SBS 2008 backup domain server questions

 We are in the process of implementing SBS 2008 server (domain,AD,DNS,exchange).
This would be our primary domain controller & mail server. This server will have only
AD accounts & mail server and nothing else.

If we wanted to implement a backup(standby) domain controller,exchange,DNS in the same network on another server, just incase our primary SBS 2008 goes down.

Couple of questions about this backup(standby) SBS 2008:

1.  Can we setup a backup(standby) SBS 2008 in the same network ?
2.  Can we have both the primary & standby connected in the same network ?
3. Do I need to buy a seperate SBS 2008 licenses for the standby server ?
4.  Does SBS 2008 have some inbuilt feature or utility which can Sync between the
     primary and standby server ?

  Any other suggestions are also welcome
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1. No
2. No.
3. Yes
4. No.
This why we use a vss backup solution that would allow us to virtualize the sbs server in minutes without any of the hassles of another physical server on backup or standy.

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OCUBEAuthor Commented:


Could you please elaborate on the last 2 lines you were mentioning about.

1) How to use a VSS backup solution which will allow you to virtualize SBS in minutes.
We use a Backup Disaster Recovery system that is both on site and off site. The basic concept is we put in place a NAS device at the customer site with the right kind of software and an agent on the SBS server or any other server for that matter. We take a full backup of that server and send it to a colo. The NAS device then backs up every 15 minutes incrementally to the nas device for any changes and then once a night uploads those change to the colo.
OK, so the sbs server goes down for any reason I then connect remotely to the NAS device and virtualize the backups and bring the server backup on the nas device in real mode and it's like nothing ever happened. I then either repair or replace the existing server and then tel the nas device to resotre the vm back onto the physical server and I'm back in business.
Now, lets say that both go down, you know machine gun fire or whatever :-). I then contact the colo and within 24 hours they load the backups into another nas device and virtualize it and send to wherever I need it. I now have up to two weeks to replace the physical server without purchasing the additional nas.
Trust me, I've been implementing this for almost two years and it works even when a disaster works :-).
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Allow me to be a little more detailed than the previous poster:

1.  No, SBS MUST be the FSMO master DC.  You can only have one FSMO Master DC on an SBS domain so you can only have one SBS per domain.
2.  Because of 1, no.
3.  Because of 1, no
4.  Not specifically for your purposes.  There are methods of replication for Exchange and for Files, but they are not necessarily the easiest things to implement (actually, DFS for files isn't bad, but setting up exchange would be problematic, in part because you would need a separate Exchange license AND a separate Server 2008 license.

A BDR (typically available through Zenith Infotech or a reseller/managed services provider) is a good solution, but could be expensive - though frankly, MOST (relatively) easily implemented solutions are going to be expensive.  Another option includes a product like NeverFail or DoubleTake - these products replicate the SBS server until there's a problem - then you initiate a "failover" to the backup server which "rebuilds" it on the second server (this process can take minutes to hours depending on how your system is configured).
@leew, so much for me trying to be concise and to the point, LOL :-)
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
It's fine to be concise and to the point... but without explanation nothing is learned.  "Teach a man to fish..."
Had the same concern as you with sbs way to back up is with imaging software .problem is most imagining systems like acronis  and norton cost big $.

I found a product called
it is a small imaging app that cost about 40 pounds works on servers and workstations ,with the same license.
you can set it up to do full backups incremental daily ,hourly.

The way i do our backup is to do one complete backup monthly and then only changes daily.if the server goes down you can virtualize the server using vmware or microsoft virtual machine and you can view and recover parts of backup using image for windows or you can image the software back to a new machine or drive

A good disaster recovery strategy is to have a identical second server on standby (hardware only)
if the main server goes down you use your latest backup image to  restore the image on second server hdd.all software to do this is provided by image for will take about 50 min.

The software restores and does complete backup of your server
If you implement a system like this remember to run a mok crash and recovery

let me know if you want more details

OCUBEAuthor Commented:

Can you tell me which NAS device and agent on the SBS server you are using.

We partner with a company called Zenith InfoTech, their are several components that are put together for one total solution. But basically the nas is a custom built SuperMicro server with Windows Storage Server. It comes with a Business Continuity System Interface, This allows us to manage the NAS and Backup Management. The Backup builtin is StorageCraft. The virtual environment is provided by Sun xVM VirtualBox. The offsite colo is actually two locations provided by Zenith. The agents are written by Zenith and are deployed to each server we need to backup.
Like I said it is a comprehensive system made of many components but I've been installing this solution for over a year and our customers love it. Basically once I set it up it is plug-n-play and the customer is never involved with any kind of tape rotation or hard drive rotation. The unit provides us with full remote monitoring and immediate access if a problem is detected.
The one thing I will say about cost, I wouldn't be installing it if it wasn't an overall better deal for the customer. In the end it is a much more professional and cost effective system than most any other type out there, especially tape :-).
OCUBEAuthor Commented:

Can you provide me your email id or elaborate more on the

"Image for Windows"

Is this a good disaster recovery tool which can be used against SBS 2008 ?
am i allowed to provide email?

yes i think it is a good tool

 i have a few questions .

Do you want to setup a standby server (hardware based) or do you want to setup a virtual recovery situation?
How much down time can you afford ?none  1 hour 1 day
What budget are you on. small business ,corporate .
There are better complete solutions than image for windows ,but their prices and licensing fees for servers are very painful though.

image for windows allows you to create a complete image ,and image sets.this in combination with the built in backup function of sbs provides you with a very compressive backup solution..

i would recomend some for of raid for the server as well .a nas drive to store images on is also a good idea.
@ocube- the plan I was discussing with you is a complete disaster recovery system if you would like to discuss it in more detail you can look at my profile. The cost is very reasonable for SMB's that is why we use it because most of our customers are on the small biz side.
OCUBEAuthor Commented:
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