SBS 2003 Disaster Recovery Solutions

Hi,
I am developing a BC/DR plan for a small company that is running SBS2003 Premium. They are using SQL and Exchange.  There seems to be a lot of scattered info on various parts and pieces of the picture.  Is there a single source somewhere?
Thanks - Wayne
wspjones99Asked:
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Have a look over this:
www.sbsurl.com/backup
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
There's also a pretty good tool on the Microsoft.com/SmallBiz site that will step you through a series of questions and essentially write the backup/recovery policy for you.

While there are many elements to consider for this, my general recommendation for backup is to use the built-in SBS Full- Backup  to 120GB 2.5" USB hard drives (3 of them in rotation), taking one off-site each night.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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wspjones99Author Commented:
Hi Jeff,
We are using a Dell P4600, with an LTO2 drive for backups, using Veritas SBS 9.1 software.  Part of the BC/DR plan will be a test restore onto another server.  I think we will have the older Dell P2XXX to use for this.  I am concerned about this piece due to the hardware differences.  I am also concerned about the sequence and proceedure of restoring the SQL and Exchange parts.  I looked for the tool on Microsoft and could not find it.  
Thanks - Wayne    
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
Oops... I forgot to give you the link for that tool: http://www.microsoft.com/smallbusiness/resources/toolkit/module.aspx?mid=131

You should be concerned about that piece... because you can't restore to a different server unless the following are the same as the original:

•      SCSI controller. You can restore to a computer that has an IDE controller if the original computer had SCSI.
•      Motherboard chip set.
•      Number of processors.
•      Hard disk size. The new computer’s hard disk should contain matching volumes the same size or larger than those on the original computer.
•      Drive letter of the boot partition.

This is from http://sbsurl.com/backup which provides additional information including the sequence issue you are worried about.

If the hardware does not fit the above criteria, it still can be accomplished... however, it's both tricky and fraught with issues.  Overview is here:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/263532

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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wspjones99Author Commented:
Thanks for the info.  I also found a Veritas KB 243037 document that steps through a local recovery of SBS 200/2003.  How would a small company normally handle Business Continuity?
Also, could you recommend a book or two on SBS2003?
 - Wayne
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myfootsmellsCommented:
This is how I have my solution at my job that uses SBS2003.

Backup system state to a removable disk at noon using the built in backup utilities in SBS.  Should only take an hour or two.  I do this because it'll provide a quick restore of AD instead of having to go through the entire LTO2 tape to find the necessary files.

I use Veritas 9 to backup my exchange information store, sql databases, data files, and system state.  

As a monthly routine, I will recover my exchange information store and use exmerge to practice extracting certain mailboxes.  Then I'll do the same with the sql databases and system state.

If my server were to crash, I'd re-install SBS using the install CDs and then recover the system state, exchange, sql db from the tape.  To me this method seems to be the fastest.

Hope this makes sense to you.  I'll give you a final break down of how I make sure my network servers won't fail data wise.

Hardware RAID-5
Backup system state to removable HD.
Backup entire system (exchange, sql, sys. state, data files) to tape.
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myfootsmellsCommented:
Oh I forgot to mention.  Though I don't have the same hardware on my recovery PC, my copy of SBS on the recovery PC has the same domain name, same information store name, etc.  Naming convention is VERY VERY important on your recovery PC so make sure they are identical to your live server.
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
Wayne,

For all of my clients, we create a customized Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plan... there's really no single answer, because each one has different priorities, and different levels of risk tollerance.  So, that is why I provided the link above to the on-line tool that Microsoft provides because it helps to assess those things.

If you are mostly concerned about restoring your server, you may want to look at a couple of options to do that...
One would be to have a Cold Server (OS and Service Packs installed, but not otherwise operational) sitting off-site somewhere that fits the criteria I listed above which would allow you to restore the backup to it.  

Another option would be to consider the pieces you need to restore and how best to do that.  For instance, you may just need a database and email up and running within the shortest time period possible.  If thiat were the case, you might consider replicating those items offsite.

Sorry I can't be more specific for you, but it really is so varied in what is important to business owners.

As for good books... after more than 50 SBS 2003 installations I still keep Harry Brelsford's Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices book at my side during the process... http://sbsurl.com/best and the more advanced book which was a collaboration amongst a number of well respected Small Business Server MVP's (http://microsoft.com/mvp) is at http://sbsurl.com/advanced.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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wspjones99Author Commented:
Thanks for all your help - Wayne
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acel-martinCommented:
Can anyone find the current link to the Microsoft Disaster Recovery Resource as posted by TechSoEasy?
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
They don't offer that one anymore... check out the Microsoft Security Assessment Tool instead:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=CD057D9D-86B9-4E35-9733-7ACB0B2A3CA1&displaylang=en

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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