Let's imagine a physical database running Sql Server (latest version).
We are NOT 24x7. However at worst we don't want to lose anything more than 24 hours of work.
Regular offsite backups are being done and that will continue independent of what we are now proposing
We want a system where if the current database was to catch fire we would have a "backup" server we could switch to with minimal disruption, and that includes sending an email to users saying they need to configure clients and stuff.
We don't want shared storage/cluster solutions unless we HAVE to.
An analogy would be having a fileserver where we start using FS2 because FS1 has failed.
We have about 16TB of data on the existing server. Jobs often run overnight and (I am told) we have a far higher "transaction rate" than most companies.
We are a research department holding records for millions of people and the researchers run a considerable amount of statistical analysis on data on the server (the processing is not done of the server itself). Mostly reads but sometimes lots of read/writes.
Is there a process where we can mirror the database to another one each night, and leave the second database in a state where we can activate it as a replacement for the first in the case of "disaster". During the night processing is likely to be occurring, so we can't take the current server down.
ideally the (cough) "replication" procedure needs to be simple and we know where we stand with it. As I said we are willing to sacrifice 24 hours of data (that can be recreated). A key requirement is I can look the DB admin in the eye and say "this will have no impact on performance during work hours" ("minimal impact" is not acceptable).