I have Production and DR clusters as depicted on a picture below.

My question is whether there is a way to configure Availability Group from datacenter1 to datacenter2?

  1. I tried to configure regular AG from Production to DR but it seems like it will not be possible because all 4 nodes needs to be under the same WSFC.
  2. Thought about creating distributed AG, but as I understand distributed AG goes on a "top" of regular AG.

So am I correct to assume that with this structure I will no be able to implement Availability Group?

enter image description here

Error if I try to create AG using wizard:

enter image description here

  • DR Server 1 and DR Server 2 are part of the same WSFC. But ProdServer1 and Prod Server 2 belong to different WSFC.
    – Serdia
    Dec 10, 2021 at 17:55
  • Also, there is FCI between DR Server 1 and DR Server 2. Same with Production servers, they have FCI
    – Serdia
    Dec 10, 2021 at 18:02

1 Answer 1



You describe that the servers are already configured in separate WSFCs, so you will either need to destroy one of the clusters (presumably the DR cluster), and reconfigure into a single WSFC, or you will need to configure the DR FCI to be a single-instance AG, so that you can then configure the Distributed AG to run atop the Prod & DR AGs.

The long answer

You can configure your Availability Group(AG) through either method you describe. Whether it is right for you to configure a single AG that spans both data centers, or to use a Distributed AG is a more complicated question--but both are possible.

  1. A single Windows Server Failover Cluster (WSFC) and a single AG, which span all 4 servers in 2 data centers.
    • ProdServer1, ProdServer2, DRServer1, DRServer2 are all part of THE SAME WSFC
    • DRServer1 & DRServer2 are part of an FCI, DR\Instance
    • ProdServer1 & ProdServer2 have standalone instances
    • An AG is configured to span ProdServer1, ProdServer2, and DR\Instance
    • The AG will be a Multi-Subnet AG, and there will be configuration details to consider on client and/or server side. I've written about some of those considerations here & here
  1. A distributed AG that spans two data centers
    • ProdServer1, ProdServer2 are part of one WSFC
    • ProdServer1 & ProdServer2 have standalone instances
    • An AG (Prod_AG) is configured to span ProdServer1 & ProdServer2
    • DRServer1, DRServer2 are all part of a different WSFC
    • DRServer1 & DRServer2 are part of an FCI (DR\Instance),
      • or reconfigured to be standalone instances, similar to the Prod Servers.
    • An AG (DR_AG) is configured with DR\Instance as the only member
      • or the reconfigured standalone instances are configured in the AG
    • A Distributed AG is configured to span Prod_AG, DR_AG
  • thank you for your help.
    – Serdia
    Dec 13, 2021 at 18:32
  • Just one more thing: is Availability Group is something that everyone should be using? In terms of it is the best and most reliable way to protect your data from unwanted events?
    – Serdia
    Dec 13, 2021 at 18:34
  • Availability Groups are not the only technology for High Availability & Disaster Recovery. However, how to select which technology is the right solution for your needs is more complicated than I'm able to respond to in comments.
    – AMtwo
    Dec 13, 2021 at 22:00

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