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A DR failback plan

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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
I have a hypothetical question that will hopefully never need to be exercised.

I have set up a DR site away from our production datacenter, and use Dell appassure to replicate backups and have standby images of the critical machines there ready to turn on should they be needed.  Due to shortcomings in the Dell software, we must rely on log shipping to keep SQL standby server up to date, but we are able to deal with that.

The question is around the most efficient method of failback once the crisis is over.  To get the SQL data back I plan to just back up the current data and restore it back on to the production server.  The other servers might not be so straight forward. Since Appassure takes far too long to get replication going, and the export to standby can can days for the initial export to VM, I don't think the advertised method of failover the appassure backups and then export back into the production datacenter can be relied upon.

I am looking into alternatives.

Please look for problems in the following idea, and/or let me know what is working in the rest of the world.

There are 5 critical servers now running in the DR  They are only file servers.  At this point I am assuming the production datacenter is back alive, and the servers there are either restored from backup, or are repaired, and just have out of date information. Initially the link between the Production and DR datacenters is turned off.  I would propose changing the names of the servers that are running, say server1 becomes server1DR, Then turn on the link between the two, and use something as simple as terracopy or robocopy to copy only newer files back into production.  Production would have to be scheduled for downtime for as much as a weekend, but if the time period running from the DR is short, the changed data will not be that much, and probably be be ready to go back up within a day.

Possible issue:  Will Active directory have a fit when two machines that are clones of each other (except for the machine name) appear on the network?

Any other thoughts or better ideas?
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