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Planning - Good method for Quick recovery of MS server 2008 with SQL database in event of total server failure?

Posted on 2015-01-28
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Last Modified: 2015-02-05
I have a local MS 2008 server running a SQL database.  It is running RAID 5 with SAS drives.  I have machinery that is dependent on this server to have high availability.  If this server has a total melt down (failed motherboard, lightening strike, flooding, etc) after 2 or 3 hours it will start costing me $1,000 + per hour in lost productivity.  I have another building that can house a 2nd server within 200 feet and can connect it together with Ethernet cable or fiber and house a 2nd server.  Our internet connection is slow DSL.  What are some solutions please? (mirrored servers or ???)  All information and detail is appreciated.
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Question by:lew_stoner
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by:Aneesh Retnakaran
Aneesh Retnakaran earned 125 total points
ID: 40575929
depending on the sql server edition, you can go for Mirroring or log shipping. Never tried Mirroring over a slow network.
If the servers are on the same network, mirroring could do it. Otherwise, setup logshipping.
I assume, all your users access the database thru lan.
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by:lew_stoner
ID: 40575977
SQL 2008 R2.  Users access database through LAN.  To mirror servers over 10/100/1000 network how is that setup?  Identical servers on the network then some kind of software that does mirroring or ???
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by:ScottPletcher
ID: 40576026
Make sure, too, that existing users automatically go to the new server or have an easy way to access the new server in the event the old one fails.  It would be extremely frustrating to have perfect cloning of data and not be able to actually use it!

How much data loss can you afford?  2 hrs?  1 hr?  15 min?  None?   In general, the less time, the more it will cost :-).
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by:lew_stoner
ID: 40576050
We can actually afford to lose 1 day of data and we do backup our database nightly.  But if we had to do a complete restore it would be very time consuming and right now we don't have a 2nd server.  So....if something happened today we would order a server, wait for it to arrive and do a bare metal restore - very time consuming.  The lose of data is not the big issue, the bigger issue is the manufacturing machines that receive jobs from the server.  After about 2 hours of down time it starts costing us a lot of $$$$ because we have to shut down manufacturing.  Hope that helps and if you have specific recommendations/solutions please let me know.  If I can provide more information please ask questions.
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by:ScottPletcher
ID: 40576144
I'd recommend log shipping.  You can use the built-in SQL log shipping, or you could start with a version of your own.
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by:lew_stoner
ID: 40576209
So....purchase another computer identical to the one in use or could this be done with a virtual server?  Then nightly do SQL log shipping?  Am I on the right path???  Would I need to purchase another server license and SQL license?
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by:ScottPletcher
ScottPletcher earned 125 total points
ID: 40576216
You should be able to use a virtual instance if you want.


>> Would I need to purchase another server license and SQL license? <<
I don't believe so, but licensing has gotten so complex I wouldn't say for sure.  Hopefully someone else has more expertise in licensing matters.
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by:Casey Weaver
Casey Weaver earned 125 total points
ID: 40577223
If you're continuing to use SQL 2008, you do not need a license. The server can mirror or log ship without another license indefinitely. In the event of a failover, you are not permitted to use the backup server for more than 30 days in production without a license. 30 days, however, is usually more than enough time to get the primary back online (whether through repair or replacement).
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Vitor Montalvão earned 125 total points
ID: 40577371
Casey is right about the licensing. For backups server you won't need an extra license if the server is shutted down. You are allowed to turn on the server for patching purposes only.
Another solution is to create a cluster with the 2nd server so you'll always need a single MSSQL license but two licenses of Windows Server. In the case of one of the servers fails a fail over will occur. For this solution you'll need a NAS solution also. It all depends on the money.
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Author Closing Comment

by:lew_stoner
ID: 40592217
Thanks for all your input, very helpful!  Lew
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