Running a SQL Server Failover Clustered Instance on Microsoft Azure

When I started working with virtual machines on Microsoft Azure last year, one of the first test that I did was to configure SQL Server Availability Groups in a hybrid configuration. The configuration consists of a failover clustered instance on production data center for local high availability and an Availability Group replica on Microsoft Azure for disaster recovery. A site-to-site VPN was configured to allow communication between the production data center and Microsoft Azure. Back then, I thought, “why not have a failover clustered instance on Microsoft Azure?” Unfortunately, with the lack of support for shared storage, I couldn’t. I’m stuck with Availability Groups for the time being.

Last April, Microsoft updated KB article 2721672 to include support for volume-level replication for non-shared storage when deploying Windows Server Failover Clusters. That also means I can now deploy SQL Server failover clustered instances on Microsoft Azure using third-party storage replication tools like SIOS Data Keeper and StarWind Virtual SAN. So, I reached out to my contacts at StarWind Software since I’ve already been using their products since 2009 and asked if their product is already certified to work on Microsoft Azure. They are currently in the process of finalizing their certification process and they hope to get it done soon. But they already have a virtual machine template available on the Microsoft Azure marketplace for you to try out.

Last week, I’ve recorded a webinar on how you can run a SQL Server failover clustered instance on Microsoft Azure using StarWind Virtual SAN. I’m in the process of writing a document on how I built my demo environment so you can use it to build your own on Microsoft Azure, even for proof-of-concept. Below is the video recording of the webinar. If you have any questions on how to get started with Microsoft Azure and building SQL Server failover clustered instances, feel free to reach out. I’ll be more than happy to help you get started.

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