Replication software

Shanehaggerty
Shanehaggerty used Ask the Experts™
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I work at a medical clinic where we have about 30 users accessing the main 3rd party medical software on a Windows 2003 terminal server.  Data files are accessed and changed constantly and we need a failover system that replicates data at the byte level in real time.  We are trying out Double Take but this software is very expensive.  I like the failover feature they provide ALOT! but can do without it if someone knows another reliable product that replictaes the root drive and our secondary data drive.  Any ideas?
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Shane,

I am not 100% sure what your current setup is (hardware wise) but my suggestion would be to setup a raid 6 array with a hot spare - this allows you to lose up to 2 drives in the array without data loss and a hot spare gets automatically picked up once a drive fails (mind you, you will need to replace the failed disk asap - as you tend to lose redundancy and the possibility of a drive crash leading to data loss is greater). Any redundant system is going to be expensive... especially if you want failover. It really depends if you want two independent systems one of which provides an 'instant' backup should the other die or just fault/failure tolerant data.

If you are going to fork out for RAID, I would suggest using a hardware raid adapter but the better ones are going to set you back $1000... then you have the cost of the drives.

If you could post you current system configuration and the level of fault tolerance you require, that would be helpful.

Apochimongitus.
Top Expert 2012

Commented:
Acronis makes an imaging product for servers which should be able to do what you want: http://www.acronis.com/
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Commented:
I am looking to have a complete second server ready to be put in place in the event of failure.  This way we are covered in the event we lose not just a hard drive, but a power supply, motherboard, whatever the case may be, the second server is placed into operation and the first is taken off line and repaired.
Top Expert 2012
Commented:
What you want is server redundancy, and typically that is accomplished with a cluster setup: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cluster_(computing) Since the networks are on a grid, an application doesn't need to run on one machine. However, setting up a cluster is not trivial, so a second server, along with an external mirrored drive may be the solution. The problem is that in a true mirror, everything is copied to the second drive, including system file errors, so maybe the mirror should be data only.

Author

Commented:
does microsoft make a high availability solution? And if so, is it a part of the server software or is it an additional piece of software with a different name?

Author

Commented:
I was looking at an open source solution as well, but am very ignorant when it comes to anything linux.  How well does WINE work for products made for Windows but aren't Microsoft titles?
Top Expert 2012

Commented:
You may want to look at shadow copy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadow_Copy and how it is implemented.

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