Is it possible to accomplish High Availability (HA) with two SQL Server Standard nodes ?

  • We can't use SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOn without Groups as it has single point of failure by using the "single" database file
  • We can't use SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOn with Groups because it's placed in Enterprise package and we don't have license for that
  • We can use any other SQL Server version but in Standard packaging level
  • We can't use mirroring because it requires a third SQL Server used as witness server

Any other suggestions ? I have tried to find an answer all over the internet and didn't find anything.


  • 1
    Log Shipping is another option. Dec 2, 2013 at 15:07
  • 3
    What's the problem with having a third instance as witness in mirroring? Dec 2, 2013 at 15:10
  • Witness server requires additional license and VM, we have third VM that we can use but maybe it's to weak for SQL Witness server. Thoughts ?
    – khorvat
    Dec 2, 2013 at 15:39
  • 2
    The witness can be an Express Edition, unless they've changed things. And there's no real processing/storage overhead imposed by acting as a witness. Dec 2, 2013 at 15:44
  • +1. Witness basically can be a very small instance using Express - it doesn ot really do anything except standing there and be a witness ;)
    – TomTom
    Dec 2, 2013 at 15:47

1 Answer 1


Use Database Mirroring. Witness node is optional.


You may configure a failover cluster with virtual shared storage. There are guys who do the VSAN for Windows (however they call it "for Hyper-V" but don't get confused it works bare metal on Windows as well).


  • What happens to auto switching from secondary to primary mirroring node ? This happens automatically only when witness server is running or ?
    – khorvat
    Dec 6, 2013 at 14:37
  • You don't need witness for failover. Also if your RTO/RPO are flexed out enough you may look @ Hyper-V Replica as it does support SQL Server (with some limitations for the scenario usage). Dec 6, 2013 at 15:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.