Replication is always a hot topic when I talk to customers about SQL Server. It's such a fundamental requirement, as we always need to ship our data around various instances of our databases in the datacenter. SQL Server 2005 introduces peer-to-peer replication features that we have used in our own site at microsoft.com.

Check out this recently released article by David Lindquist, "Inside Microsoft.com: Managing SQL Server 2005 Peer-to-Peer Replication"

This article briefy talks about the other hot topic of Load Balancing Versus Failover Strategies - which I seem to end up talking about during most of my customer visits. Some of my favourite quotes from the aricle are:-

"Microsoft.com operations has a team of 17 engineers, the SQL Server™ operations team, that manages these database systems. In all, this team is responsible for more than 2250 active user databases that take up about 55.15TB of space on 291 production SQL Servers.".. Wow!

"The thought of having the same database hosted on more than one server, where each was in sync with the others and each could be written to and read from sounded great. We could load balance the databases when there was no maintenance to be done, and when we needed to work on a server, we could pull it out of rotation while the other servers handled the load. The uptime, performance, and failover possibilities were quite attractive." - Doesn't this sound like a familiar ask of the DBA? ;-)

Check it out. It's a great article.

[UPDATED] Additionally, here are some technical links for those of you that want to get started with peer-to-peer replication:-