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looking for Server continuity solution

Posted on 2012-04-09
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I am looking for Server continuity solution, so in case the physical server fail, I can get it back and running in minutes. This is a SMB environment. so there is only 1 physical SBS server with exchange, DC, DNS, etc.
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Question by:okamon
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Lee W, MVP earned 400 total points
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In my opinion you're looking for a BDR (Backup/Disaster Recovery) Device or service.  There are many providers available, but I've implemented HeroWare's product line at my clients that wanted one.

Keep in mind, such solutions are NOT cheap and often require a monthly maintenance fee.  If you do the math, you determine how much each hour of downtime is worth to you - if your business lives and dies with the server, you NEED a BDR and the cost should not be an issue.  If you're business gets a couple dozen e-mails per day and only works on a few documents here and there, then it's probably not worth the expense.
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by:okamon
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never heard about this company... is it possible to make something similar myself? for example using acronis or vmware
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by:Lee W, MVP
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Possible?  Sure.  Wise?  Not in my opinion.  Are you going to spend months testing it under various scenarios?  And if something doesn't work, who are you going to call to help with it -- this IS important, isn't it, do you want to risk your company on a home made solution?

The idea behind BDR solutions is that they monitor the server constantly and should it fail, you don't lose much if any data because you can bring up the "failed" server on the secondary server.  

I don't know if Acronis will do it.  But BDRs usually use a combination of Virtualization and software like DoubleTake, ShadowProtect, and others (MAYBE Acronis but I've never heard of a BDR that does).  Heroware uses Hyper-V and DoubleTake and when you look at the costs for DoubleTake, their product is actually VERY reasonably priced.
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by:shahzoor
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You need Acronis Backup and Restore for Servers
It comes with an excellent feature called universal restore
and with that you can restore image of one server to any available machine within few minutes
so you dont actually need a server in you dont have one readily available
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by:okamon
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thanks shahzoor. so are you saying if I use Acronis Backup and Restore, I don't really need a BDR?
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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 400 total points
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You asked:
I can get it back and running in minutes.

Acronis, as I am familiar with it, is an imaging backup tool.  You WILL NOT get back and running in minutes.  Hours, yes, NOT minutes.  a BDR should get you running again in 5-30 minutes.  A backup/restore solution, depending on how much data you have, will likely take 2-6 hours or more.
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by:okamon
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thanks leew. I got the point. so it all depends on the time I need to get the server up and running....  

Have you ever tried the StorageCraft or dattobackup? and do you highly recommend HeroWare?
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by:Lee W, MVP
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I've got Heroware in one client and it works as advertised.  They happily give demos but only sell through partners.  I have seen some presentation of other products - Zenith used to offer a BDR but they changed their offering and now I'm not at all familiar with it.  Axient is another provider (if I'm remembering the name correctly... one consultant I'm acquainted with tried them but now has to ditch them because their solution was a file based solution that failed to backup things that the user account it ran as didn't have permission to.  I've seen some storage craft demo products, but never used it myself.  I've heard of datto but never used them.
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