Server Cloning software

jasonmichel
jasonmichel used Ask the Experts™
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Have a 2003 SBS server running on whitebox 7 year old hardware, server has been well maintained and works for what we need.  I just bought a new dell server and basically want to create a copy of that server and put it on the new hardware as is..  What's some of the better software out there to do it?
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Commented:
I've had really good luck with CA ARCserve D2D. You just run a backup, boot to the bare metal recovery cd in the new server and restore. If any drivers are missing it will let you install via flash drive before restoring.

Author

Commented:
i'm not looking to spend thousands, i was hoping something standalone
Director of Solutions Consulting
Commented:
Acronis does this for < $100
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
Acronis is not licensed for a server at $100.  I believe the server version costs $1000.  

Keep in mind, you CANNOT transfer it if the SBS 2003 install came with the server it currently runs on.  those licenses are legally tied to the hardware they are sold with and DIE with that hardware.

Otherwise, LEGALLY transferring it will likely cost you $1000 or more.  (Consider how much it would cost you to reinstall completely in terms of time lost and/or consultant fees.  Likely it's FAR MORE than $1000.  If you analyze costs like this, then the $1000 is reasonable).
Top Expert 2013
Commented:
You will find because the different HAL, and the drivers for various components are completely different you will need server grade software such as Acronis enterprise software with the universal restore option, or their SBS specific version:
http://www.acronis.com/backup-recovery/advanced-server-small-business/
Or my preference which is ShadowProtect:
http://buy.storagecraft.com/StorageCraft-ShadowProtect-4-Small-Business-Server-Edition-P150C30.aspx
However these will cost you $500+

The other option is to virtualize the SBS if your new hardware supports virtualization and has sufficient horsepower. In this case you could install VMware ESXi or Microsoft Virtual Server 2008 R2 for free and then use free tools to virtualize the SBS. This is quite common.
Aaron TomoskyDirector of Solutions Consulting

Commented:
Can and within the limits of the software license are not always the same thing. It's also not leagal or illegal, it's just in compliance with the software agreement.

Anyway, if you have a pretty new server, why not use this as a chance to upgrade to server 2008r2? Leave your sbs up as exchange if you want. Or you could get sbs2011 if you like that sort of thing. Just a thought.

Author

Commented:
what version of acronis are you talking about aaron?
Aaron TomoskyDirector of Solutions Consulting

Commented:
An Acronis workstation with universal restore boot cd can do it. As I'm not a lawyer I can't give legal advice on weather or not this is against  any licensing type stuff. I'm just sayin it can.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
aarontomosky

When you agree to the license, you agree to LEGAL terms of use.  Violating those terms is ILLEGAL.  If you violate the terms, you can be sued - this is part of being legal or not legal.

Further, EE does not permit us to encourage people to violate licensing.

Author

Commented:
i have no intention in violating any license, i wanted to know what version of acronis he was refering to since they have 2100043995487675 versions of their software
Aaron TomoskyDirector of Solutions Consulting

Commented:
I  am not encouraging anything. I clearly stated that I am not a lawyer and therefore have no intention of giving advice on that subject.

FYI illegal means against the law ( or statute or ordinance). There is no law that says this is how Acronis can be used. It MAY be against the terms of use, I don't know as I haven't read them. And that is open to interpretation and may or may not have civil penalties if they get sued and lose. It's just a pet peeve of mine when people say things are illegal. I don't want to go off on a tangent here and distract our author from getting a quality answer.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
It's a pet peeve of mine - and against EE rules - to recommend people violate licensing. Period.  I have not read RECENT Acronis license agreements, but I have read them and in the past, a standard version is NOT (unless they've changed their licensing policies) licensed to run on server operating systems.  Server versions are and they are not cheap.

Top Expert 2013

Commented:
I think you will also find the workstation version of Acronis will fail on a server. It did 5 years ago, but haven't tried it since. They do not sell the same product under two different names with a $900 price difference.

I forgot to ask, as leew did, if it is an OEM license. If so as he stated it is a licensing violation to install on different hardware and you may find it will not activate. You WILL have to re-activate after moving. Only volume and full boxed versions can be 'moved'.

@aarontomosky Microsoft, EE, and I am sure Acronis do not take licensing violations lightly. EE clearly states you are not to recomend hacks, licensing or company policy workarounds. Doing so can result in membership suspension.

Author

Commented:
this is not OEM it is a boxed version and i've checked with MS today to make sure i could do this.  Now i just need to find a cheap way to clone the old server

Author

Commented:
anyone have any luck with maybe clonezilla doing it?
Aaron TomoskyDirector of Solutions Consulting

Commented:
Ms has a way to install to new hardware and migrate setting and stuff
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc747454(v=ws.10).aspx
Aaron TomoskyDirector of Solutions Consulting

Commented:
Clonzilla can dupe the drive but it probably won't boot. That's the magic of Acronis, it removes the Hal. I have used clonezilla for laptops all with similar hardware and chipsets from three different manufacturers and they worked. The problem is different gen hardware and chipsets jus won't boot. It's really too bad they don't offer a separate product for backup and universal restore without installing software for less $$. Their server product is nice, since you would get to keep it installed and use all it's other features maybe you can make a case for purchasing it.
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
Though I have never used this, others say it has worked well:
http://www.miray.de/products/sat.hdclone.html

Cloning is the easy part. The problem is when you boot up the new server it sees a new HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer - different chipset) and instantly blue screens unless you have hardware independent restore options like StorageCraft or Acronis's specific versions for doing so. When you get past the HAL issue the server has to detect and install all new drivers. When you get past that because it is a new NIC it breaks SBS DNS, IIS, and Exchange. Running the change server IP wizard 'should' resolve that but if you don't use the wizard, the server requires a rebuild.

Virtualizing is actually far easier and less expensive, but you need the hardware to support it. If virtaulizing make sure you clone the MAC address of the previous server to eliminate a lot of hassles.

Author

Commented:
Never cloned the Mac for vm. Can you give me instruction?
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
In your virtualization software (hyper-V or VMware) under settings of the VM you can set the MAC address of the NIC. Copy the MAC from the SBS which can be found using ipconfig /all
By doing so the SBS should 'think' it is the same network adapter and retain all network configurations.
If it sees a new MAC it will assume a new NIC and leave it unconfigured which can cause all sorts of issues with SBS services.

Author

Commented:
ah, yeah i know where that is, that makes sense, i wanted to make sure it wasn't something tricky..lol, thanks

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