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Can SBS 2003 be used as a disaster recovery server for a small Windows domain?

Posted on 2008-10-23
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Last Modified: 2010-04-18
I work in a Windows domain environment.  We currently have the following servers:
SQL 2005
Exchange 2003
Data/DC
IIS/Coldusion

I am curious if Small Business Server 2003 could handle these task for a limited number of users in a disaster recovery scenario.

Our SQL database is mission critical, but it is not a large nor complex database.

Anyways, just researching ideas and looking for suggestions.

Thanks!
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Question by:thirdlifes
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by:ryansoto
ID: 22789064
It could but it would be easier IMO if it were a straight win2k3 machine
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Lee W, MVP earned 250 total points
ID: 22790725
Small Business Server (SBS) is designed to be THE FSMO master DC in any network it runs in.  If you were to try to run it, you would be well advised to rearchitect your entire network (assuming you have less than 75 users) to run off the SBS server.  Otherwise, I would consider this a BAD IDEA.  

If you need SERIOUS DR ideas, I can offer two off the top of my head -

If the data needs to be constantly up-to-date, then consider a product like Neverfail or DoubleTake.  They aren't especially inexpensive, but they will be cheaper than MOST other solutions for providing REAL-TIME redundancy for your network.

If you don't need REAL-TIME up-to-date data, then you can consider migrating critical services to Virtual machines which you can then backup on a regular basis and should the server they run on fail, you can restore your entire network to a new physical box.  There is significant Virtualization technology available for you to look into.  For example, VMWare server, VMWare ESXi, Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2, Microsoft Hyper-V - all these products are free (but with little or manufacturer support - that's a paid option.

If money is not a serious concern, you can look at clustering - either the applications themselves (SQL, IIS) - or using Virtual Machines running off a SAN.
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by:thirdlifes
ID: 22790786
Thanks for the reply Leew.

I currently use Microsoft Virtual Server for a few non-critical servers, and it does work.

I have not looked into the replication software you mentioned, but will do so.
I will post back after I looked at your recommendations.

Thanks!
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