Microsoft SQL Server 2012 improves data availability and uptime

Tuesday 8 October 2013

In the fiercely competitive world of 21st century business, it is vital that companies have high availability - providing maximum uptime, data availability and regulatory compliance. With this in mind, and increasing number of organisations are choosing to deploy SQL Server 2012, a Microsoft solution designed to meet availability and reliability needs throughout the enterprise.

The solution is designed to reduce planned and unplanned downtime with the integrated high-availability and disaster recovery service SQL Server AlwaysOn. In addition, the server is meant to simplify deployment and management of high availability requirements using integrated configuration and monitoring tools.

SQL Server 2012, users can set up Availability Group with the ability to failover multiple databases as a unit. This helps ensure the availability of all databases in the application. Users can also access an integrated set of options, and seamless application failover with the Availability Group Listener feature.

Other features include the ability to easily monitor the high availability configuration using AlwaysOn dashboard - a visual configuration of the health of organisations' database. And users can improve SQL Server failover clustering and also control when a failover should happen.

BMW turns to Microsoft for greater availability

When international car manufacturer BMW wanted to deploy new technologies capable of improving data management systems and the availability of information, it decided to build on its existing relationship with Microsoft. The Munich-headquartered company - which maintains a huge and growing IT infrastructure around the world - is experiencing data growth of around 30 per cent year-on-year, creating obvious management challenges.

BMW's databases support customer-facing e-commerce applications, which contain transaction information and other financial data critical to organisational processes. Along with the various other applications used by thousands of BMW staff each day, it is vitally important that these are available 24/7. And as the company rolls out cloud solutions across its business empire, this is becoming ever-more critical.

Benefits of the SQL Server 2012 upgrade

Back in 2010, BMW began the process of upgrading to a new database management solution in order to achieve higher availability. The firm considered a range of products and vendors, but ultimately opted for SQL Server 2012 Enterprise, focusing on SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOn. This allows users to query data in database replicas and perform back-up operations from the replicas. AlwaysOn provides readable database mirroring, with replicas offering read-only access for back-up and reporting.

BMW anticipated that adopting these solutions would ensure 100 per cent uptime for its critical applications - something that would help the company compete more effectively with other manufacturers. Initial tests showed that SQL Server 2012 Enterprise would provide the high-availability and disaster-recovery capabilities required by the firm. The deployment of SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOn would also lead to improved performance and cost savings, BMW said.

Find out more about SQL Server 2012 and Microsoft's business intelligence solutions.

Posted by Alex Boardman