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With the release to manufacturing announcement of SQL Server 2014 you will start to see more customer stories showcasing their use of hybrid features that span the cloud and on-premises.
One such customer is global direct seller, Amway. Its data centers support about 34 terabytes of information spread across 100 instances of Microsoft SQL Server software, with the data load growing at an annual rate of about 15 percent. The company faces the same challenges of almost any sizable organization in maximizing data availability and ensuring disaster recovery. As Amway has grown they have created additional secondary data centers as disaster-recovery sites. All this additional infrastructure has, inevitably, introduced more complexity and cost into the Amway data environment.
Previously, Amway had been concerned about cloud configurations that were not under its control. But with Windows Azure Infrastructure as a Service, the company could create its own virtual machine configuration image and install it on Windows Azure, addressing that concern. Amway uses the same virtual-machine media for instances on Windows Azure and in its own data centers, ensuring that installations are consistent across both environments.
Amway conducted a pilot test of a prerelease version of Microsoft SQL Server 2014 software, focusing on the software’s AlwaysOn Availability Groups for high availability and disaster recovery. That feature is based on multisite data clustering with failover to databases hosted both on-premises and in Windows Azure. The pilot test focused on a CRM application. The test architecture consisted of three nodes in a hybrid on-premises/cloud configuration. A primary replica and secondary replica, operating synchronously to support high availability through automatic failover, both located on-premises. A secondary replica located in Windows Azure, operating in asynchronous mode to provide disaster recovery through manual failover
Amway found that the test of SQL Server AlwaysOn Availability Groups with Windows Azure replicas delivered 100 percent uptime and failover took place in 10 seconds or less, compared to the 45 seconds Amway experienced with traditional SQL Server Failover Clusters. Amway is looking forward to an even bigger reduction in the time required to recover from a complete data center failure. Instead of the two-hour, three-person process required with database mirroring, Amway will be able to restore a data center with just 30 seconds of one DBA’s time.
You can learn more about the Amway solution by reading the more detailed case study here.
For those who want access to the upcoming SQL Server 2014 release as soon as possible, please sign-up to be notified once the release is available. Also, please join us on April 15 for the Accelerate Your Insights event to learn about our data platform strategy and how more customers are gaining significant value with SQL Server 2014. There also will be additional launch events worldwide so check with your local Microsoft representatives or your local PASS chapter for more information on SQL Server readiness opportunities.