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IIS and SQL Server Redundancy

I have a client that is hosting some business critical websites on a W2K3 server that is running IIS 6.0.  The IIS server taps into a SQL server that is running on separate hardware.  I've been asked to fingure out a way to enhance the redundancy of these server.   I need the websites my client is hosting to still be up and runng even if one of the servers crash due to hardware failure.  How do I go about doing this?  A cluster?  How do the big players do it?

Thanks in advance!
1 Solution
Hi menreeq,

The answer to your question mostly depends on the budget your client is willing to reserve.

If budget is of no concern, I would recommend that you go for a DAS unit with several SCSI or fiber host channels and attach the two servers to it in a hot stand by configuration. This way, in the unlucky event of a hardware failure, only thing you'll lose will be some overall performance, without any downtime.

On the other hand, if you have a tight budget like most of us do, you may go for two SQL servers on each machine with replication, ditto for the IIS. In this scenario, you will have to manually reconfigure your setup if one of the servers fail. It should not take longer than 5 mins, but downtime is downtime. And it really depends on the type of business your client is doing.

And of course, no redundancy scheme can replace a solid backup strategy.

Hope this helps.

menreeqAuthor Commented:
Wildcard76, won't the DAS be a single point of failure? - I'm not familiar w/ them so please excuse my ignorance.

How would I handle replication for the SQL servers & IIS servers, w/ FRS?  Would I just make 2 identical configurations of the SQL and IIS servers and then replicate the data between them via FRS?

Many thanks!

How big a budget does the client have available and how rock solid does this need to be?

Do we need to worry about a network switch being a point of failure or are you generally just concerned about the major computer subsystems (drive, memory, processor, NIC)?

Dave Dietz
Concerto Cloud for Software Providers & ISVs

Can Concerto Cloud Services help you focus on evolving your application offerings, while delivering the best cloud experience to your customers? From DevOps to revenue models and customer support, the answer is yes!

Learn how Concerto can help you.

menreeqAuthor Commented:
Hi Dave,

I'm mostly concerned about making the 2 servers redundant - 1 IIS server & 1 SQL server.  I already have a spare server that has identical hardware as the other two, so that one can be used as a replica for one of the servers... my guess is that the client would be willing to spend an additional 10K for new hardware.  


menreeqAuthor Commented:
Can anyone out there help with this question?
Sorry, work's been busy.....

Best bet for redundancy is this case is to set up a second identical Web Server and configure the two in a Load Balanced cluster and set up a second machine running SQL and Cluster the two SQL boxes.

This way of either one of the servers on the front end or the back end fail the other will keep right on chugging.

This is a classic two-tier redundant architecture and is in use by *many* companies on different scales with this being about the most basic.

Dave Dietz
CAs ArcServe Replication / SurviveIT / BrightStor High Availability.

Real time replication SQL server databases, file systems, exchange and much more.

If server A dies / gets stolen... etc, then server B pretends to be server A within seconds.


menreeqAuthor Commented:
Wesbird, BrightStor High Availability sounds like a good solution.  I've contacted them & am currently waiting for some feedback.  Maybe you can help, here's my questions:  

Does Brightstor sync up just the data or does it also sync the application settings between the primary and secondary server?  For example, if I create a new site in IIS on the primary server, will I have to also have to make those changes (manually) on the secondary server or will BrightStor do that automatically?  I guess the same questions apply to the SQL part of the equation...

Many thanks!

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