What can we do to get our server "mirrored" to another server?  As well as off-site?

Posted on 2008-11-11
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
We will be having a server on location with minimal data.  However, it will be very important data.  We would like to get the server "mirrored" to another server.  I'm anticipating we need windows server 2003 on both machines.  Preferably, we'd even like to get it mirrored to an off-site server as well.  Can this all be done with just windows server 2003? Or do we need other 3rd party software.  I've set up internal drive mirrors in Windows Server, but nothing external to the machine.  As far as I can tell, the office T-1 line should provide enough bandwidth

Question by:xtksystems

    Expert Comment

    I think a quick answer would be a 3rd party software.

    One day, I came across Marathon Technologies website.  I don't use their product but I found that interresting what they can do.

    I don't know all the details, but maybe it could solve your problem.

    Here's the link:
    LVL 58

    Expert Comment


    What you're talking about has the potential to be a large topic, but it can be easily solved. In larger companies, you would consider a Clustered environment, but this is expensive and requires two servers running Windows Server Enterprise Edition.

    What I would suggest is you follow one of two routes:

    1. You can make use of DFS Replication (Microsoft Distributed File System Replication, a Windows Server feature) on one server in-house, and one server elsewhere, to replicate data between the servers. You'd need a site-to-site VPN, preferably hardware VPN-based between two routers, in order for the two servers to be connected and communicable. For best performance and features you will be best installing this in an Active Directory domain.

    2. You can alternatively buy into a product like DoubleTake (, which is a third-party solution which you can use for replication of data between the two servers.

    In either scenario, you will need Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition at the minimum, and obviously the server hardware to run this upon, and appropriate networking hardware to create the site-to-site VPN between the office and external location.


    Author Comment

    Hey Matt,

    I was looking at doubletake, the DFS i believe was the other i was trying to find.  Is it difficult to set up DFS between two in-house windows servers?

    LVL 58

    Accepted Solution


    It's not majorly difficult once you have the software installed, although watch out for which version of Windows Server you will be using. If possible, ensure you have at least Server 2003 R2, if not Server 2008, since you can then benefit from the completely reworked DFS-R core, which can improve things a little.

    Do you have an existing Active Directory domain? As I said above, it is easier and more efficient to deploy DFS or any other form of replication for that matter on a domain, since you can then use a namespace and pull together the replicated shares from both servers into a common access path. Plus, the other benefit is that you would be able to use Active Directory Sites and Services to configure your sites and subnets, so users accessing the common share would always pull data from their local server unless that was unavailable, in which case the remote server would be used.


    Author Closing Comment

    thank you

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