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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Use SQL Server Alias to Create SharePoint Farm

SharePoint depends on its connections to one or more SQL Server instances for the overwhelming majority of its content and configuration data. 
The loss of a SQL Server can spell disaster for SharePoint, particularly if the lost SQL Server can’t be restored and a new SQL Server instance (with a new name) must be used. The use of SQL Server names and/or addresses in difficult-to-alter SharePoint database connection strings is what makes this situation problematic.
You can get some protection and peace-of-mind for this type of scenario by utilizing SQL Server aliases on each of your SharePoint servers. Aliases act as an abstraction layer between your SharePoint servers and your SQL servers. So, instead of this:

Instead of SharePoint => SQL Server you end up with this: SharePoint => Alias => SQL Server
In this scenario, pointing your SharePoint member servers to a different back-end SQL Server is as simple as changing one or more SQL aliases. In effect, your SharePoint farm becomes decoupled from the SQL Server(s) it uses.
SQL Server aliases can be created and maintained easily using the SQL Client Network Utility (cliconfg.exe) or the SQL Server Configuration Manager which is installed with the SQL Client Tools.

How to create SQL Server Alias

  1. In SQL Server Configuration Manager, expand SQL Native Client Configuration, right-click Aliases, and then click New Alias.
  2. Press F1, or click Help.
  3. The New Alias (Alias Tab) topic describes the New Alias dialog box, and contains links to valid connection strings for each type of protocol.

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