I was hopeing to mirror the SQL 2008 with automatic fail-over??  I hear that is a new feature in 2008 (in regards as "automated").
9. The Ciscos would be setup in a way in which:
A. Both have different internet providers.
B. Cisco1, Cisco2 are uplinked together through the LAN
C. Two network interfaces on each server.
D. Server1 interface on the DMZ of Cisco1 with a Public IP, and the other on Cisco2 with NAT and port forwarding of 443.
E. Server2 intraface on the DMZ of Cisco2 with a Public IP, and the other on Cisco1 with NAT and port forwarding of 443.

I am not use to creating such a high availability enviroment and looking for any suggestions.  With the solutions I provided, I would think I could handle multiple points of failure (internet, router, server, etc), with a simple DNS change, which I could have monitored and outsourced.

I am not too familiar with SQL, let alone mirroring, so that is my biggest concern.  The goal is to have one the other SQL go online automatically when the other fails.  When the failed SQL comes back online, I want that to be seemless as well and I want all data to be replicated from the server with the most current database.  Is this possible?

I was also looking at a solution from DocAve for high availabilty.

I appreciate all the help!

Tyler
tyty4u2Asked:
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thmanCommented:
Automatic failover feature is available on SQL Server 2005 and newer versions. It can automatically failover to the mirrored instance, but it does not automatically fall back as you would have to bring the old primary back online and make sure everything is mirror sync'd again, then you can choose to fall back if you want. In additon to the mirrored instances, you will also need to have an instance to behave as a mirror watcher which monitors the mirrored instances.
 
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tyty4u2Author Commented:
I read somewhere where SQL 2005 did not support automatic failover for Sharepoint, that it had to be scripted.  What is the job of the mirror watcher?  Can you have multiple mirror watchers?
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thmanCommented:
Yes, SQL 2005 does support automatic failover. There are 3 modes: High Availability, High Protection, and High Performance. High Availability mode, in which you set transition safety to FULL, is the only mode that supports automatical failover.
In order to do that, you have to have a mirror watcher (or more accurately termed, "witness server") which monitors the principal and mirror servers to ensure continued connectivities. However, only client applications that use MS SQL Native Client or the MS .NET framework 2.0 Data Provider for SQL Server can support automatical client redirection.
I have never read about or tried the situation of multiple witness servers, but maybe you can try. The witness process is not heavy duty and you just need to open a listener port on the server, you probably don't need to have multiple ones. However, you will need to configure it on another separate server so that it does not go down together with the principle server.
 
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tyty4u2Author Commented:
Sorry for the delay in approving the ticket.  Thanks again!
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Microsoft SQL Server 2008

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