Background If you’ve been using Availability Groups, you’re familiar with the replica seeding (sometimes called initializing, preparing or data sychronization) process. Seeding is a size of operation-based data, copying data from a primary replica to one or more secondary replicas. This is required before joining a database to an Availability Group. You can seed a replica with backup and restore or automatic seeding, each with its own challenges. Regardless of which method you use, the seeding operation can take a long amount of time.