High availability

Besides providing a sufficient amount of fast storage, you also need to ensure its availability. You can use one of the following technologies to reach this goal:

♦ RAID-1 (mirrored) fault-tolerant volumes.

♦ RAID-5 fault-tolerant volumes.

♦ Clustered servers. This refers to two or more servers sharing (typically) common storage and capable of automatic fail-over. Server clustering, presented in Chapter 25, is available only in Windows Server 2003 Enterprise and Datacenter Server.

♦ Hot standby server. This is a server synchronized with the original data source via a replication mechanism. You can use the File Replication Service built into Windows Server 2003 when dealing with regular file shares (several third-party replication mechanisms are also available). Log shipping is one of the options for synchronizing replicas of Microsoft SQL Server.

Windows Server 2003's fault-tolerant dynamic volumes are given comprehensive coverage later in this chapter. You can also consider using DFS (described in Chapter 26) as another way of implementing high availability.

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