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Posted: 1/27/2014
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BMW Global Premium Automaker Ensures High Availability and Improves Disaster Recovery Capabilities

Global automobile manufacturer BMW Group makes and sells nearly 2 million cars each year. The organization wanted to find a new database solution that would provide high availability for critical applications and meet customer demands for new databases. The company implements Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Enterprise, taking advantage of the AlwaysOn Availability Groups feature. BMW can now ensure high availability, more flexibility, and better use of its resources. The company can also scale to meet growth and has automatic failover capabilities. Additionally, the solution saves BMW Group administrative time on maintenance and troubleshooting.

Business Needs

BMW Group supports hundreds of mission-critical business applications, many of which are based on Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 software, running on the Windows 2008 R2 operating system. Because these applications are used on a daily basis by everyone from financial services and manufacturing employees to agents at dealerships, it is essential that they are highly available. To meet this obligation, the company needs to meet a 99.999 percent availability requirement.

However, maintaining high availability with the company’s previous system was increasingly costly. Scalability was also important, because the organization’s 70-terabyte SQL Server databases were growing at an average of 20-30 percent per year. More internal customers were demanding new databases to keep up with that growth, and the firm needed to meet that demand while decreasing costs.

In spring 2013, to address its needs for high availability and scalability, BWM Group decided to search for cost-effective new database technology.

* With SQL Server 2014 AlwaysOn Availability Groups, the company can easily meet its 99.999 percent availability requirement, and it can perform system maintenance without affecting business operations. *


The organization found what it was looking for in SQL Server 2014 Enterprise, which includes AlwaysOn Availability Groups. This feature provides high availability and disaster recovery for multiple SQL Server databases without the need for a shared storage area network.

AlwaysOn Availability Groups support up to eight secondary replica databases, which can be used to distribute read-only database workloads and provide enhanced recoverability. The technology also continuously synchronizes transactions from the primary replica to each secondary replica, further improving availability and disaster recovery.

SQL Server 2014 also includes enhanced AlwaysOn diagnostic and troubleshooting capabilities, so administrators have more visibility into issues.

In late 2013, the company started integrating SQL Server 2014 AlwaysOn Availability Groups into its worldwide standard architecture portfolio. Now the organization no longer needs to use its costly, host-based storage replication solution for database mirroring and disaster recovery.


Using SQL Server 2014, the organization gains nearly continuous availability, better use of its resources, and the ability to reduce its total cost of ownership by eliminating its storage replication solution for SQL Server 2014. The company also has better scalability and automatic failover capabilities, and spends less time troubleshooting.

Ensures High Availability and Will Decrease Costs

With SQL Server 2014 Availability Groups, BMW Group can ensure high availability for its critical internal and customer-facing applications. As a result, the company can easily meet its 99.999 percent availability requirement, and it can perform system maintenance without affecting business operations.

Additionally, the company expects to reduce its operating costs significantly because it no longer needs to use its storage replication solution.

Improves Scalability and Provides Automatic Failover Capabilities

Because SQL Server 2014 AlwaysOn Availability Groups support up to eight secondary replicas, BMW Group will be able to easily keep up with its database growth. In tests, the company demonstrated that it can create eight nodes without any performance impact. Now, when customers request a new database, the company will be able to build it easily.

The solution also gives the company automatic failover capabilities, greatly improving disaster recovery. In addition, the organization has more flexibility to protect against data loss during a disaster, because in such a circumstance it can take advantage of the multiple nodes in a cluster provided by SQL Server AlwaysOn Availability Groups and can move groups around.

Eases Administration and Saves Time

With SQL Server 2014, the company will be able to automate primary database maintenance tasks, making IT administration easier.

Additionally, the solution’s diagnostic capabilities will help BMW Group administrators save time on troubleshooting. With SQL Server 2014 AlwaysOn Availability Groups, the organization has the flexibility to move things around, which makes it easy to contain databases for specific hardware components. This will help administrators save time in isolating anomalies and identifying problems.

This case study is for informational purposes only.
Solution Overview

Organization Size: 100000 employees

Organization Profile

Founded in 1916, BMW Group is a global automobile and motorcycle manufacturer with 25 production facilities in 14 countries.

Software and Services
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Enterprise

Vertical Industries
Automotive, Industrial Equipment & Aerospace


Business Need
Mission Critical

IT Issue
  • High Availability
  • Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management