How Always On Availability Groups Make DBAs Take A Close Look At System Admin Functions

In this article, we take a look at how Always On Availability group has changed the priority for DBAs and have induced them to keep an eye on System Admin functions

AlwaysOn Availability Groups SQL Server 2012With the coming of Always On Availability Groups in the 2012 edition of SQL Server, the System Administrator roles were bound to change, and this made all the DBAs a lot more concerned about their existing sys admin roles. The AlwaysOn Availability Groups feature is a feature that provides disaster recovery option, along with increased availability for databases. It is one of the most appreciated feature of SQL Server databases. With the coming of this feature, a lot was changed in SQL Server, concepts like failover clusters, redundancy etc got redefined. And above all, it provided increased availability of databases by supporting a failover environment.

Why Always On Availability Groups have Become Par for the Course

This feature was introduced to provide a solution to problems like loss of data and lack of database availability during a disaster. Always On Availability Groups allows for creating Availability Groups, which could house up to nine replicas of a database, known availability databases, which failover together. An availability group consists of both primary and secondary databases, primary databases are read and write databases, whereas secondary databases are simple, read only replicas. Failovers in Availability groups are caused at the level of availability replicas.

How has the Coming of Availability Groups changed DBAs’ Outlook to Sys Admin Functions

  1. How Always On Availability Groups Make DBAs Take A Close Look At System Admin FunctionsWith the coming of availability groups, it is not only the outlook of the DBAs that has changed, but their overall thinking processes have been altered as well. Although this does not make existing DBAs incompetent, it does make them more interested in their inner sysadmin.
  2. With a newly launched feature, all companies wanted to know if they could use it. And this feature was capable of scaling the databases in little cost, by using secondary replicas.
  1. A Sandbox allows all DBAs to test new features and practice configuration, all DBAs require their sandboxes to be flexible, easy to build and easy to flatten. This changed with the coming of Availability Groups in 2012.
  1. The sandbox used earlier for testing features etc were not the same anymore, they got bigger and more complex. Earlier DBAs could use their laptops as sandbox, but not anymore, all availability group replicas needed a separate Windows server installation.
  1. Availability Group in SQL 2012 not only changed the face of sandboxes, but also made it necessary for DBAs to interact with SQL Server, and use all aspects of windows that they had been ignoring till now.
  1. Checking the Always On Availability Group feature was not as simple as checking any other feature, this required the DBA to activate failover clustering on several SQL Server hosts. For which you will need:
  • Windows Server Enterprise Edition for the operating system.
  • Instances of Windows Server, should be included in the domain.
  1. Managing domains was no more limited to younger DBAs. Although private and not production, domains began to managed by senior DBAs as well.
  1. Last but not the least, greater focus on Business Continuity and data protection is encouraging DBAs to invest in a specialized repair mdf tool for emergencies.

Author Introduction:

Victor Simon is a data recovery expert in DataNumen, Inc., which is the world leader in data recovery technologies, including corrupted access and sql recovery software products. For more information visit

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