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SBS 2003 file server mirroring

Posted on 2006-05-08
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What would you guys recommend as the best solution for SBS server mirroring (or at least the best way of getting a replacement server online quickly when the main server has failed)?

I already have various forms of redundancy in place such as disk mirroring, and the system is fully backed up each night, but if the server was stolen I want a way of getting another on-line as quickly as possible without having to go around doing much (if any) configuring of the server or desktops.

I am prepared to have a second server permanently online (in a different location in the building).  Is there third party mirroring software around?

I assume I cannot do this wilth a second installation of SBS?  Even if it were fully configured as a server with users etc. if it were to be brought online after the failure of the first server I think I would have to get all the workstations to 'join' its domain as they would see it as a different server even if I used the same domain name (due to security IDs)??

Any suggestions?  Have any of you guys done this in practise?
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Question by:chris_shaw
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by:Zadkin
Zadkin earned 600 total points
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StorageCraft Offers ShadowProtect Small Business Bundle,  but I am not scared enough to use it.
http://www.storagecraft.com/
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by:chris_shaw
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Thanks for the suggestion.

At first glance it looks like the Small Business bundle is a bundle of server and desktop licences, rather than anything specifically to do with SBS, but it may do the job - I'll have a look at it in detail.

Chris
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy earned 1400 total points
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Storagecraft's solution was built entirely with SBS in mind.  There are also other products like http://drive-backup.com/corporate/server/ which work well on an SBS.

The "duplicate server" concept does not really work with SBS, and if your are concerned about theft, the first thing I would do is ensure that your server is physically secure.  There are a number of ways to do this, including the use of security bars which are bolted to the floor and locked in place on top of the server.  This would be much easier than maintaining a second server for this purpose.

However, the best disaster recovery plan I've come up with for ensureing that you can get back on line quickly is to use SBS in a Virtual Machine.   There are performance issues to consider with this configuration, but it does work and is possible to easily take the SBS's VM image and  run it on any other machine with Virtual Server 2005 or Virtual PC installed.

I would recommend that you at least listen to this SBS Team Podcast before deciding on that route though:
http://blogs.technet.com/sbs/archive/2005/10/08/412193.aspx

Jeff
TechSoEasy

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by:chris_shaw
ID: 16634842
Thanks for your comments, Jeff.  You have given me plenty of stuff to think about.

The theft issue was really just an example, for simplicity. The idea is to cover against ANY eventuality which might cause the server to stop functioning in a way which couldn't be rectified quickly.

I hadn't considered the Virtual Machine option.  I will need to look at performance issues because if it were to have a significant hit on performance for the main server prior to failure (rather than the replacement server) then I am going to meet resistance!! But, that aside, like you say, it may be the best option.

Thanks again.

Regards

Chris
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 16635513
Actually I forgot that they did an entire SBS Show on Disaster Recovery:
http://www.vladville.com/sbsshow/2005/11/sbs-show-episode-4-recovering-sbs-in.html

And if you want a truly comprehensive "everything that can go wrong" guide, check out this one that the California Society of CPA's prepared: http://sbsurl.com/disasterguide

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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