Creating redundancy within SBS 2003 Environment

Posted on 2007-03-19
Last Modified: 2008-02-01
I have an SBS 2003 environment along with a Adaptec SnapServer which is used for storing company shares and redirection of each users P: drive. I run tape backup's each night for the data, information store, etc. along with backup-to-disk as well. I know that SBS servers have a single point of failure because everything is integrated. I want to create some redundancy for now and eventually move away from the SBS server. I have a few questions before I begin planning this.

1.) If II need to rebuild the server from scratch (OS, Exchange, re-install BackupExec, etc.) is it possible to restore all the data from tape? I was told that Backup Exec keeps a library of all the backup's and if you lose the library your tapes are practically useless.

2.) Would an extra domain controller in the SBS domain be sufficient until I can purchase a mail server and then migrate them fully?

I was thinking of purchasing a server to act as a DC, then purchase a mail server. I would then set them up and dcpromo the SBS server off of the domain and rebuild the server to act as a DC2.

Any suggestions/comments/etc are greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Question by:gjwong
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LVL 15

Accepted Solution

vico1 earned 168 total points
ID: 18753811
I think that you should be able to retrieve data from any backup software, the main purpose of a backup is for disaster recovery.
If you are looking for an easy way, Why don't you clone the server?  
You could use (Ghost) or (Acronis). Acronis is my favorite.

Now to answer your second question,
Any server that you add to the SBS Domain will be a member server.
You will not be able to DC promo SBS like you think, you will need a transition pack.
(Put in mind the transition pack was design for network growing over 75 users).

You can run a second exchange server, a second ISA,  a second SQL on the network for failover. That is possible, SBS doesn't have to be a single point of failure, most client just doesn't want to spend the money to eliminate the single point of failure, Thats why they go with SBS at the first place.

The licensing for SBS makes it more cost effective to do failover.

Hope that helped

LVL 48

Assisted Solution

Jay_Jay70 earned 166 total points
ID: 18754033
1) most data yes but its probably quite a long road to take
2) you can indeed have a second DC with no problems. However, you cannot dcpromo the SBS box out as it must be FSMO Master

How many users are we talking?
LVL 74

Assisted Solution

by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy earned 166 total points
ID: 18754791
1.  I never use anything other than the built-in SBS Backup for PRIMARY backup needs.  Its included.  It's native, It works!

2.  Why would you buy a separate mail server when you have one already with SBS?  This just doesn't make any sense to me.

The single point of failure is baloney, in my opinion (and obviously it's not an opinion that I keep quiet about).  There is already a TON of redundancy that is built into SBS.  And as long as you are running it on a "properly provisioned" machine and are using a RAID ARRAY, then SBS will be much more solid than piecing together a bunch of mish-mash 3rd party tools that are not as nearly synchronized as what SBS does natively.

You really should first take some time to understand what SBS has under the hood... for instance, Volume Shadow Snapshot which provides you with twice daily images of all server shares (usually it'll hold about 30-days worth, or 60 versions) that users can access themselves to restore accidently deleted files.

Then, there's Exchange's Deleted Item Recovery, Cached Exchange, Offline File Caching, Monitoring & Reporting which sends you a daily status report each morning at 6:00am to keep you abreast of any important issues, just to name a few.

I've deployed about 100 SBS's over the past couple of years... most all of them run with very little problem.  Of course, they are also maintained in a strongly proactive manner -- and the daily reports make that part pretty easy.

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Author Comment

ID: 18755417
I have currently 8 users. 2 of which always access the network remotely through RWW. On my SBS box I am running a RAID-1 array (wish it was RAID-5), 4GB's of RAM, P4 processor, and no redundant power supply. I also have a BES server that is running RAID-1 with 2-3GB of RAM and an Adaptec SnapServer which I described earlier.

Based on other forums and material I've read its a mixed bag of opinions about SBS and the redundancy which is why I came here to get some expert opinions.
LVL 74

Expert Comment

by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 18784429
Well, I've given you one.  I don't know what other forums you've been looking at, but you really need to figure out what you mean by redundancy.  What exactly are you trying to accomplish.  Because I named a bunch of things above which make an SBS far more reliable than most servers... as long as you understand what those tools are and use them.


Expert Comment

ID: 20324294
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