Availability Groups in Standard Edition of SQL Server

Great news. As of SQL Server 2016 you no longer need to have Enterprise Edition of SQL Server to take advantage of availability groups.

When I first heard about this I was very excited. But I soon learned that there were a few limitations.. as one would expect.

For a start they are not called “Availability Groups”, they are called “Basic Availability Groups”.

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Limitations of Basic Availability Groups in SQL 2016 Standard Edition

  • You can only have one database per availability group. (you can however have more than one BAG)
  • Only one secondary replica. It can not be readable and you cannot take backups from it.
  • You cannot upgrade a BAG to an AG. You would need to rebuild it from scratch.

Should you use Basic Availability Groups or Mirroring?

In the very near future mirroring is going to be deprecated.

With that in mind, plus some of the advantages of BAGS like asynchronous mode, if you are running SQL 2016 standard edition you should probably take a close look at using BAGS.

Setting up your BAG is very straightforward and similar to setting up AG’s in Enterprise edition.

Here is a how to if you need more information.

Rob StGeorge

Senior SQL Server Database Administrator residing in Auckland, NZ

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