Alternative to Double Take

No1_Reggie
No1_Reggie used Ask the Experts™
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Greetings all, I have to put in place a better Disaster Recovery scenario for our company as data is outrunning standard tape drives.

I need to replicate and backup an Exchange, SQL 2008, PDC and BES server in a manner that will give me backups and easy and fast restore options should any of these servers go down.

I have looked into Double Take as that would be first prize but was amazed at the expense once the quote came through. I know it is an Enterprise product and one o,f if not the best at this out there - but it has still come in way over Budget considering current trading conditions for us.

Question is simple, is there an alternative out there that any of you are using that you would heartily recommend? I know Acronis and Sonasoft are out there. Any heads up or recommendation you could give me would be awesome, many thanks.
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Commented:
The simple equation is that the longer you can be without the system, the cheaper it will be. If you want live replication and fail over then it is going to be expensive. DoubleTake have their competitors, the UK company NeverFail is one, they are near Reading, CA have a product as well.
I wouldn't really use a cloning tool because a clone is out of date about 30 seconds after it was taken. There are particular problems using them with domain controllers.

You have to look at things further than the budget. Primary being cost of downtime. If you can afford to be down for three or four hours then there are further options. If you cannot, then you are going to have to spend the money. Economic conditions or not.

Simon.
Several of my clients use Double-Take and it is costly but it is an excellent product that would be ideal for your situation. However another option you could consider would be to set up a Backup Server or SANS with a few terabytes of storage and use a product like Symantec Backup Exec to make disk to disk backups.  I have this solution installed in a few of my clients and the backups and restores are pretty quick.
We have some clients using double-take in conjunction with our off-site backup solution. Only the mission critical servers are replicated via double-take. For example, a web server with a sql backend with automatic DNS failover. This ensures close to 0 downtime for the online web ordering system which is their most critical business application and they can't afford to go without it for very long. We still protect it with a backup in order to protect agains data corruption. Multiple generations are stored.

The rest of the infrastructure is protected exclusively with an on-line backup application which stores the data both locally and remotely. Storing it locally allows for recovery at LAN speeds. It includes the capability of restoring an entire server if necessary. Storing it remotely provides a DR option where all the servers are restored at our site and hosted back to the end-user(s). This allows for a relatively quick recovery in the event of a complete site disaster.

So... as Simon pointed out above, a lot of it depends on how fast you need to be up and running. My point is you can have a hybrid solution that will still offer acceptable recovery objectives at a lower cost.  

Commented:
AppAssure's Replay4 is an excellent choice and in my opinion, better and cheaper than Double Take

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