?
Solved

Does windows 2008 r2 standard platform have server mirroring

Posted on 2011-10-27
5
Medium Priority
?
306 Views
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Back in my Novell days Novell had a feature SFT-III, where in two servers mirrored each other and if one server went down, the other server would take over, resulting in seamless uninterrupted service from the client perspective.  Does such a capability exist - either built-in or after market, for Windows 2008 R2 Standard platform?  Assume we'd put these two servers on the same subnet, in opposite ends of a building linked with Fiber Optic cabling.  The server is ordinary file/print, W2k8 R2 standard, an AD, no exchange or public iis servers.  They have an ms access database.  Potential for Sql Server and Sql anywhere (quickbooks), and sharepoint in the future.
0
Comment
Question by:eric3123
5 Comments
 
LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Govvy
ID: 37038341
0
 
LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:MrAli
ID: 37039214
Windows architecture itself is distributed with Active Directory, where you assign FSMO roles to different servers such as the global catalog server and such.  Back in NT4 it used to be called a PDC and BDC and those terms still stick around, but they aren't accurate.

Really what you need is application level fail over, and yes, SQL Server does provide mirroring as you described.  SQL Server mirroring will work with a with a 'witness' server which will notice if the server hosting SQL Server is not responsive on the SQL Server layer, and will automatically fail over to the mirrored database.

There is a 'gotcha'.  You have 2 options for mirroring, synchronous and asynchronous.  Synchronous mirroring is dangerous, but guarantees that 100% of committed transactions are copied over first to the secondary mirrored copy, then they are applied to the primary server.  If something goes wrong with it committing the transaction on the mirrored copy, you will have major issues.  I recommend Asynchronous mirroring.  With Asynch, you will probably lose a small amount of transactions in flight to the mirrored copy but it will have 0 impact to production, worst case scenario you lose a few.  This is clearly not acceptable to a bank or something that sensitive, but in most cases, it's a fine solution.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms175191.aspx
0
 
LVL 97

Accepted Solution

by:
Lee W, MVP earned 1000 total points
ID: 37039960
It really depends on what you want to mirror.  You can use DFS to have file share access and in that case, yes, it would be pretty much as you describe - for file shares.  AD itself is is designed to be redundant so that would be covered.  DNS can have multiple entries in the NIC properties and you can use a split scope for DHCP.  So in all those respects, it can be near invisible if one server went down.

Start talking about other functionality, like Exchange and SQL, and it gets FAR more complicated and expensive.  For systems with Exchange and SQL (and this isn't an all inclusive list), you could create a clustered VM system and install Windows on the cluster.  If either physical hardware failed, the other would take over.  That would probably be the most cost effective method to protect those products as VM clustering can be free and it's just a matter of getting some kind of shared storage for the VM - BUT that doesn't protect from a corruption or virus on the VM - in that case, it doesn't matter what node hosts the VM, you're down.

You have other options, including a BDR (Backup Disaster Recovery Device) which essentially monitors the server and makes up-to-the minute (or second) copies so that if the system fails you can "flip a switch" and restore it in minutes to the BDR (this shouldn't generally be done automatically - else a reboot causes it to happen and recovery back to the original system is usually not "simple" by comparison to the fail-over.  (I have a HeroWare BDR at one client). You can get server mirroring software that does this like DoubleTake (the HeroWare BDR uses DoubleTake) but DoubleTake while the cheapest product I know of that does this, is NOT cheap.

If you move up to Enterprise versions of Windows and those products, you can setup Windows Clusters.  The problem with Windows clusters is the software licenses needed to implement them.
0
 

Author Comment

by:eric3123
ID: 37040234
Thanks everyone for the replies, I will give Heroware a look.
0
 

Author Closing Comment

by:eric3123
ID: 37040241
It had the most comprehensive answer.
0

Featured Post

Free Tool: Path Explorer

An intuitive utility to help find the CSS path to UI elements on a webpage. These paths are used frequently in a variety of front-end development and QA automation tasks.

One of a set of tools we're offering as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Backups and Disaster RecoveryIn this post, we’ll look at strategies for backups and disaster recovery.
Want to know how to use Exchange Server Eseutil command? Go through this article as it gives you the know-how.
In this Micro Tutorial viewers will learn how to restore single file or folder from Bare Metal backup image of their system. Tutorial shows how to restore files and folders from system backup. Often it is not needed to restore entire system when onl…
To efficiently enable the rotation of USB drives for backups, storage pools need to be created. This way no matter which USB drive is installed, the backups will successfully write without any administrative intervention. Multiple USB devices need t…
Suggested Courses

840 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question