Denali Always On adventures

I’ve built a new AD controller VM and two SQL server VM’s with Windows Server 2008 R2 EE. Joined both SQL servers to the domain. Installed the Failover Cluster feature on each. Installed Denali RC0. Enabled AlwaysOn High Availability in the SQL Server Configuration Manager.

Then I created a FayWorks database, and a new Availability Group. I set up the primary and then a replica / read only / preferred backup. Then I set up a Availability Group listener. I connected with SSMS to the AG via the listener, started a script that inserted 5000 rows into a temp table in RBAR fashion. Initiated a failover. The insert failed at some point, but I was able to restart the insert without reconnecting or changing anything after the failover completed. Slick as a pan covered in bacon grease.

This combines the best of HA Failover Clustering with the best of Mirroring / Log Shipping / Etc. Being able to geographically set up an Availibility group, having the mirror be targeted for backups, reporting, etc, having up to 4 replicas, completing a failover of just an AG, creating a virtual instance name / IP. Oh yeah, Denali is a game changer.

Some links I have used

There seem to be a lot of questions and even some misinformation popping up with regards to SQL Server 2012 licensing. Microsoft is moving away from licenses based on the number of processor in a server to figure out per/cpu licensing. They are now licensing hardware on a per/core license.

Right or wrong, agree or disagree, here’s the details as I know them. Based on a number of sources, including a meeting with my employers VAR and an internal MS licensing expert.

Per core licensing is based on “Core-Packs”. Each core-pack covers two cores, and there is a minimum purchase of two core-packs. This will be an expensive premium if one plans on building a single processor dual core machine, and you’re paying to license a minimum of four cores.

I’ve been told that the core-packs cost 50% less than current per/cpu licenses. That makes the magic number a total of 4 cores with 2012 licensing costing the same a single processor license with current license costs.

I’ve read that with 2012 licesning – in the case of virtualization if you license all the physical cores you have unlimited rights to virtual OS’s (vOS). Current day licensing with Enterprise Edition would only allow a total of 4 vOS’s per license.

Also, current customers with an EA will retain their current purchasing plan until the expiration of the EA, regardless of when that is.. if it’s Jan 1 of 2013, then all of 2012, you continue to purchase the licenses as you have. Once the EA is up, you will have to submit the number of cores in your currently licensed environment and MS will “trade” those for the equivalent number of Core-Packs. I’ve heard conflicting reports of a hard limit of 20 cores or 10 Core-Packs per server, and other reports that do not mention that limit.