SQL Server Always-On Solution Review Program
When building a mission critical database, a lot of attention needs to be paid to the hardware. Simply getting the fastest drives isn't enough if those drives cannot be hot swapped or corrupt data whenever the power fails. Fortunately Microsoft has created a program for choosing the correct storage mechanism.
The SQL Server Always-On Storage Solution Review Program is a collaborative effort between Microsoft and vendors to ensure that the hardware and software meets the demands of a mission critical, continuously running database.
The process begins with the core requirements document. Vendors must create a white paper that demonstrates their design. This isn't a simple fill in the blank form, vendors are allowed to present the material as they see fit. Microsoft then reviews the document and assists them in ensuring that all the core requirements are met.
One should note that while Microsoft aids in the process, it does not perform formal testing for the vendor. According the program overview:
The SQL Server Always On Storage Solution Review Program is not a Microsoft certification, qualification, or logo program. Microsoft makes no warranties or representations with regard to third-party storage solutions, including without limitation regarding the supportability of such third-party storage solutions. It is solely your responsibility to confirm the accuracy of the data and contents of a storage solution white paper.
Currently there are seven qualified vendors listed on the SQL Sever Always On Technologies page: 3PAR, EMC, Fujitsu, IBM, NetApp, PolyServe, and HP.