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Backup solution without downtime

Discussion in 'Networks' started by moviemaker, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. moviemaker

    moviemaker New Member

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    Hi Guys,

    Newbie here.

    I've just started to work for a company who have a SBS server in place with a DAT tape backup solution in place. There are about 3 employees within the company.

    Can you guys help and advise which is the best way to have a good backup in place without losing a lot of down time.

    Could we build a second machine identocal to the main domain controller and use this to copy data from the PDC?

    The idea is if the main server fails, we would like to put something else in it's place asap.

    What would be the best option.
     
  2. BrizoH

    BrizoH Byte Poster

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  3. JohnBradbury

    JohnBradbury Kilobyte Poster

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    In a normal domain environment you could add a second domain controller which would take over the authentication of users if the first failed. You could also mirror the data across these servers [there are a number of ways to do this].

    However SBS Edition is limited and I believe one of those limits is that you can only run one copy of SBS in a domain. Add to that an inability to trust other domains.

    I suppose you could have a cold standby but this would be a very expensive way of going about it.
     
  4. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    With SBS and a company that only has 3 employees they have to expect downtime as it doesn’t justify have loads of servers for the amount of staff.

    The best option is to make sure the SBS is a high spec (RAID 5, 2 PSUs etc.) and if it does go bang then make sure you have a spare server at another site. 8)
     
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  5. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    John, SBS does have it's limitations, for example only one domain and no child domains. Although, that isnt such an issue these days with AD. You can use OUs to do more or less all the stuff additional domains used to do in NT.

    You *can* add additional DCs and member servers to an SBS domain, to assist with file and printer services and user authentication etc.

    http://technet2.microsoft.com/Windo...2075-4ca0-8af8-99fd04b78b2d1033.mspx?mfr=true
     
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  6. JohnBradbury

    JohnBradbury Kilobyte Poster

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    Bluerinse sorry I wasn't very clear in my answer. Yes you can add an additional DC to the domain but that DC cannot be an SBS server. Therefore he wouldn't be able to have all the services from the original server running on the second DC without the the additional licensing costs.

    The extent of the costs would depend on what services he's running on SBS at the moment.
     
  7. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Yup, no problem with an additional DC but what about Exchange server? :biggrin

    Then Sharepoint, files etc etc.
     
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  8. Bluerinse
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    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Yep guys totally agree. like most things, if you have enough money to throw at it you can provide proper disaster recovery. however, most companies are tight wads and prefer to rely on keeping thier fingers crossed.
     
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  9. Boycie
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    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    Classic! As my Grandfather always used to say "the cheapest way is sometimes the dearest way" :D
     
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  10. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    I might have to start saying that in meetings now. :biggrin
     
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  11. moviemaker

    moviemaker New Member

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    Thanks for your messages guys a lot of useful information there.

    So let me get this right, SBS has limitations, in that I could add another DC on the domain, but wouldn't be able to get full functionality from all the services.

    OK, I have another scenario for you.

    Small company, small budget etc.

    Although the headcount is low, the work they do can be critical.

    If the comaony were to purchase another SBS licence, could they build another machine, with exact replication of data on that machine and also schedule a full backup of data to that machine say once a week?

    Also if the main machine dies, could the second machine be brought on line to authenticate users, exchange server etc.

    Just scratching my head as to what the easiest solution would be.

    The company has another server sitting around doing nothing at the moment and also a buffalo drive.

    Comments please guys, as already you have been a great help.
     
  12. Mr Smooth

    Mr Smooth New Member

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    You are best off Virtualising the Current SBS install, using something like ESX Server. That way if it all goes bang you can bring the image back online on almost any pc or server while you rebuilt the original.

    VMWare have a number of tools for you to clone any networked pc/server to a virtual machine (free!)

    Once you are using the virtual SBS, you can backup the image when required (no downtime).

    Just the cost of ESX server (advised)

    There are other products out there that are free and open source, but thats up to you. I have experience with ESX and am happy with it.
     
  13. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    To actually restore a full image of a server can sometimes take hours so best to keep that in mind.

    If you have another server kicking about then you can do the following.
    *Promote it to a DC
    *Use DFS to replicate shares to the new server

    This will give you fault tolerance for files and also the domain itself. For email you are probably best to have a secondary MX record for the domain (I assume the email is setup that way) and point it to another exchange server on another site. The users can use POP3 or webmail to access it if needed until the exchange server is back on-line.

    This suggestion is based on the users just using files\emails, I assume they are not using sharepoint or any of the other features rolled into SBS.

    Just to add is a broadband connection just as important to the users? If so then you are looking at another bband connection as another gateway to get on the tinternet.
     
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  14. moviemaker

    moviemaker New Member

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    Running SBS and this is used as a domain controller and also running Exchange.

    The only backup of this is the data which was being stored to tape, but is now being backed up on a NAS box.

    I have another server built with it’s own domain, can I connect this to the main server to be used as a mirrored server?

    Thinking more along the lines of DR, that if the motherboard etc fails on the main server, then we can have the other server as a backup DC.

    Can this be done?
     
  15. nugget
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    nugget Junior toady

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    Another way would be to get Acronis True Image and do a nightly imaging of the seerver to the Buffalo NAS. If you also incorporate this with what the others have suggested with the second server as a DC and DFS I think you'd have a decent setup.
     
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  16. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    What software are you using? Also are you backing up system state and exchange?
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010

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