Need "Hot Backup" Server Off-Site

I have a customer running a 2003 Standard Server with Exchange Server 2003. He has just made the request to a off-site server be a "hot backup" in case the main server crashes he can just bring the off-site one in and be back up and running.

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Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
on the one hand, you could implement a geographically dispersed cluster which would require enterprise versions of both windows and exchange

Geographically Dispersed Clusters in Exchange Server 2003

however, with exchange 2003 already end-of-life and no longer supported, is a complete waste of time to implement
should consider moving to exchange 2010 using DAG (2013 preferred though you can't go directly from 2003 to 2013)

Database Availability Group Design Examples

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LockDown32OwnerAuthor Commented:
It is at best a bad situation. It is only a 20-user network. The cost of going ES 2010 alone would be prohibitive just from the standpoint that you would need a dedicated 2010 ES. With only 20 users PST transfer of mail wouldn't be that big of a deal to 2013 ES but a dedicated 2013 ES is even worse then a dedicated 2010 ES.

   All-in-all I don't think it would be cost effective and you are right, 2003 Server and ES are at end-of-life but that is what he wants to stay with. Nothing simple and inexpensive to do what he wants?
Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
you have standard versions which won't work
enterprise versions of both are required for clustering

Deploying Exchange Server 2003 in a Cluster
Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
also, with only 20 users, not cost effective at all
the only on-premise option you really have is to have hardware available and a good backup so you can restore your 2003 server in DR mode

better off looking at migrating to office 365
Natty GregIn Theory (IT)Commented:
Best scenario in your situation, thats very cheap, clone the system, u keep a copy and he keeps a copy then send back up of your emails pst files , and contacts to a dropbox encrpted of course. In case of emergency restore is easy, bring one of your clones online and restore the lastes pst files and wholla.

other than that what Seth said.
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