can-you-really-afford-SQL-clustering-Stratus-ft-server-TCO-analysisThere is, quite rightly, a lot of effort, resource and budget spent on ensuring SQL availability in our ‘always on’ world – especially in absolutely critical environments such as security, military, healthcare, emergency services, transport, finance, manufacturing etc where lives, revenue and reputation are at stake.

A recent study commissioned by Stratus Technologies highlights the savings achievable when deploying purpose-built fault tolerant solutions versus less resilient and more complex SQL clustering solutions.  It analyses the overall total cost of ownership as well as the levels of acceptable downtime.  The summary is quite emphatic – purpose-built fault tolerance not only keeps systems up and running to higher levels of resilience but it costs less as well!


Failover Cluster -v- Stratus ftServer

For instance, availability achieved by deploying an Active-Active failover cluster on HP hardware using SQL 2014 standard edition achieves 99.99% uptime – which is pretty good.  But when you consider that a Stratus ftServer 6800 deployment using the same SQL instances achieves 99.9994% resilience and costs more than £21,000 LESS over a 3 year TCO period …. well the numbers speak for themselves.  These figures are based on the very conservative assumption that an hour of downtime costs an organisation just £4,000.  Every organisation is different but an hour of downtime for many is much, much higher than this – hence the impact of unscheduled downtime (and hence overall TCO saving) is much higher.  Costs aside, the impact of safety, productivity etc cannot be included in an monetary analysis but is a huge and essential consideration.


Other SQL Clustering -v- ftServer Comparisons

When comparing Active/Active availability groups using SQL Enterprise, the monetary impact is even higher.  A 3 year TCO saving of more than £110,000 really speaks for itself.  OK, so if absolute fault tolerant resilience is not required, and certain levels of downtime are acceptable, deploying Active/Passive with SQL Enterprise or Standard does represent a saving in SQL based resilience investment.  But even in these conditions, 3 year TCO savings of more than £23,000 are realised by deploying a Stratus ftServer solution – so why settle for less resilience?  Benefit from ftServer resilience and save money at the same time!



The findings are clear.  Over a 3 year TCO comparison, ftServer based solutions are more cost effective, simpler to manage & deploy and take up less rack space & carbon footprint than the various SQL clustering options.  Couple this with the levels of resilience…  99.99% at best with SQL clustering means accepting an hour of downtime per year AT BEST – potentially catastrophic for the most critical environments.  ftServer at 99.9994% uptime means 30 seconds down time per year AT WORST!


Take a look at the full report below – can you really afford to deploy SQL clustering?


Please contact us to find out more.

NB: savings are calculated on USD based analysis and on typical costs of HP hardware, MS OS licensing and SQL pricing.  Current exchange rates have been used for calculations and each deployment will differ depending on make/model and specification of ftServer deployed.


Can You Really Afford To Deploy SQL Clustering?