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Active/active or active/passive clustering?

SQL Server expert Jeremy Kadlec helps one reader decide between active/active and active/passive clustering for his database.

I am looking at clustering. My only concern is whether to go active/active or active/passive. I understand active/passive would basically mean that one machine won't do anything. But going active/active increases the complexity of the solution. We'd then have SQL clustering a/a, san, hba, etc. What would you suggest?

I am moving from four servers with an independent database running on dual/quad 1GHZ server with 2GB of ram. The application server will remain, but the database will be consolidated on a single quad 3GHZ Xeon with 4GB of memory.

I would recommend documenting the business requirements and then researching all of the SQL Server high availability options in the market from Microsoft and other vendors. Over the last 12 months many new products have been introduced which may provide you with the solution to meet your business needs. I would also research the options available with SQL Server 2000 64 bit edition for increased memory usage.

Over the next 12 months, many more solutions are going to be introduced with SQL Server 2005. I would also spend the time and money to thoroughly test the different options and become a pro with the solution you select, so that when a disaster strikes you can keep the SQL Server running that supports the business. Good luck!

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