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Offsite windows server replication

Last response: in Business Computing
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September 27, 2012 9:46:21 PM

Hello,
i am trying to come up with a soluton, to replicate a server that i have in house right now incase of disaster, it hosts a custom program with a database and some files, incase the in house server blows up, i would like to have the back up server load up without too much interruption. I was thinking maybe virtualization and just back up server images ever few hours? or maybe some sort of a cloud solution. I need one physiciall server at the office still incase the internet goes down tho, or maybe a back up internet connection, at this point i need some ideas and suggestions. Something like DRBD maybe? i don't know.
September 28, 2012 1:25:15 AM

You should look into leveraging Clustering with virtualization. Pretty much every virtualization platform out there including Microsoft Hyper-V and VMWare ESXi can accommodate this feature and I think it's exactly what you are looking at achieving.
October 2, 2012 4:41:03 PM

What is your environment? How much data changes on a daily basis? Do you have the bandwidth for off-site replication? If not, are you in a location where that is feasible?

There are honestly a few different ways you could approach this. You can now migrate virtual machines to and from the cloud, do hourly incremental backups and spin up from the most recent backup on the cloud, have redundant hosts and datastores and use vMotion, etc.

A very low cost on-site solution that several people like:
Acronis/Shadow Protect/Backup Exec set to incremental backukps + Supported Linux Distro + Virtualbox


It really depends on the level of protection you are wanting. Do you want more backup or more redundancy?

With things like this, the devil is in the details, so to speak. What are you concerns and what are your goals for this device. In addition, the $$$/hr for downtime is important.
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October 2, 2012 5:03:41 PM

This sounds like a homework assignment. I remember reading a very similar question a couple of weeks ago - almost word for word.

Get VMWARE, and set up SRM. SRM will run scripts to automate failing virtual servers to a recovery site.
October 2, 2012 5:40:29 PM

ss202sl said:
This sounds like a homework assignment. I remember reading a very similar question a couple of weeks ago - almost word for word.

Get VMWARE, and set up SRM. SRM will run scripts to automate failing virtual servers to a recovery site.



The problem is that if they don't already have a virtual environment, then you have the time and resources to migrate (P2V isn't hard, but it is time intensive, there is a licensing cost - and comes with accompanied downtime). If they do, is it in their best interest to use that solution or the supported vMotion so that failover is seemless. Are they using a SAN for their data or are they saving data locally on the attached drives?

My point is, there isn't really ever a cut-and-dry or one size fits all solution. I think it would be nice if we had a sticky regarding a set of rules as to how to post this sort of thing.


You are right - it is sort of like a homework assignment, I get to help companies come up with them all the time (I work for an MSP)
October 2, 2012 5:54:05 PM

cscott_it said:
The problem is that if they don't already have a virtual environment, then you have the time and resources to migrate (P2V isn't hard, but it is time intensive, there is a licensing cost - and comes with accompanied downtime). If they do, is it in their best interest to use that solution or the supported vMotion so that failover is seemless. Are they using a SAN for their data or are they saving data locally on the attached drives?

My point is, there isn't really ever a cut-and-dry or one size fits all solution. I think it would be nice if we had a sticky regarding a set of rules as to how to post this sort of thing.


You are right - it is sort of like a homework assignment, I get to help companies come up with them all the time (I work for an MSP)

I agree totally. If it's just database replication, that may be pretty easy to set up, and may not be too bandwidth intensive, but without really knowing more specifics it is hard to come up with a real solution.

Maybe get some consultants (that do this) in to analyze what you are doing, and develop a solution including the migration to the solution and complete documentation.
October 3, 2012 1:48:13 AM

Well, we have a program for reservations (taxi/limo), we have a win 2003 server with a raid set up (one drive died recently so were trying to improve our disaster recovery asap), i was thinking maybe we can eliminate the responsibility of physically owning a server and move it to a cloud and let the host worry about hardware fail and we can just have 2 internet connections, right now we have a T1, we could get like comcast for a back up connection. The database is not very big in size, it takes less than a minute to back it up manually. OR we can keep one physical server at our office and have it replicate to a cloud and not have a back up internet connection?
October 3, 2012 2:00:45 AM

Why not use a hosting service to host your application(web site, and database), and use Comcast as your internet connection, and use cell phones with tethering as as a backup. If you utilize a couple of laptops at the office, it makes it easy to actually work remotely(as a back up) with an air card, or tethered, or you could just go sit inside a Starbucks and use their wireless.
October 3, 2012 4:51:58 PM

because our application is sophisticated and already made in c++ and theres a web module to connect with it.
October 3, 2012 5:11:59 PM

maybe im missing the point here but would setting up a NAS with cloud capabilities be out of the question Iomega has a solution with such a use in mind .. buy a couple extra drives for backups of your backups and make sure they are hot swappable as long as you have it set up as a raid 1 or 5 .. You didnt mention how much storage space you require but doing things like making sure drives are installed in achi mode as well as having the OS installed on a backup Drive image and server software on a secondary image will provide a instant backup move the network shared disks to the NAS cloud so that you can access them any where..
October 3, 2012 5:30:30 PM

Who's hosting these servers now? You're doing it (in-house). Does it really matter to the application(or web module) where the machines are physically? NO! As long as they can connect and pass data to each other.
October 3, 2012 10:22:21 PM

Yeah it does not matter where it will be hosted, off site would be more secure anyways.
!