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Azure AlwaysOn FCI Failover Clustering IaaS VMs seem to have a different diagram compared to On-Premise Failover Clustering.

Azure has two storage for 2 Vms; Traditional On-Premise contains 1 Shared storage.

(a) Does this mean Azure Failover Clustering not only provides server level protection, but also database level protection, and Availability Groups are no longer required?

(b) Additionally, should Azure Failover Clustering server nodes be in the same zone, or would putting them in different zones, affect performance/server speed?

MSDN Configure SQL Server Failover Cluster Instance on Azure Virtual Machines

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https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/askcore/2015/06/24/windows-server-failover-cluster-on-azure-iaas-vm-part-1-storage/

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Azure has two storage for 2 Vms; Traditional On-Premise contains 1 Shared storage.

Did you read The link you shared in the question, BTW I cannot see the diagram you posted in the question when I referred the link. I will quote from the same link.

This article explains how to create a SQL Server Failover Cluster Instance (FCI) on Azure virtual machines in Resource Manager model. This solution uses Windows Server 2016 Datacenter edition Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) as a software-based virtual SAN that synchronizes the storage (data disks) between the nodes (Azure VMs) in a Windows Cluster. S2D is new in Windows Server 2016.

So the concept here is the two machines are using 2 different disk which is made as one disk and presented to FCI as single storage via Storage Direct Spaces technology.. Azure does not have concept of shared storage so you need some tool to present disks as shared storage to FCI. What it does is

enter image description here

  • S2D synchronizes the data on the data disk and presents the synchronized storage as a storage pool.
  • The storage pool presents a cluster shared volume (CSV) to the failover cluster.
  • The SQL Server FCI cluster role uses the CSV for the data drives.
  • An Azure load balancer to hold the IP address for the SQL Server FCI.
  • An Azure availability set holds all the resources.
  • Thanks, seems Azure failover clustering provides some storage redundancy, (b) Additionally, should Azure Failover Clustering server nodes be in the same zone, or would putting them in different zones, affect performance/server speed? – user158823 Sep 4 '18 at 7:10
  • You can definitely have nodes in different zones but again I cannot comment anything on performance. Though I believe it would have some overhead. – Shanky Sep 4 '18 at 7:16
  • ok, thanks, I will keep FCI in same zones, and availability groups in different zones then – user158823 Sep 4 '18 at 7:19

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