A couple of months back, Microsoft introduced the first release candidate refresh for SQL Server 2019, with a focus on Big Data Clusters. Then, in September, the tech giant unveiled the monthly update for cross-platform data management tool Azure Data Studio, which works with SQL Server.
Today, SQL Server is getting enhanced Software Assurance benefits, enabling customers to engage in high-availability disaster recovery scenarios with ease. Microsoft believes this helps them ensure business continuity, regardless of failover events that may occur.
Starting November 1, customers with SQL Server licenses that include Software Assurance will be able to utilize three enhanced benefits. These include:
- Failover servers for high availability – Allows customers to install and run passive SQL Server instances in a separate operating system environment (OSE) or server for high availability on-premises in anticipation of a failover event. Today, Software Assurance customers have one free passive instance for either high availability or DR
- Failover servers for disaster recovery (NEW) – Allows customers to install and run passive SQL Server instances in a separate OSE or server on-premises for disaster recovery in anticipation of a failover event
- Failover servers for disaster recovery in Azure (NEW) – Allows customers to install and run passive SQL Server instances in a separate OSE or server for disaster recovery in Azure in anticipation of a failover event
Using these, hybrid disaster recovery plans in SQL Server can be implemented using features like Always On Availability Groups without having to pay for additional licensing costs for the passive replicas. This change can be better observed through the image shown above. As an example, previously, 12 cores of the SQL Server running on Azure Virtual Machine would need to have been licensed, aside from the 12 already-licensed on-premise cores. This additional licensing won't be required now. The same goes for passive secondary replicas for disaster recovery being utilized alongside passive secondary high-availability and primary on-premise cores; only the primary ones will need to be licensed now.
Aside from the aforementioned benefits, passive replicas also allow for other operations including database consistency checks, log backups, full backups, and the ability to monitor resource usage data. The enhanced benefits will be available for all currently supported releases of SQL Server that are supported by Microsoft. The next refresh of Microsoft's Licensing Terms will include these benefits.