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Microsoft® SQL Server 2012 Unleashed by Alex T. Silverstein, Chris Gallelli, Paul T. Bertucci, Ray Rankins

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How Microsoft SQL Server Failover Clustering Works

Put simply, SQL Server 2012 allows failover and failback to or from another node in a cluster. This is an immensely powerful tool for achieving higher availability virtually transparently. SQL Server failover clustering can be fully functional without using the additional AlwaysOn capability. AwaysOn provides database-level failover; clustering is at the server instance level.

There are two approaches to implementing SQL Server failover clustering: active/passive or active/active modes.

In an active/passive configuration, an instance of SQL Server actively services database requests from one of the nodes in a SQL Server failover cluster (that is, the active node). Another node is idle until, ...

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