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Configure Disaster Recovery / Redundancy for Dynamics CRM 3.0

Posted on 2008-10-28
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Hi All,

We are trying to implement a redundancy / Disaster Recovery for our Dynamics CRM 3.0 environment. We currently have configured on our production site CRMSVR01 (Miicrosoft Dynamics 3.0 / Webserver), SQLSRV01 (SQL 2005 Enterprise) and EXCHSRV01 (Exchange 2003).

Our plan is to create a Disaster Recovery Server of each of these. DRPCRM01, DRPSQL01 and DRPEXCH01 to be located accross the WAN in our DR site.

We were thinking we could use log shipping to keep DRPSQL01 up to date. Is there a way to configure CRM and the WebServer to replicate changes and customisations made to the production environment to the DR?

I can find plenty of information on CRM 4.0, but there doesn't seem to be much available for 3.0.

If anyone can provide me wiith Best practices or advice, things to watch out for etc. It would be very much appreciated.


Thanks in Advance,

KnightFrank
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Question by:knightfrank
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by:WilyGuy
ID: 22827334
Depends on your environment.

Customizations are all stored in the database of the CRM product, so for many CRM implementations, the CRM server is very vanilla at the Web Server level.  If you emply callouts or other custom code, that will have to be deployed to your DPR server for CRM.

I would build out the second CRM server and point it to the existing SQL (if possible) which gives you a nice failover if just the CRM server dies in Production (you can use DNS Host Headers to make the switch).

Basically you may have to manually update the second server for CRM with any new custom code you deploy as well as with Rollups and Hotfixes, but they are infrequent.

Is your SRS on the SQL server (the web application is my question).  it gets a little trickier to flop that around and the datasources, but honestly if you fail over, your users don't have reports right away which is respectable.

You didn't indicate how you plan to DR/HA your Exchange (which in 3.0 is the home of the CRM Router).  I would install the software, but set the service to manual and stopped.  Again, you may have to manually turn this on, but because the rules on the mailboxes should continue to function, the email will be captured in the router account.
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by:knightfrank
ID: 22827566
Hi WilyGuy,

Thanks for your reply.

As I am a bit of a newbie when it comes to CRM, just want to clarify.

By configuring our DR SQL server with log shipping that will effectively replicate our Customizations to our DR environment.

As for the DR CRM Server pointing to the existing CRM SQL server, we want to configure 2 separate environments; effectively the DR environment wont get touched unless there is a complete failure.
Yes SRS is on the SQL server, can we not configure Reporting Services on the DR Server as well?

I guess another question which spurs from this is, if we are log shipping the SQL Databases and we need to failover to the DR environment, are there tables in the databases that need to be changed to point to the DRPCRM01 and DRPEXCH01?

For DRPEXCH01 we will install the CRM router, which shouldnt matter if it is active as it is only configured for the DR environment. Correct?

Thanks,
KnightFrank
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by:WilyGuy
ID: 22848878
Yes Customizations are in the database just like any other piece of data.  If you mirror the Databases, you should be set.

You can point the DR CRM to the DR SRS and the DR SQL with no problems.
I would install DR SQL and get the mirror working.  Then set SRS configured (if you are letting CRM install it, you will have extra work to do)  THEN install CRM and point to the CURRENT SQL (it won't be able to read and write from the mirror) and use the DR SRS URL. (I wouldn't worry as much about mirroring SRS)

Because the DR CRM server will be pointing to PROD, you will want to stop its IIS and 3 CRM Services and change the Database pointers in the registry to DR. (when you fail over, you will need to start the services and IIS, or you can start them and have events in the eventvwr)

Yes, Exchange DR should get the CRM Router, but again, you will need to point that to the CRM server in PROD and make a change to the registry for the URL.
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WilyGuy earned 500 total points
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What did you decide on?
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by:knightfrank
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Hi WilyGuy,

Apologies for not getting back to the post sooner, I've been away for work. I'll have to look over the info once again and get back to you.

Thanks,
KnightFrank
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