Microsoft certification courses for the company's various database technologies have always been in high demand but some database administrators (DBAs) may be increasing their participation in the curriculum in the near future. Recently, Microsoft announced that it was making it possible to cluster SQL Server instances via Lync Server 2013.
In the past, DBAs were only able to use mirroring techniques to backup and support databases. The new development should be a welcome one among IT professionals, as it gives them more storage options.
Windows IT Pro reported that it should satisfy the needs of organizations already using clustering structures that want to upgrade to Lync Server 2013. Before the change, mirroring was the only backup option for companies using Lync Server 2013. This meant that any firm with an older Lync platform – which did support clustering – had to either revamp their structures to enable mirroring or stay with their old systems.
Fortunately, the latest move from Microsoft means that IT managers can now create a mirroring or clustering solution, providing them with additional flexibility.
Choosing a strategy
Clustering and mirroring can be useful and both strategies have their benefits. However, the manner in which data is stored on the opposing technologies is fundamentally different, according to IBM. With mirroring, data from one disk is replicated on another disk within the same server. On the other hand, clustering replicates the disk in the same manner, but also transposes the information to a second server.
IBM indicated that clustering does indeed protect data in more complex cases of system error, including entire site downtime and computer failures. Also, as pointed out by Windows IT Pro, mirroring requires a minimum of three servers while clustering can be established on just two. However, the latter can support as many as 16 different nodes, which is one of the reasons why it is such an attractive choice for IT professionals at large firms.
Figuring out what data approach is right for a particular company is not an easy prospect. It requires intense knowledge of Lync and SQL Server technologies. Without the proper training, it's unlikely that a DBA will be able to obtain the skills necessary to install clusters or mirrors.
Fortunately, IT professionals can invest in online SQL training in order to become proficient in using SQL Server. Doing so will give them the tools they need to build mirrored or clustered architectures.