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Off Site BAckup

I have a client who would like a mirrored backup of there server to minimise down time. They are looking for a solution where they have a server at location A and server at location B and mirror each other to the extent where if Server A is to go down I simply bring in Server B plug it into the power and the users can continue to work as they were. They would like to house Server B at another geographical location. Is this possible through some kind of internet connection.
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You can setup as SAN and windows clustering that will do this.  Look into Majoity Node Set cluster which supports geographical clustering.  When one server fails the other takes over.  You will need at least three servers in order for this to work and they can be anywhere in the world as long as they have a common connection.  This is expensive but will mean there is no down time at all.  As soon as one server fails the other takes over.  It all depends on how much money they want to spend.  If money is a problem you can setup a cluster to do failover with only 2 servers, but this means that you will have to have them in the same location.  They will need a shared database using either iSCSI or a shared SCSI bus.

What's is the OS on Server A (and B, of course)?
What role does Server A play in the network?

Do you need to do this on the cheap or do they want an Enterprise Class solution?  Ask yourself if they're willing to buy new, matched servers and maybe some sort of load balancer setup.

There's probably a good compromise you can reach between minimizing downtime and blowing the annual budget and we can help you find it if we know more parameters: what's the scale of the client's operation, what's really most important to the client - downtime reduction or data protection?  Is the client ready to spend money or do that expect you to find a solution with minimal expense?

You can read more about the use of Majority Node Set Quorum in MS Win2K3 Server Clusters at this URL, but I think it's probably not what you're after:


It may be good to point out to the customer that down time in today's world is caused less by server failure, and more by network failure.
This is asuming that they are using modern servers and RAID 1  or RAID 5  storage options.

1. If the goal is to eliminate downtime, then a pair of clustered servers is better than an offsite solution, since the cluster automatically offloads the jobs should problems creep up.

2. If the goal is to reduce exposure due to data loss, then first make sure the server(s) have mirored or otherwise protected internal and data drives, then perform a data backup on a regular basis.

3. If the goal is disaster recovery, then both of the above should be done, and copies of the backups should go to a protected off site facility, either by network (secondary choice) or media (tape, optical drive etc) as the primary choice.

The 3 conditions although related are treated in somewhat different ways.

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