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Disaster Recovery_best plan for 2003 sbs_reduce down time

Posted on 2006-06-15
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Last Modified: 2010-04-19
Hello,
- We are trying to figure out the best plan (in addition to a good data backup) that would
reduce downtime in the event that the server fails.  we have raid1 setup, but assuming
that a hardware error occurs on the server (( or a problem with the drives/raid)) and we're not able to boot/use the machine ( or the raid/sata drives) until parts arrive.
- If this were 2000server I would just setup a backup server,
Does this option exist from sbs03 server? ( I think clustering is only supported in the Enterprise edition. we're using premium edition small businesss server)
(the box being used is an entry-levey dell powerEdge 1420sc)
 - one idea we're kicking around is using a large 3rd sata hdrive in the server, setup one partition bootable with the os, ( the other partition(s) will be the data repository for the backups ) ( this plan would still leave the network down for several hours, and it wouldn't make sense to restore to the same drive? ...only to do another restore later once the hardware issue has been fixed? )
I'm also interested if anyone has a good solution that utilies resonably priced imaging software?
Open to all cost-effective possibilites - boss just wants the new server setup so that downtime is greatly reduced in the event of a major break - ( would also like a way to 'test' the backup/recovery....a drill the boss wants to run once a year or so )
thanks
-geek3-
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Question by:geek3
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy earned 2000 total points
ID: 16919791
There is an option to have a "Cold Backup" server with SBS, but it's not a very popular one.

The first thing to do, in my opinion, is to create a disaster recovery plan that addresses all sorts of issues and allows you to prioritize them.  Because focusing on "what happens if the server fails" may cause you to miss some other event that would be more costly to your business.  I think if you were to take this discussion back to your boss he would be rather impressed that you were thinking about more than just the simple problem of "server down".  (Mostly because if you start with good hardware and maintain your server properly, there is very little chance that it will be "DOWN").

There is a good tool here that can help you prioritize and create a plan:
http://www.microsoft.com/smallbusiness/resources/toolkit/module.aspx?mid=131

Then, I'd suggest that you listen to this recent 2-part SBS Show Podcast which discuss various options:
http://www.vladville.com/sbsshow/sbsshow-episode3.mp3
http://www.vladville.com/sbsshow/sbsshow-episode4.mp3

Finally, I've been personally experimenting with virtualizing SBS which allows for probably the fastest and easiest recovery plan.  A virtual image can be mounted on most any computer (PC, SERVER, whatever) and be up and running in minutes, assuming you have a good copy that is stored offsite each night.
There has been a lot of chatter lately about this option:  http://www.continuitycentral.com/feature0272.htm
http://www.redmondmag.com/news/article.asp?editorialsid=7160

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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Author Comment

by:geek3
ID: 16921759
thanks Jeff
- your reply is sounds right on
I will be following/listening to the links you provided,especially the last one!
thanks
geek3
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