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Disaster recovey for SBS2000/Terminal Server - what is the best way to get a solid backup/high availability situation

Posted on 2004-04-21
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I am setting up a new SBS 2000 using Terminal Services, and may add SQL Server 2000 to the SBS machine in the near future. I  currently have a 2000 server running SQL Server 7 to support my main application. The 2000 server is backed up to tape every night by Veritas Baclup Exec.

Backup to tape is certainly a good thing to do, but the volume of new data stored every day is large enough that it would be a major pain to reconstruct  a whole day's worth of work even if all of the disaster recovery mechanisms worked very smoothly.

I have a budget that would support duplication of the hardware and software, I. e., I could set up another SBS2000 serveras a hot spare  and put SQL Server 2000 on both systems, with a RAID array on both to hold database info. A substantial part of each day's work is stored in the form of Microsoft Word documents that are not stored in the database; these are stored on a dedicated disk partition. There are quite a lot of these, more than 150,000 the last time I looked.

What I need is a good way to replicate the day's work from the live system to a hot spare system so that the spare could be brought up very quickly after a failure without losing much work. SQL Server 2000 supports several kinds of replication, but that doesn't help with the vast pile of Word documents.

 Recommendations?


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Question by:jdgressett
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zefiro earned 200 total points
ID: 10884158
If you have a decent budget, you might look at Double-Take.  I've demoed it (but haven't used it live) and it did what it says it would, although initial set-up was a little rocky.  Once it was running though, it was rock-steady in my test environment.

Go here for the marketing stuff and to sign up for an eval version.

http://www.nsisoftware.com/pro/doubletake/

Hope this helps
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by:RevelationCS
RevelationCS earned 50 total points
ID: 10892864
We have a DR environment set up with our servers (one W2k server with app, and one w2k server with SQL2k). Having the almost mirrored environment works well for a situation such as DR, but it depends on what your needs are. Obviously, in a true event of a disaster, your backup to tape would be lost if you kept it onsite in the same location as your production box. Our DR environment is actually kept off site and we have the data BCP'd down to the box. Another alternative, however, if you can foot 20k for SQL2k EE is log shipping, which will port the data over to the other server creating an exact replica of the database to the point of the last log shipment. This would require a good connection between the servers, however, and a good DR type environment that would protect your data in the event of a disaster...
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by:zefiro
ID: 10903915
Not to sound like a shill for Double-Take, but. . .

Log shipping is a very good solution for your SQL, you can even jury rig up a pseudo-log shipping solution with the less expensive SQL products (although your results will vary. . .:)   ).  The cool thing about Double-Take is that it operates at a byte level, meaning, if a file is changed on the main server, Double-take doesn't have to synch the entire file, only the actual bytes that have changed, this reduces bandwidth requirements (less data has to travel the wire) but also allows Double-Take to synch databases.  DT also allows you to run the secondary server as a 'warm stand-by', meaning if your main server goes down hard, your literally minutes away from being up.  When you get your main server repaired you can return it to it's primary role.

The bad thing about Double-Take---last time I checked it was $2500 per server which means $5K minimum investment.  In my test environment, some of the failover features didn't work as smoothly as advertised, but nothing major.
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