The 35-page whitepaper on high availability I wrote for the SQL team over the summer has been published on MSDN. It’s a 2-300 level whitepaper that describes the various high-availability technologies in SQL Server 2008 and how they can be used to mitigate disasters. It’s chock-full of links to other whitepapers, technical articles and Books Online sections and also presents my methodology for planning a high-availability strategy.

You can get it at


Here’s the table of contents:

  • Introduction
  • Causes of Downtime and Data Loss
    • Planned Downtime
    • Unplanned Downtime and Data Loss
  • Planning a High-Availability Strategy
    • Requirements
    • Limitations
    • Technology Evaluation
  • SQL Server 2008 High-Availability Technologies
    • Logging and Recovery
    • Backup, Restore, and Related Technologies
      • Partial Database Availability and Online Piecemeal Restore
      • Instant File Initialization
      • Mirrored Backups
      • Backup Checksums
      • Backup Compression
    • Other Single-Instance Technologies
      • Online Operations
      • Database Snapshots
      • Hot-Add Memory and CPU
      • Resource Governor
    • Multi-Instance Technologies
      • Log Shipping
      • Transactional Replication
      • Database Mirroring
      • Failover Clustering
      • Combining Multi-Instance Technologies
      • Virtualization
  • Mitigating the Causes of Downtime and Data Loss
  • High-Availability Features Supported by SQL Server 2008 Editions
  • Conclusion