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Advice needed in converting SQL 206 Standalone Server

I currently have a 2016 SQL standalone server. Currently we back the entire server up overnight, but this still leaves us vulnerable to major down time should there be a server outage. Currently we host a CRM server and live client data bases on this server.

I'm looking to see if it is possible and fairly painless to convert this into a fail over cluster and push up a secondary server to act as the fall over .. Maybe not the correct terminology, but my understanding is that should the main server (svr1) be switched off for instance, then svr2 would in effect be the live server. I welcome any advice on if this is the norm, or any alternatives.

I am by no means an expert in SQL and welcome all and any suggestions

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Which edition of SQL are you running and how many databases are on the standalone server (exclude system databases)? Enterprise? Standard? 1 db? Multiple?

The easiest option would be to setup the a cluster and setup availability group(s) to do what you need, this will keep the maintenance tasks to a minimum. Caveat is you need double the space as availability groups are independent servers, which act together using standalone storage. Unlike your traditional cluster where everything is sort of encapsulated as 1.

The alternative is to build your second node as a cluster, install everything, port the DB over to the new node. Uninstall SQL from the old server, re-install it as a cluster node and test failovers.

Now depending on the edition and amount of servers and the amount of application re-configuration and downtime you can get away with will ultimately decide the approach.

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