Terminology – your key to “Denali” HA/DR success

Wow.  I don’t even know where to start this post.  Let me just say that I am having nightmares of whiteboards and that my employees have joked that they are going to draw clusters in permanent marker on all of our boards so that I don’t have to redraw them for every meeting.

SQL Server “Denali” has radically changed the way that we view high availability and disaster recovery, and how we architect the environment and the procedures around it.  Without posting anything that I cannot disclose due to my NDA, let me just say that the key to your success with Denali’s HA/DR features is terminology.  As soon as the new featureset is public, I will post about terminology and try to describe everything in detail.  I can’t tell you how many times I have been in meetings or on calls where we first had to spend a significant amount of time understanding what we were even talking about.  In one case, I met for 30 minutes with two very intelligent people, both of them familiar with the technologies in the current builds.  It took us 27 minutes to understand what we were trying to communicate, and 3 minutes to arrive at the answer to the question!

The bottom line is this – try to forget everything that you know about current HA/DR technologies built into SQL Server, and try to start with an open mind and an open notebook.  Listen a lot, read a lot, and try to understand the terminology before you start asking questions or figuring out implementations.  A huge part of the learning curve is simply related to the new terminology and understanding what it means, all without comparing it to existing technologies.

Oh, and a whiteboard really helps…

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