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Is there a way to mirror servers using ESXi?

Posted on 2008-10-02
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Last Modified: 2008-10-06
I need to have the ability to mirror two different Windows 2003 servers running on top of ESXi across a potentially slow link (T1).

Is this possible?  I assume that the hardware won't make any difference.

Basically I want the virtual machines to stay in sync all of the time with potential for either
or both to be used for SQL server database hosting at any time.

But the ability to mirror would be enough if having them both available as real production
servers would not be possible.
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Question by:dheiert
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Expert Comment

by:bhanukir7
ID: 22626797
Hi,

When you say mirror are you talking about synchronising the SQL data or the Servers.

The best way is to take a backup of win2003 machine using VCB backup and restore it to alternate server and use the SQL native backup to take periodical backups of the SQL DB.

When ever there is a configuration change on the SQL server (hardware, Application upgradation) take a backup of the VM again and restore it to the standby ESX server.

otherwise you can go for applications like CA xosoft which is a high availability solution which replicate your SQL server to alternate location even on slow WAN links and failover to the SQL server when the exisiting SQL server is not working or crashed.

http://www.ca.com/us/business-continuity.aspx

bhanu
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HeinoSkov earned 125 total points
ID: 22628350
take a look at vReplicator from VizionCore.
http://www.vizioncore.com/vReplicator.html
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by:BogdanSUA
ID: 22629123
Do you have shared storage (SANs) at both locations.  There are ways to replicate the storage from site to site, thus having a mirror thats near real time.
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by:dheiert
ID: 22629746
The visioncore product is kind of what I am looking for.  It looks like it can synchronize both machines in real time.

For you SQL server guys, I want to replicate the entire server.  I want both of them to look the same at any give time.  Similar to everrun by Marathon, but using VMWare.

Thanks for the suggestions!
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Expert Comment

by:BogdanSUA
ID: 22651728
Yeah, um sort of.

Visioncore does realtime replication, meaning that the VMs continue to run, but its all scheduled asychnronous replication.

So if your SQL Server writes something at 10AM and your replication schedule doesn't kick off until 6PM, well your data is 8hrs out of synch.

You can use a sliding window to do more frequent backups, maybe as frequent as every 10 minutes, but you'll never be in synch at both sites for more than a few seconds, if that.

Just making sure you're aware.
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