Completely aware of the fact that the future is cloud, Microsoft continues to balance the addition of new features with integration of its existing products on its Windows Azure platform.
The technology titan is aggressively making notable moves in its quest for leadership of the enterprise cloud market. It recently released new features for Windows Azure — the prime among them being the support for a disaster recovery technology, SQL Server AlwaysOn.
This new round of enhancements also includes new push notification capabilities for mobile apps.
But SQL Server AlwaysOn, introduced in SQL Server 2012, offers support for safety features like multi-database fallover, multiple replicas and readable secondaries, along with other options designed to keep businesses running in the event that a database goes down.
Redmond notes that virtual machines on Windows Azure now have the ability to run the complete SQL Server AlwaysOn Availability Group Technology stack:
“Until now, client applications wanting to connect to the primary replica of an availability group on Windows Azure Infrastructure Services only had the option of specifying a Failover Partner (similar to Database Mirroring).
This restricted the configuration of availability groups to only two replicas (one primary and one secondary) and these couldn’t be configured as readable when acting as secondaries. The new support for Availability Group Listeners removes this limitation.”
This new addition, the technology titan says, should greatly improve the availability of SQL servers, while at the same time improving efficiency by allowing user the ability to offload BI reporting tasks and backups to secondary machines.
This is, quite clearly, part of Microsoft’s effort to encourage more customers to use Azure to host their workloads. But even for businesses that prefer to host their own content, the AlwaysOn feature can serve as a supplement to systems that are located on premises systems.
In other words, such businesses may want to employ the technology as a contingency.