Designing a highly available SQL Serverbased solution takes careful planning, and planning is based on knowledge. You need to ask the right questions. Any missed step up front can lead to problems in production. Although the example in this chapter focuses largely on technology, you need to build in the people and processes to manage the solution you devise . As shown in the Microsoft.com case study, it is quite possible to build an architecture that is reliable, available, scalable, and manageable purely on the Microsoft platform. You do not need an army to be up and running 24 hours a day if you have the proper designs and planning in place from the beginning. That means that all parties who will be responsible for the system, from developers to DBAs to system architects to those who rely on the system, are on the same page and communicating throughout the entire process. Your corporate culture might not be easy to change, but start small and improve your processes over time. You will be surprised at how much difference the little things make. In the end, perhaps the most important consideration is to understand your barriers, whether they are people, processes, or technology. You must have a definitive list prior to planning, otherwise you could develop and design fully redundant, highly available, fault-tolerant systems that still cant tolerate the type of outage you encounter. Your list will help you ensure that you do not miss the mark.