The above mentioned feature have been out in the market since the launch of SQL Server 2012. There is one thing that I like about this feature is that it allows me to have a group of SQL Server hooked out replicating the data continuously without having Shared Storage in the Windows Server Failover Clustering mode.
I spent just yesterday getting two of the SQL Server up and running; configured with AlwaysOn Availability Group. The whole configuration process isn’t complex at all and I felt this is much safer when the “Primary” database goes offline or it is being intentionally pulled out of the availability group for maintenance.
Notice in the second picture, I have my newly created database “NerdReservation” in the “Synchronizing” mode, similar to the Replication that we used to deploy in SQL Server 2008 without the Failover Cluster feature installed. In the AlwaysOn High Availability, we are always to see all the Replicas that is currently connected to the main database server or the parent server.
This really made things so much neater now.
For the installation process, the Canadians IT Pros did a good write-up here.
For the overview of the AlwaysOn Availability Groups, here is a good one.