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Copying files over to HA server

Posted on 2012-08-25
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Last Modified: 2012-09-04
Hello

I have an application server, which I will call App1. It's a standard client-server application.

The application server generates some files (the vendor refers to them as Child Files for some reason). They are generated every now and then per user (we have about 500 users/ server), and are sort of like temp files. Eventually, they get deleted by the application and are used like a buffer.

Anyway, the application is working fine and we have no real problems.

But we want to implement a High Availability/ DR partner for this server in another Data Center (DC) like we do for all our other major apps. The problem is these Child Files need that need to be replicated across.

For test DR events, we manually copy the files across to the DR partner before initiating DR, and this works fine, but it's very very slow (copying the files across takes some hours).

The application servers are all running Windows 2008 Server (virtualised).

Can anyone recommend a good, real-time, application or feature thart we can use to keep these files continually replicating across?
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Question by:neil4933
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Expert Comment

by:SebastianAbbinanti
ID: 38333077
I don't know how the files are accessed or stored, but Windows Server DFS does block-level replication of files as the are changed.

That might be an option for you.

Otherwise, you can keep these files on a sperate VMDK, and, depending on your Array, can replicated directly off the array (also block level).

Thanks,
S.
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Author Comment

by:neil4933
ID: 38333100
Thank you, I will look into DFS.##

I'm not sure what you mean by keeping the files on a seperate VMDK though? Speaking of which, isn't there a VM technology whereby the actual VM server (or perhaps the VMDK file) is real-time replicated across to another VMware host?
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Expert Comment

by:Exchange_Geek
ID: 38333102
Are you talking about process that leads to VMotion?

Regards,
Exchange_Geek
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Expert Comment

by:SebastianAbbinanti
ID: 38333113
You can do a storage VMotion, but that is not a replication technology and would not work in a DR setting. You are basically replicating data itself which is outside of the scope of VMWare. Therefore, keeping the file you need on a separate VMDK, on a seperate datastore, which corrolates to a seperate vDisk on your array, you maybe able to use replication technlogy at the array level. The issue is that most replication utilities, inside of windows will relay on file level replication. Everytime the file changes, the entire file is copied over. It sounds like you're looking for something at the block level.

Thanks,
S.
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LVL 124
ID: 38333131
Have a look at the Double Take product.

http://www.visionsolutions.com/

VMware Fault Tolerance - Deliver 24 X 7 Availability
http://www.vmware.com/products/fault-tolerance/overview.html

VMware Fault Tolerance Product Brief
http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/VMware-Fault-Tolerance-FT-DS-EN.pdf

Veeam Backup and Replication v6.1
(but this is not real time).

VMware Replication (launched in VMware vSphere 5.1)
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:mo_patel
ID: 38333966
look at double-take replication, if all you want to do is replicate date from one to the other this will do the trick.
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Accepted Solution

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Lionel MM earned 1000 total points
ID: 38334349
I may be mis-understanding the question but if you want to keep files synched in two different locations then I suggest robocopy and use the /MIR option--which will keep the files the same (add if added, delete if deleted, copy if changed) and then also the monitor option to keep checking on the source location at specified times or if changes are detected. Personally I don't use the monitor options I just set up a batch file in scheduled tasks to run one every hour but here they are for you to look at

 /MON:n :: MONitor source; run again when more than n changes seen.
 /MOT:m :: MOnitor source; run again in m minutes Time, if changed.
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Author Comment

by:neil4933
ID: 38336033
Thanks everyone...

What are people's opinion on Robocopy? Doubletake would be ideal, but much more costly, whereas if we could achieve this via Robocopy that would be perfect.

As regards DFS, I thought that was more for file servers?
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LVL 124

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 1000 total points
ID: 38336089
Robocopy with the mirror or sync options would also be fine, if you scheduled every 1 mins.

Simple and Free!
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LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:Lionel MM
ID: 38336108
Robocopy works well. I use it at all my clients locations and duplicate entire hard disk drives to backup drives (external drives, network drives, SAN drives, etc.) It is easy to use and powerful. Here is an example syntax I use to copy drive D to external drive Y, with a log file.
robocopy D:\ Y:\SQL-D /E /XJ /XO /NP /W:1 /R:0 /ZB /LOG:C:\Backup\SQL-D2Y.Txt /TEE /SAVE:C:\Backup\Jobs\SQL-D2Y
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

by:Exchange_Geek
ID: 38337951
I'd second both hanccocka and lionelmm - Robocopy works very smooth - not only does it help copy data but only does help copy permissions on those folders.

If Robocopy doesn't help with copying permissions - work with xcopy.

Regards,
Exchange_Geek
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