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Windows Server 2008 Standard Failover Setup with 2 physical machines.

Posted on 2011-03-01
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hello,

I need advice on a redundadncy/ failover setup with two servers. We are planning on getting two servers -  one running server 2008  standard with 20 CALs, and one for back up.

The active production setup is:

 1 server running Server 2008  standard with the following roles: AD, DHCP, DNS, FILE and PRINT server, and a custom srerver application
 20 client PCs running Windows 7 and a custom client application

My initial idea was to run the server 2008 VM on top of ESXi (ESXi01)and have a secondary cold backup machine (ESXi02)with exactly the same specs running only ESXi - its only task would be to hold the back up (snapshots?) for the VM on the first machine and startt up only in case the first machine goes down.

We csannot afford enterprise licensing for clustering or third party tools like Neverfail or everRun.

What would be the best way to set this up?
Also, can someone confirm if I can have four Windows Server 2008 standard VMs on the same physical ESXi box using te same Server 2008 standard license?


thank you!

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Question by:rookie_b
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by:MichaelVH
MichaelVH earned 100 total points
ID: 35006245
First of all,

what you are trying to do does not seem to be a good idea. Recovering a DC from a snapshot and using it is going to cause HUGE errors and is not supported anyway. I'd suggest that you make good backups so you can fall back on something when a disaster occurs.

What you could do is e.g. have 2 dc's, one on each host so that if one host fails, you won't have any issues on AD.

Make sure that you've got snapshot of your base-vm's so that you can recover more easily when you ever hit an issue.

Michael
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LVL 40

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coolsport00 earned 400 total points
ID: 35006570
I agree with your wanting to make your W2K8 server a VM and on ESXi. What you could do is buy ESXi Essentials at $495US, which gives you vCenter for centralized mgmt, template creation, cloning, and migration (albeit 'cold'). But what Essentials also gives you is vStorage API, which will allow you to get my next recommended software - Veeam Backup & Replication. It's $500US per CPU socket. So, what my recommendation is to use Veeam to Replicate your W2K8 to your 2nd ESXi host. If your initial VM crashes, all you have to do is power on the replicated W2K8 VM. You can trial Veeam for 30 days (extend it if you need to) to see if it's something you are able to do.
http://www.veeam.com/vmware-esx-backup.html

Also, keep in mind to stay away from snapshots for anything other than temporary (a day or 2). You use them for updating a VM - e.g. take a snap, apply an update, test for a day or 2, remove all snaps. That's it.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Regards,
~coolsport00
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LVL 40

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by:coolsport00
coolsport00 earned 400 total points
ID: 35006589
BTW...no, you can't have 4 W2K8 guest OS's on a host without having a license for each. You need Enterprise licensing to expound on your dissemination of OS to the host.

~coolsport00
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