Customers often ask whether a Pure Storage® FlashArray™ is capable of taking a crash-consistent snapshot of a SQL Server volume that participates in an Availability Group. The answer is absolutely, yes – and this gives customers more data mobility options.
SQL Server Availability Groups have been around since SQL Server 2012. This SQL Server feature allows for failover at the database level, does not require shared storage, and uses the WSFC (Windows Server Failover Cluster) feature for failover monitoring only.
Although the Availability group feature is targeted towards using DAS (direct attached storage) many customers use FlashArray™ instead for snapshots, resiliency, ease of use, and consistent performance.
Typical Pure Storage SQL Server Availability Group Implementation:
SSMS (SQL Server Management Studio) View:
Pure Storage® crash consistent snapshots can be used for database volumes that participate in either the primary or secondary replicas (hosts). These snapshots can then be used for volume copy activation, presented to a host, and attached as a standalone read/write database outside of the SQL Server Availability group membership.
Since the SQL Server secondary replica databases are read only, customers can now extend capability with Pure Storage® crash consistent snapshots and refresh these databases as a standalone read/write database for testing, database consistency checks etc.
Pure Storage® crash consistent snapshots when used in SQL Server stand alone environments have always provided users with fast data mobility. This does not change in SQL Server Availability group environments providing customers even more flexibility for presenting their data.