One-stop DR solution for SBS 2003
Posted on 2009-04-07
I have been wrestling with this issue for a while now and I still don't seem to be nearer a complete solution. I simply want a reliable DR solution for our SBS server, which allows us to restore to same or different hardware reliably and quickly, with no fallback. However it's not the only DC on the network, we have three.
I have looked into ASR recovery - this seems to be fine when running a backup/restore of a test server with a simple disk config but our server has disk mirroring for the system partition (windows software RAID), and has an external RAID unit running Exchange. For some reason, there are Exchange installation files on this RAID unit, so ASR deems all three disks as system disks and backups them all up, making life slooooow, and the restore process is very fussy. I'd rather not rely on this in a real situation. Plus the floppy disk issue isn't ideal.
We also have Symantec backup exec backing our data up - we could use this to effectively restore a system using a fresh install, plus system backup, but this won't work on the SBS server as you need to rejoin the new machine to the domain with the same name as the failed one. Not possible with our DC. We've also looked at the built-in backup for SBS, but the process of restoring to different hardware seems laborious.
We have also looked at imaging software - fine if we only had one DC, but we have three, on two sites. Using an image based backup means possible USN rollbacks and RID master issues (as it holds all 5 FSMOs). Acronis do an SBS edition of their True Image Echo, but I'm unsure as to whether this is suitable in a multi DC environment, as SBS is typically a one-DC setup.
Is there someone in a similar situation to us with a tried and tested answer for this? Am I missing something? We would prefer to use an imaging product, but want to avoid the issues relating to imaging of domain controllers.
Thanks in advance.