Difference between Mirroring and Replication

DatabaseMS SQL ServerData Structure


Mirroring refers to keeping a backup database server for a master database server. If for some reason, master database is down then mirror database can be used as an alternative for master database. In principle, only one database server is active at one time and request for database is served from one server only which is active.


Replication refers to keeping the multiple copies of databases spread across multiple geographic locations. Classic example of replication is file servers which are replicated across continents so that the user can download the file from the nearest location to avoid network delays and any slow response.

Following are the important differences between Mirroring and Replication.

Sr. No.KeyMirroringReplication
1DefinitionMirroring refers to keeping copies of database to a geographically different location.Replication referes to creating multiple copies of data objects of a database for distribution efficiency.
2TargetMirroring is applicable on complete database as a whole.Replication is done on database objects.
3CostMirroring is costlier than replication.Replication is cheaper as compared to Mirroring.
4Distributed DatabasesMirroring is not applicable in case of Distributed databases.Replication can be easily implemented in case of distributed databases.
5LocationMirroring is done to create a copy of database on different hardware and on different location to serve as backup location.Replication is done to create a copy of database objects and can be copied to a different database as well.
Updated on 28-Nov-2019 11:14:40