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How do I duplicate a servers configuration and data?

Posted on 2009-07-09
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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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Question by:varesources
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11 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:willettmeister
ID: 24814541
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.
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by:varesources
ID: 24814631
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?
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by:willettmeister
ID: 24814660
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.
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by:varesources
ID: 24814706
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.
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Expert Comment

by:tljones00
ID: 24814883
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.
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by:varesources
ID: 24814938
Since the OS is in RAID-1 on two disks, how will the system know which drive to copy?
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by:tljones00
ID: 24815268
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.
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by:tljones00
ID: 24815285
This KB might help http://kb.acronis.com/content/1565 
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by:willettmeister
ID: 24815943
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.
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by:varesources
ID: 24816359
It is a hardware RAID controller. It is a Dell Poweredge 2950.
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willettmeister earned 500 total points
ID: 24816607
Then you shouldn't have an issue with the raid configuration as long as you have the correct perc driver loaded.  

The drives will look like a single disk to which ever imaging tool you choose.  
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