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With the release of SQL Server 2012 many of the people who are using Standard Edition and Database Mirroring are quite nervous about what their HA options are going to be moving forward, and rightfully so as Microsoft has been pretty silent on this specific topic. Let me see if I can’t calm your fears a little bit.
The first thing to do is not panic. Microsoft’s policy is that features stick around for 2-3 releases after the announcement. Database Mirroring was announced as depricated in SQL Server 2012 which means that the feature will be around in the next two releases. That’s probably 6 more years of support (2 years for SQL 2012 and 2 years for each of the next two releases, this all depends on how long it takes for each release to come out) for database mirroring before the feature is removed from the product.
Now no one knows what feature changes are going to be coming in the next release of SQL Server, much less the release after that. But Microsoft is collecting feedback about the minimal HA story in Standard Edition so that they know how their customers are using the software and what they need to support. If you have an enterprise agreement you should have access to a Technical Account Manager (TAM). Meet with your Technical Account Manager and explain to them how you are using Database Mirroring and how you’ll be needing some sort of replacement for it moving forward passed SQL Server 2012. Your TAM will then be able to pass your information up to the SQL Server Team so that all the information gets to the right place. Now if you don’t have an Enterprise Agreement, or if you can’t find your Technical Account Manager for some reason, I’ve setup a site for you to send the info to me, and I’ll forward it on to the right people.
Now is certainly not the time to be making hasty decisions about your SQL Server Mirroring upgrade paths. Microsoft is usually pretty good and making the right decision when they have been provided with the right information. So I’d recommend that you take a moment and talk to your TAM or fill out the form and get your information about how you are using database mirroring sent in.
So as the sign says, “Keep Calm and Carry On”. It’s going to be a few years before any of us get to the point of actually needing to make decisions about our mirrored databases.