Creating a redundant application server

We have an application server that is mission critical. Is it possible to create a backup of the server, where everything is identical including the IP Address, that works on something like a heartbeat and only comes online if the other server goes down?
PDISAsked:
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Andy MInternal Systems ManagerCommented:
Hi PDIS,

I'm not sure how it works on ESXi to be honest, I've only set it up on Hyper-V so far but I would have though it be possible on VMWare though I think it requires something like Veeam to do so (https://helpcenter.veeam.com/evaluation/backup/vsphere/en/failover.html).
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John TsioumprisSoftware & Systems EngineerCommented:
I guess if you give a little more info about your application server you will get better advice..
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PDISAuthor Commented:
The server collects all the posting from all of the time clocks used.  It processes peoples time.  The software that does the time collection is part of our ERP system.  Currently, the software is running on a Windows 10 machine but could be run on any Microsoft OS.
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John TsioumprisSoftware & Systems EngineerCommented:
In my experience time clocks with Lan capabilities ( i reckon you use a similar one) have an onboard memory that holds data for a specific time period...the one we had could store if my memory serves me right around 2 weeks of time data
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PDISAuthor Commented:
The problem is if the server goes down the time clocks do not allow anyone to capture any more time.  We can buy another license of the server and hook up half the time clocks to that but it will cost us 20k for the license.  I'm just trying to figure out if there's another way to do it before spending the money.
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Andy MInternal Systems ManagerCommented:
You could use Hyper-V or VMWare to host a virtual machine of the server running the application. Then you have options of:

1. Take regular snapshot which can be restored if the VM encounters a problem. (Manual process)

2. (More expensive) add another VM host and setup replication between the two. If the primary VM goes down the secondary VM should start up automatically if configured correctly.
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John TsioumprisSoftware & Systems EngineerCommented:
Well...just a thought...maybe..just maybe you could replace your time clocks with other that continue to operate even when there is no connection...if you just use time clocks to capture employees in/out then it doesn't matter if it's not real time...
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PDISAuthor Commented:
These are the only time clocks that work with our system.
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PDISAuthor Commented:
Andy, I'm not familiar with the VM method you are referring to.  We do have 3 VMWare ESXi hosts.  We have HA but I thought that only moved the VM between ESXi hosts, should one fail.  I didn't think I could setup identical clients on two of the hosts and have it fail over that way.  Is that still through HA or something different?
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