First: Thanks for the article. I appreciate that you took the time and made the effort.
This is a good idea in an ideal world, where servers are free. DBA's would commune with Sysadmins and the security wonks in an environment of love and respect. Let's call it the Bernie Sanders SQLSerververse.
In any medium to large sized corporate environment, where DBA's are tasked with hundreds of servers, thousands of databases, this may not be a possible option, nor a desired one. These DBA's have minimal time to handle the demands of end-users, application upgrades, while still having time to cover the documentation explosion that things like ITIL have made mandatory. This is with 95% automation already in place.
In order to get AG's in place at our company, we need a sysadmin to install the cluster services. No other way around it. They insisted on keeping that duty, while also empahsizing that they wanted nothing to do with the monitoring, care and feeding of the cluster. More politics. Oh well, AG's just use the service, right?
The security team decided that the permissions needed by the AG Wizard are too wide in scope, so our AG's are only possible to create by conference call, involving the sysadmin, the SQL DBA, and the security gnome, who will keep updating permissions until we achieve the creation of the AG, and then will reduce them immediately.
The work, hardware, and overall stress of making each machine a cluster just to allow for the few benefits listed is not justified in a shop with a 'Do More With Less' mentality, and that defines every shop I have worked in over the past 15 years. I understand that you can make a 1 server cluster, so there is no need for additional hardware or licensing.
While AG's are nice, I would only consider them to be a terrific solution if it was possible for an enterprise-level SQL DBA to implement them on their own, without having to involve a committee of people to get it set-up. Mirroring was something I could do for a customer on my own. It was a beautiful thing. Still needed additional hardware, but once I had the hardware, I was a one-stop shop for setting up the mirror. Ditto on replication, and log-shipping.
Everything we do is on VM's. I have never seen a software or databases 'outgrow' a VM. I suppose it is possible, but we have databases that are a couple of terabytes, and they are doing great. For DR and HA the benefits of vMotion and SiteRecoveryManager really help. They don't do it all, and that is why we do have any AG's in the first place, but it is still a pain point to put them up.
OK. Done Venting.