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I am happy to announce that Red Gate invited me to speak at their multi-city, US tour of SQL in the City to provide free training to the SQL community. The event will be held on Monday October 1st, and I will be giving my popular AlwaysOn presentation.

AlwaysOn is a kind of ‘super-mirroring’ for the Enterprise edition of SQL Server 2012. Mirroring is still supported in SQL Server 2012 and for the next couple of versions for those of you who have the Standard Edition of SQL Server 2012, but it was officially announced as deprecated so it will not be included in future versions. AlwaysOn is one of the most anticipated features and one which is causing a lot of buzz. I have implemented it for two of my customers since it was released a few months ago, and it is a lot of fun to work with.

Basically, it is like a cross between mirroring and clustering. But don’t be scared by the word ‘clustering’. AlwaysOn uses Clustering technologies for the Quorum voting and the failover logic, and DOES NOT require you to use shared storage (SAN). I repeat: you do not need a SAN to use AlwaysOn. Additionally, you can now have multiple ‘replicas’ (a fancy new word for primary or secondary), and you can configure your secondary replicas to be read only so you can offload your reporting/backup workload! Uh, you will need to buy more licenses for a secondary IF it will be used to perform ‘work’, like servicing reports or used as a backup source, but it will NOT NEED additional licenses if it is ONLY used as a passive node.

There are tons of other great features that we will break down and discuss like what an Availability Group is and details on how it works, what a VNN (Virtual Network Name) or Availability Group Listener is, Synchronous vs. Asynchronous, the flexible failover policy, and on and on. Nearly half of my presentation is a demo where we set it all up together and watch it fail from a real web application so you can see how it will work from your users perspective.

So if you are going to be in the Austin area on October 1st 2012, register now for this free training event, and I’ll see you there!