To address your security concern while replicating data on different sides of a firewall, it is advantageous to follow the best practices for securing your SQL Servers. For SQL Server security recommendations visit Enterprise SQL Server Auditing and Security Best Practices. This URL is to a recent presentation delivered at the SQL PASS 2003 Community Summit and should serve as a solid foundation. It is also beneficial to work with the ISP and your security department to explore encryption and network security options to properly protect your organization's most valuable asset.
With Yukon, the next release of SQL Server, high availability will be improved with the introduction of database mirroring while being able to continue to leverage the existing SQL Server 2000 features. Database mirroring is very similar to log shipping except with a very short amount of latency between the principal and mirror database which are purportedly managed by a witness. With this technology the two data sets will operate independently with near real-time database transaction log entries passed between the principal and the mirror with the ability to failover in an automated manner within three seconds. This new technology from Microsoft for SQL Server will solve a near real-time data availability need with two independent data sets. For more information visit An Overview of SQL Server Yukon for the DBA.
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