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Basic Availability Groups in SQL Server 2016

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One of the new features in SQL Server 2016 Standard Edition, which may appeal to users of the deprecated Database Mirroring feature, is Basic Availability Groups, a variation of Availability Groups found in the Enterprise Edition.

At a high level, Availability Groups are an amalgamation of Database Mirroring and Windows Failover Clustering. The Windows Servers underneath the Availability Group are clustered, but the SQL Servers installed on each server are installed as standalone instances.

The feature is restricted to two nodes, a primary and secondary. One of the big differences in Standard Edition is that the secondary node cannot be a read-only replica, which means you cannot run it as a reporting instance. However, you might be able to do it off a database snapshot on the secondary.

(As licencing is not clear yet until the product is released, it is important to bear in mind that any or all of this may change.)

Fellow community member, Brent Ozar, has written a how-to for setting up Basic Availability Groups on SQL Server 2016, if you would like to read more about it.

For more information about other new features of SQL Server 2016, you can read my article about Temporal Tables.