SQL Server Backups are Not a High-Availability Solution

Please continue doing your backups!

Backups are Disaster Recovery, yes…but not HA.

Some will argue with this (in the comments most likely), but I broadly define “High Availability” as a system that can recover in seconds or minutes at most. Sometimes that is automatic, sometimes manual.

Backups might be quick to restore IF they are small enough and the right people are in place (not at lunch or otherwise out). But automated restores to prod just aren’t a thing.

SQL Server has this cute little marketing term called “Always On” which is nonsense. Always? Really? 9 Nines?

Always On covers both Failover Cluster Instances and Availability Groups. There are significant differences between the two. Both depend on the O/S Cluster…and they diverge a LOT from there. They are both HA.

Log Shipping (ancient tech) is great for DR and hitting your RPO number, but failover to a log shipped copy is manual.

Replication is not and never will be an HA or DR solution. Some things cannot be replicated, so they are lost if the publication database goes poof.

There are of course things outside of SQL Server that can help you hit your RPO/RTO goals. Feel free to share them.

What are you using for your HA solution?

Thanks for reading!


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