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Server/Network Setup question.

I have a client with a basic network with 12 PC's with one of them acting as a file server. The current file server is a very old PC and they are afraid that it will fail. If it does there are screwed as the files on there are used to run all there machinery. They are looking at replacing the current file server with a new one.

Option 1: Replace the current server with a more robust one. i.e.: A decent SCSI/SAS server or something along those lines. The only problem with this option is that is the new server were to go down at any point it will cost them 1000's of dollars in down time while it is being repaired.

Option 2: Fit two basic servers and have one replicate itself to the second one each night. This is the best option as if the server were to fail the second server could take over meaning no down time while the server is being repaired.

My question I guess is what is involved in setting up 2 servers to replicate each other? Is there any specific hardware or software they will need. i.e.: Will it work with Windows XP or 2003? Or do they need a 3rd party program. Is there anything else I need to keep in mind or to watch out for?

Bare in mind that price is a consideration.

Thanks
David
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milltechtga
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milltechtga
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2 Solutions
 
Malli BoppeCommented:
Their are quite a few options here
1.) Build a another windows 2003 memeber server and decent hardware and have DFS.This way its easy for you to administer.
http://www.windowsnetworking.com/articles_tutorials/Windows2003-Distributed-File-System.html
2.)Build a windows 2003 and use robocopy utility to copy all the files and folder every night.remeber to use robocopy source dest /copyall /mir. This is not a bad idea in case if you server dies you can rename the new server to the old server name.

But don't wait for the server to fail.Just the move the data on a weekend.rather then wait for the server to fail.
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milltechtgaAuthor Commented:
From the look of it robocopy also works on windows XP? If thats the case would is be possible to setup 2 PC's both running windows XP pro and have robocopy copy all the files each night to the backup file server. If the main server went down then we can rename the backup server to the main servers name and be up and running again?

Or have I got the wrong program? :)

Dave
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Malli BoppeCommented:
Yeah robocopy runs on windows xp as well.You can run the robocopy program for the backup server you don't need to run from the normal PC.
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Malli BoppeCommented:
To get the intial copy do a windows NT backup from you file server copy the backup file to aUSB and restore to your backup server then start running robocopy this way the process would be quicker.
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milltechtgaAuthor Commented:
Because I am looking at doing 2 PC's the same I was thinking I will setup one. Clone the Hdd to the second one and simply rename the PC. Could I then start doing the robocopy backups from there?

Dave
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andyalderCommented:
You might want to look at www.doubletake.com. Probably the most popular replication software there is, OEM'd by HP as their storage mirroring product for example.
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Malli BoppeCommented:
milltechtga
sorry I din't get what you are trying to do
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milltechtgaAuthor Commented:
Thats exactly what I'm after andyalder, however I dont think $9000 dollars NZD will go down well with the customer. Is there anything similar that is cheaper or works with windows XP? If robocopy works I will go with that. I will test it out and see where I get.
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