Load balance two servers or not??

Hi we currently have one HP Proliant server in our office which is about two years old and we have thought that maybe that we can get either one or two new servers depending if we can still use the HP and load balance them as we can’t be without the system. This will then allow us to keep working if the HP or one of the servers fail.

Is this possible and/or what do you think would be a good solution?

We are currently running Windows 2008 Server on the HP and our remote office uses RDP to connect

Thanks
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QuarmAsked:
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Patrick BogersDatacenter platform engineer LindowsCommented:
Hi

Your story is not 100% clear of what you want.

Please explain what excactly you want to load balance?!
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QuarmAuthor Commented:
Hi,
Sorry - I thought that if we have two servers running that mirror each other and the network traffic gets divided between them then if one fails we can remove that from the system and fix it whilst still carrying on working on the one remaining server until the other is back online.

Thanks
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QuarmAuthor Commented:
We don't need the load balancing for performance only redundancy as we can't have the system down in working hours at all as it cost too much
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Steven HarrisPresidentCommented:
...that we can get either one or two new servers... ...as we can’t be without the system. This will then allow us to keep working if the HP or one of the servers fail.

You are actually describing a worst case/failover scenario.  If one server crashes, you do not want to be down any longer than necessary...

Take this example for instance:

A client of mine recently had a major server failure.  Using bare bones recovery, it took 5 days to get the server back online.  To avoid this in the future, we installed a new server and enabled replication between the two.  If you connect to the server, you are hitting 192.xxx.xx.10, but if that server crashes, I tell the firewall to point the replicated server, 192.xxx.xx.20 (switchover).

Is this what you have in mind?  How is your network setup?  How many applications do you run and what type?  Is this the only server?
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Patrick BogersDatacenter platform engineer LindowsCommented:
Windows server is not ment for clustering or load balancing so a 1 2 3 solution for this does not excists as such.

Load balancing is more for e.g. clustered machines and web servers.

I suppose (if you say mirror) you have a domain controller with exchange and all there is a (partly) solution.
If 1 DC goes down you are able to authenticate to the secondary DC.
If SQL (for example) goes down you should be able to logon to the next machine (if SQL is in a cluster or they share the same databases through DFS)
Suppose you have file shares on your DC, create an DFS and replicate the data with the secondary DC...

But then we meet exchange, now this is more the challenge, read about it here.

If all of the above sounds to complicated, try VMWare and make your machines virtual and look into virtual machine mirroring.
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Mohammed KhawajaManager - Infrastructure:  Information TechnologyCommented:
What you are asking fo can be possible and even more reliable if you use lockstep technology (Stratus, Bull, Nec and some other vendors) and it is very, very expensive .  What you need is virtualization where if the host server crashes, you could boot the VM on a different host.  If your application is RDP or  Citrix then you could have multiple application servers where users are connected across all servers.

What apps are you running on this server?
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
Load balancing <> High Availability.
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Pramod UbheCommented:
I can suggest you that you configure active passive load balancing -
1. Replicate the new server exactly the same way as old one and configure replication or backup/restore process  so that new server will always be same as old one.
2. Whenever you need to fail-over from old to new, you just need to take old server offline and point dns entry of old server to new server.
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Windows Server 2008

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