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MERGE Replication - easy to restore on new server?

Posted on 2004-09-15
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Last Modified: 2006-11-17
I have two servers connected over the net using merge replication.

The publisher (and distributor) machine is being replaced by a new faster box. Can I simply backup the database and restore it on the new machine and expect replication to continue as before - or would replication require a whole new snapshot etc?

The database is several gig in size so I would like to avoid starting replication from scratch if at all possible.

Thanks!..
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Question by:niico
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Expert Comment

by:AustinSeven
ID: 12066443
Just restoring the db onto the new h/w won't do it.  I think there are only two options.  

1. Rebuild the new server and configure the publication stuff as per the original server

This is obviouisly quite a lot of work.

2. Image Restore
I haven't done this myself but I think it should be possible to use a product like Acronis True Image in combination with sysprep.exe.   It wouldn't be as easy as just restoring the image to the new h/w of course - wouldn't work.   Effectively you would clone your existing server onto a different hardware platform.   I stress, however, that I haven't actually done this.   I'm interested to know myself if it works as I'm sure I'll be in the same situation as you before too long.

AustinSeven
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Author Comment

by:niico
ID: 12066539
thanks AS

its looking much easier to just redo the replication to me.

if I go down that route do you think i should disable replication, then backup, then restore?

we dont have any budget for additional tools etc (and anything too complicated is quite likely to fail I would have thought).

any additional input most appreciated!
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by:AustinSeven
ID: 12073196
A brief outline plan might be...

1. Prep the new server, install SQL Server and so on
2. Script out all replication on subscribers (so you can revert if need be)
3. Turn off replication (publishers and subscribers)
4. Migrate the databases to the new server (backup/restore)
5. Create/Configure Publisher/Distribution on new server
6. Amend Subsribers
7. Turn on replicaton and test
8. Rollback if it doesn't work by: a) re-applying subscriber setup (via scripts)

A few thoughts... In advance, test out the feasibility of bringing up the new server with the same Windows server and SQL Server name (either default SQL Server name or instance name).   Of course, if you do that, you can't have both servers switched on at the same time.   In principal, this would provide some benefits:-

a) No need to change subscribers' configs.
b) Can script out the publisher/distributor from the old server and re-apply it to the new server (save a lot of time).

I suggest you block out one weekend in advance to do a 'proof of concept' test.  Based on this, finalise your plan and set aside another weekend to carry out the transition.  

Interesting?

AustinSeven
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Author Comment

by:niico
ID: 12095327
thanks for all the input

well you know - i ended up doing things in a rather dirty way but its working fine.

i made sure the server name and directory structure was the same - stopped sql and copied all the databases over the top  (did a manual restore on master first). Andy replication and everything worked - and has been working fine for days.

dirty I know but seems totally fine. There were a few other database on there that are also fine, even down to users (which I guess makes sense).
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