Compare High Availability Cluster Options

For high availability cluster protection for SQL Server in Windows environments, you have several options. First, if you use AlwaysOn Availability Groups with SQL Enterprise Edition, it will not protect distributed transactions and the number of databases that it protects is limited. Second, if you use AlwaysOn Failover Clusters, you can’t create a multi-site cluster or protect applications other than SQL. You also won’t get improved replication efficiency.

Third, you can simply add SIOS DataKeeper to Microsoft SQL Server Standard Edition AlwaysOn Failover Cluster. As a result, this option allows you to save thousands of dollars in licensing costs with SQL Server Standard Edition (instead of SQL Server Enterprise Edition). Fourth, SIOS high availability clusters add the flexibility to run SQL Server in any combination of physical, virtual, or cloud environment.

Importantly, SIOS DataKeeper provides several other key benefits. For example, SIOS software lets you provide high availability cluster protection for applications other than SQL Server, it also enables you to protect distributed transactions and system databases.  Finally, SIOS software also provides improved replication efficiency.

Your High Availability Cluster Options are Summarized Below

High Availability
Features
AlwaysOn
Availability Group
AlwaysOn
Failover Cluster
AlwaysOn
Failover
Cluster
with SIOS
DataKeeper
Support SQL Standard Edition high-availability-no high_availability-yes high_availability-clusters-yes
Protect Distributed Transactions no_protect-distributed-transactions sios_protects_high-availability-distributed-transactions sios_high_availability_distributed_transactions
Protect an Unlimited Number of Databases sios-no-blue-circle-2 sios-yes-blue-dot-2 sios-yes-blue-dot-2
Automated Client Redirection sios-yes-blue-dot-2 sios-yes-blue-dot-2
Protect System Databases
(Master, MSDB, etc.)
sios-no-blue-circle-2 sios-yes-blue-dot-2 sios-yes-blue-dot-2
Eases Database Administration sios-no-blue-circle-2 sios-yes-blue-dot-2 sios-yes-blue-dot-2
Support More than 2-Nodes in Failover Configuration sios-no-blue-circle-2 sios-yes-blue-dot-2 sios-yes-blue-dot-2
Replicates Data Other than SQL sios-no-blue-circle-2 sios-no-blue-circle-2 sios-yes-blue-dot-2
Improves Replication Efficiency sios-no-blue-circle-2 sios-yes-blue-dot-2
Eliminates SAN as a Single Point of Failure sios-yes-blue-dot-2 sios-no-blue-circle-2 sios-yes-blue-dot-2
Supports Multisite Clusters sios-yes-blue-dot-2 sios-no-blue-circle-2 sios-yes-blue-dot-2