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Prior to mirroring, third party software and hardware were the main options to achieve HA.
This was due to replication never being accepted as a high availability option.
With any solution like SQL Server, growth over time builds a better and more stable solution.
This has been the fact with many features of SQL Server, including replication.
Replication had some issues in previous versions of SQL Server.
Maintaining the uptime and stability was not a trivial task.
With replication, there is a more in-depth knowledge requirement to maintain it, while mirroring does not require as much in-depth knowledge to provide a solid solution.
Do think that mirroring does not include a strict discipline of skills in order to make it a successful HA solution.
Mirroring is simplistic from the outside, both in setup and maintainability.
However, troubleshooting mirroring is a critical aspect to making it work for HA.
In order to be successful, knowledge of the internals of mirroring is as important as replication.