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How do I duplicate a servers configuration and data?

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Last Modified: 2012-05-07
I have two identical servers. Server (A) has Windows Server 2003 w/ SQL Server 2005. This server is configured to have two RAID arrays. Two disks are configured in RAID-1 for the OS. Four disks are configured in RAID-5 for the data. Server (B) has the exact same hardware and RAID configuration. I would like to make server (B) an exact duplicate of server (A). I was planning on doing this by replacing one drive at a time in server (A) from server (B) until I had 6 drives from server (A). I would then place all 6 drives into server (B) and turn it on. Would this work? I realize that there is some licensing issues here but server (B) will never be on unless there is a failure with server (A).
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As long as you have the exact same configuration on both servers and you ensure that the drives are put in the new server in the exact same order then that should work but what exactly are you tring to accomplish.  

I wouldn't consider this a DR solution.  We may be able to help more if we know more specifics.

Author

Commented:
They do have the exact same configuration. There are six drives on each server. I was planning on removing drive 1 from server (A), replace the empty slot with drive 1 from server (B). Then, remove drive 2 from server (A), replace the empty slot with drive 2 from server (B) and so on until all drives have been replaced. Then when I have all six original drives from server (A) I would place them in server (B). Why would this not be a good DR option?
What happens if the data become corrupted during the Disaster or you loose you drives.  Generally a good DR option would maintain a seperate set of duplicate data on a seperate system.

Author

Commented:
That is what I am trying to accomplish. We also have the data backed up to several external hard drives. In the event of server (A) failing we would turn on server (B) and restore the most recent data from the external hard drives.
If you are wanting an exact duplicate, why not just use Acronis True image or Ghost and duplicate the machines. Would be easier than moving all those drives around.

Author

Commented:
Since the OS is in RAID-1 on two disks, how will the system know which drive to copy?
If Windows natively supports the RAID array Acronis can handle it. If, however you have to load third party drivers when installing Windows then that would not be a solution for you.
I am assuming that you have a hardware RAID controller in the server.  If so then you shouldn't have to worry about the whcih drive to copy because that is abstracted by the hardware layer.  You will just need to ensure that the proper raid controller driver is loaded.

Author

Commented:
It is a hardware RAID controller. It is a Dell Poweredge 2950.
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