Configuration of a Server Instance for AlwaysOn Availability Groups (SQL Server)

This topic contains information about the requirements for configuring an instance of SQL Server to support in SQL Server 2012.

Important note Important

For essential information about AlwaysOn Availability Groups prerequisites and restrictions for Windows Server Failover Clustering (WSFC) nodes and for instances of SQL Server, see Prerequisites, Restrictions, and Recommendations for AlwaysOn Availability Groups (SQL Server).

In this Topic:

AlwaysOn Availability Groups

A high-availability and disaster-recovery solution that provides an enterprise-level replacement for database mirroring. An availability group supports a failover environment for a discrete set of user databases, known as availability databases, that fail over together.

availability replica

An instantiation of an availability group that is hosted by a specific instance of SQL Server and that maintains a local copy of each availability database that belongs to the availability group. Two types of availability replicas exist: a single primary replica and one to four secondary replicas. The server instances that host the availability replicas for a given availability group must reside on different nodes of a single Windows Server Failover Clustering (WSFC) cluster.

database mirroring endpoint

An endpoint is a SQL Server object that enables SQL Server to communicate over the network. To participate in database mirroring and/or AlwaysOn Availability Groups a server instance requires a special, dedicated endpoint. All mirroring and availability group connections on a server instance use the same database mirroring endpoint. This endpoint is a special-purpose endpoint used exclusively to receive these connections from other server instances.

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To support AlwaysOn Availability Groups, a server instance must reside on a node in the WSFC failover cluster that hosts the availability group, be AlwaysOn Availability Groups enabled, and possess a database mirroring endpoint.

  1. Enable the AlwaysOn Availability Groups feature on every server instance that is to participate in one or more availability groups. A given server instance can host only a single availability replica for a given availability group.

  2. Ensure that the server instance possesses a database mirroring endpoint.

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