We have a requirement to configure a distributed availability group from Data center1 to Data Center2 using SQL Server 2017 Enterprise Edition.

DC1 (two nodes WSFC setup): SQLDB1, SQLDB2

DC2 (two nodes WSFC setup): SQLDB3, SQLDB4

The servers are in workgroups, not in a domain. Is it possible to configure distributed availability groups from DC1 to DC2 without domain?

As per my understanding, using certificates it's possible to configure Distributed SQL always-on if all four nodes are in same cluster. Is my understanding is correct?

Please guide me.


1 Answer 1


The documentation at Distributed availability groups states:

The individual WSFC clusters and their corresponding availability groups follow traditional rules. That is, they can be joined to a domain or not joined to a domain (Windows Server 2016 or later).

Regarding your question about all four nodes being in the same cluster--if they are in the same cluster, then there would be no need to have a distributed availability group (DAG), you would just use an availability group with four replicas. Additionally, the documentation referenced above states:

A distributed availability group spans multiple availability groups, each on its own underlying WSFC cluster.

So if it is possible to set up a DAG with all nodes in one cluster, it is contrary to the documentation and may not be supported.

  • Hi Tony, Thanks for your reply and comments. The all 4 nodes are NOT in same cluster. SQLDB1 and DB2 are in one cluster (WSFC_CLUST1) & SQLDB3 and DB4 are in one cluster (WSFC_CLUST2). In this scenario, is it possible to configure distributed availability group (DAG) from DC1 to DC2? If, YES, can you please share high level steps to achieve this? I have done DAG setup where servers are in domain, but here the servers are not in domain. I am not sure what steps I have to follow here.
    – Sridhar G
    Apr 24, 2020 at 11:28
  • The documentation has the high level steps. I've never done it so I don't have any further information. Apr 24, 2020 at 12:02
  • Your question says, " if all four nodes are in same cluster. ". Did you mean to say "not in the same cluster"? Apr 24, 2020 at 12:04
  • 2
    Always on is not easy to support. Distributed AG added on top of that complexity. Have you look at other option for your DR ? (ex : Use Log shipping in your DC2) Apr 24, 2020 at 12:55
  • @DominiqueBoucher This. Distributed AGs over domain-less clusters is a high-complexity solution. Super-useful in the right scenario. By "coincidence", the feature that appeared shortly after Azure SQL Database Active-Geo Replication did. But it's not the simplest solution by a long shot. Regular AGs are straightforward. Little worse than log shipping, and much more useful. But Distributed AGs and Domain-less clusters are more complex to implement and operate. Apr 24, 2020 at 20:35

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