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Failover Backup Web Server

Posted on 2013-11-07
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Last Modified: 2013-11-11
Hi All

We have a Web Server that hosts various websites, and we are currently building a Disaster Recovery site for Failover.

My Question is if we ever need to failover to the Disaster site which would have a different IP Address, is there some way that you can have two A records pointing to WWW that if one does not respond then it would try the other, Similar to using two MX Records

John
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Question by:pepps11976
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Expert Comment

by:Kimputer
ID: 39629939
A browser does not know anything about preferences of a DNS host record.
So situation with the DNS record as you described
A:
both servers are online, one server not synced with the other.
Client: sometimes get old website, sometimes gets new website
B:
only main server online, backup not online.
Client: sometimes gets a time out problem, sometimes gets the main site
C:
main server knocked out, backup online
Client: sometimes gets a time out problem, sometimes gets the backup server

If you keep the DNS record with only the main server:
A:
main server problem, backup server online. DNS record update to point to new IP.
Client will get timeout problems, unless the DNS is propagated properly in a timely fashion
B:
main server problem backup server online with the IP of the main server
Client will have the backup server the moment you plug in the cable (or changed the IP number), if needed, change IP or unplug the cable from main server, if not a network failure, but a software failure.

So as you can see, I prefer the last method. When main server goes down, change the IP numbers so the backup server will have the original main server's IP.
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Author Comment

by:pepps11976
ID: 39629994
I forgot to mention each server is at a different site, so although I would be able to give backup server internal ip the same, the external will be different

john
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LVL 36

Accepted Solution

by:
Kimputer earned 2000 total points
ID: 39630320
Whooops, then prepare your DNS entry for a really short TTL, like 300 (5 minutes). When the failure happens, you will have about a 5 minute outage AFTER you change your DNS.
So, notice failure, DNS edit IP, 5 minutes later requests will arrive at the backup server
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