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!Help with Windows 2003 Geo Clusters!

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  • !Help with Windows 2003 Geo Clusters!

    Hi All,
    I need to implement a Geo Cluster Solution for client of mine. Here is the senario:
    1. The client currently has an IBM Storage system (DS4800) in his producation site.
    2. The main system consists of SQL, AD, Exchange and sharepoint servers.
    3. We need to form up a DRP site with another DS storage system that will replicate all the Producation site's data.
    4. I have found some documentation on the web on implementation but I need someone with practical experiance to give me the bits and bytes.
    5. I have tried consulting with IBM experts here in Israel but no solution found (Actually I found a solution called CAW but turns out they have pulled its production).
    6. I need the solution to be storage based (SAN Replication) so software replication systems like Double Take would not help.

    It is pretty urgent,

    Thanks a lot in advance
    Last edited by ofer_tal; 2nd March 2007, 18:09.

  • #2
    Re: !Help with Windows 2003 Geo Clusters!

    Hello
    I like to give you a quick and dirty answer.

    1. The client currently has an IBM Storage system (DS4800) in his producation site.

    2. The main system consists of SQL, AD, Exchange and sharepoint servers.
    -> Seperate SQL and exchange server if they are located in a same machine, they will fight for resources like hell and they will kill each other. I have seen it many times. and don't cluster AD...you need two servers. you can load balance sharepoint servers (there are lots of ways to do it too- Cisco F5, windows NLB, and etc)

    3. We need to form up a DRP site with another DS storage system that will replicate all the Producation site's data. -> Yes it can be done.

    4. I have found some documentation on the web on implementation but I need someone with practical experiance to give me the bits and bytes. -> That is easy with exch 2007 and SQL 2005, I need to update my bloger so guys like you can see what needs to be done here......lazy me...

    5. I have tried consulting with IBM experts here in Israel but no solution found (Actually I found a solution called CAW but turns out they have pulled its production). -> ah

    6. I need the solution to be storage based (SAN Replication) so software replication systems like Double Take would not help. -> good and bad

    I assume you are using exchange 2003, and also assuming you have a limitted budget like all of us.

    To save some money on HW, this is what you "could" do.

    You need all exchange&sql server to use same subnet.
    You need a 3rd site that can be a witness site, it can be a dummy exchange server or you can set round robin network.
    For example if you have site A and site B and network between the site A and B goes down, site B will be active and your DB will get messed up. so you need some kind of mechnism that allows site A and B can still communicate. To do this you will need site C or roundrobin network that can carry heartbeat traffics for you.

    If you have really fat internet or MPLS line , you can forget about the dedicated heartbeat line and use a mixed mode.

    Making SANs to do duplication will cost money, you might need 100Mb fiber (at least) between SANs. (I know two vendor who can do it, www.netapp.com ask for metro cluster, you need to run at least 4 x 2 port fibers; www.compelent.com, you will need at least 1x2 port filber) -> if your fiber gets cut, that is another downtime.
    netapp does real time SAN clustering, complent does real time duplication.

    If you want to achive this with exch 2003 & SQL 2000, you might want SAN to do the replication, if you want to achive this with exch 2007 & SQL 2005, you don't need SAN to do the replication.

    Here is how to upgrade exch 2000/2003 to 2007
    http://antispam.msexchange.org/tutor...007-Part1.html

    Here is how to set up exch2007 cluster continues replication
    http://antispam.msexchange.org/tutor...ver-Part1.html

    With SQL 2005 Standard, you can do log shipping or active-passive 2 node cluster.
    If you do log shipping, you don't need san to do the data replication, if you want to do the clustering model, you will need SAN to do data replication.

    I will wait for you feed back on this so I can give you more detailed instructions.
    Last edited by hyeongkim; 20th March 2007, 19:01.
    MCP, MCSA+messaging, MCDBA, OCA.

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    • #3
      Re: !Help with Windows 2003 Geo Clusters!

      A little late, and a little advertising, but still, after NetApp was mentioned:
      My product does just that - replicates SAN over Ethernet, with an out-of-band appliance, and agents (host based or fiber switch based for Cisco's 9216 and 95XX family).
      it's a real time, continuous data protection, capable of doing Remote Replication (over an Ethernet connection) or local SAN replication, within the same site, snapshot technology, back to any point in time and such.

      The name is RecoverPoint, was Kashya before EMC acquired us. have a look if it fits your needs.

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      • #4
        Re: !Help with Windows 2003 Geo Clusters!

        Thankx guys for your educated answers,
        A few important notes;

        For hyeongkim:
        This is a pretty organized environment so offcourse SQL and Exchange (and AD for that matter) don't reside on the same machine. The main issue is clustering (Active/Passive) the Databases.

        For Both Ehud and hyeongkim:
        As I've mentioned in my post, I want the solution to be SAN Replication based where the DRP site has another IBM SAN storage. Not replication over ethernet. The two sites would be connected using fast Fiber Optics (1Gbps or more) for both ethernet and SAN (less the 500m distance).
        I am femiliar with solutions like Kashya's and am using it with certain clients. Solutions like Double Take and XOSoft.

        To sum up,
        I need to form up what's refered to as a metro or campus cluster. By the way I need the production site to run on physical servers and the DRP site to run on VM's.

        Thanks a lot guys,

        Ofer

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        • #5
          Re: !Help with Windows 2003 Geo Clusters!

          Kashya's solution can also work over local fiber, if the appliances have a link with both production and DRP site, in what we refer to as CDP (continuous data protection) mode.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: !Help with Windows 2003 Geo Clusters!

            I am sorry about the late reply, I was so busy these days.

            For hyeongkim:
            This is a pretty organized environment so offcourse SQL and Exchange (and AD for that matter) don't reside on the same machine. The main issue is clustering (Active/Passive) the Databases.
            -> Please specify if you are refering to SQL database or exchange database.
            For exchange server there is no standby server, there are passive servers.
            For SQL there are two types of server, passive or standby.


            For Both Ehud and hyeongkim:
            As I've mentioned in my post, I want the solution to be SAN Replication based where the DRP site has another IBM SAN storage. Not replication over ethernet. The two sites would be connected using fast Fiber Optics (1Gbps or more) for both ethernet and SAN (less the 500m distance).
            I am femiliar with solutions like Kashya's and am using it with certain clients. Solutions like Double Take and XOSoft.
            -> If you want to use IBM san, you might want to ask IBM about such function, or have to buy a third party solution. IF you are looking for an native soultion NetApp or http://www.compellent.com is only thing I know.
            When you buy a tihrd party software make sure you throughly test it before deploy them, usally I spend 30 days to test any san.


            To sum up,
            I need to form up what's refered to as a metro or campus cluster. By the way I need the production site to run on physical servers and the DRP site to run on VM's.
            -> If you want to cluster your servers, physical server failing over to VM server is not recommanded, I doubt it might work. According to M$, hardwares must be the same when it fail over, even BIOS and RAID firmwares. If I were you, I would not do such thing.
            Geo cluster <-> campus cluster, metro cluster is a new term from netapp.
            Difference between geo cluster and campus cluster is the distance, I think your env. is campus cluster.
            MY Geo cluster is between TX, USA and Chicago USA.
            In your case, if you want to place a cluster in city A and put another on in City B, that would be a geo cluster.
            Last edited by hyeongkim; 2nd April 2007, 01:22. Reason: synatax error
            MCP, MCSA+messaging, MCDBA, OCA.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: !Help with Windows 2003 Geo Clusters!

              Thankx again guys,
              Ehud, I've read a bit on Kshya's solution so I've seen it works at the SAN level as well. Unfortunatly replicating data isn't my problem. Managing server failover beween sites is the real problem.

              hyeongkim, I've actually found a solution for my environment. It's Veritas cluster based. They have a special agent for the IBM DS Storage. I'm looking in to it. Hopefully it wouldn't be freakishly expensive.
              And yes this is a Campus Cluster (There are many names to these solutions, each vendor comes up with something of his own)
              Regarding M$ support of P2V clusters: M$ don't support VMWare at all in any case. P2V Clusters, especialy if they're Veritas based are something that is implemented and works. (Offcouse I'll have to thoroughly test it).

              Thanks again,

              Ofer

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              • #8
                Re: !Help with Windows 2003 Geo Clusters!

                Looks like you've already found it. As I read your first post, first thing that poped up in my mind was Veritas. It does all you want and has quite impressiver install-base in IDF.
                If you want, I can give you details of an integration company in Israel (my previous employeer) that had performed some successful installations of those babies. They will be able to point you in the right direction and help with estimating the licensing costs (either PM me or drop a line to [email protected])

                btw, there is another nice product for replicating storages - Israeli company called Topio that had been aquired not long ago by NetApp (http://www.netapp.com/products/enter...licatorx.html). The bad part is that now that they are NetApp, they are replicating FROM any storage ONLY TO NetApp. IF I recall correctly, this was not like this before the acquisition.
                Guy Teverovsky
                "Smith & Wesson - the original point and click interface"

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                • #9
                  Re: !Help with Windows 2003 Geo Clusters!

                  Thanx,
                  For now I'm looking at implementing the solution myself (myself, as in my company), using some scripting for the storage level failover.
                  If the Pilot doesn't work out I'll try and contact you.
                  I know the companies implementing Veritas solutions. Problem is, they're our competition on many projects and cooperation would be politically hard.

                  Thanks again,

                  Ofer

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