Your First Cloud Pit Stop

Design and Implement Hybrid SQL Server HA/DR Solutions with Microsoft Azure Series

I started this blog post series with one thing in mind: help SQL Server administrators prepare for the journey towards the cloud. I may be a little bit ambitious to use hybrid SQL Server high availability and disaster recovery (HA/DR) solutions as a starting point.  But since SQL Server HA/DR solutions have been around for a while, I might as well use it as a frame of reference. Besides, its easier to learn something new by associating it with something that we already know. Why do you think I use stories in my blog posts? 🙂

Each of the blog posts somehow poses a question:

Notice that none of the questions are technical. It feels unnatural – a bit awkward. Because database professionals were trained to ask technical questions. You can rephrase that statement and say something like “technology professionals were trained to ask technical questions.

Now, read those blog posts one more time and tell me you didn’t feel uneasy. Where’s the discussion about IOPs, backup frequency, server configuration? Nothing.

But didn’t I say this is your first pit stop?

Pit stops help drivers in a car race make the necessary adjustments with the goal of winning the race. The keywords there are “necessary adjustments.” Often times, those adjustments are trivial yet impact the final outcome. Small changes here and there but add up over time. Sometimes, the adjustments can be massive. A car can’t move forward if the tire blew up. So, a new tire needs to be replaced.

Designing SQL Server HA/DR solutions using the old paradigm may have worked in the past. That won’t work anymore in the cloud. That’s why you need to change the way you think about designing solutions. Ask different questions. Look at things differently.

It was interesting to see the changes in the design of a solution that a friend of mine did as we were discussing it last week. I can’t share the technical details but all I can say is that the design made a complete turn when I asked non-technical questions. Same thing happened to another guy who contacted me thru my blog. The questions I asked made them go back to the drawing board and rethink their designs.

A simple, four-word question is all you need to make the necessary adjustments in your design: does this make sense?

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