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  • Server 2003 Question

    Hi everyone,

    I have a stragety for our local mecdical clinic to stay under budget and to give them maximum protection within that budget and was wondering if anyone could give me their opinion or see any pitfalls in this plan:

    I was thinking I would buy 2 identical machines, same MB, CPU,RAM, Hard Drives etc.. and install Server 2003 on server A and perform full backups, using a DAT drive or even a USB hard drive.

    Server B would be sitting empty as a complete spare in the event of a
    major failure and then I could restore to the spare server from a previous complete back up. This would mean I would at worst be out a a day or so.

    Will this work? or am I out to lunch so to speak?



    Thanks for any input

    Stacy

  • #2
    Re: Server 2003 Question

    You're plan would work in theory, but have you looked into using the built in clustering services that Server 2003 offers? Of course, I'm taking for granted that you're using Server 2003. What OS are you planning on? It can get a bit tricky to juggle the quorum store and also get whatever applciations are running to fail over seemlessly. It might not be possible in your situation but it's worth a look.

    What applications are you running? Email, database, file server, custom apps?
    Wesley David
    LinkedIn | Careers 2.0
    -------------------------------
    Microsoft Certifications: MCSE 2003 | MCSA:Messaging 2003 | MCITP:EA, SA, EST | MCTS: a'plenty | MCDST
    Vendor Neutral Certifications: CWNA
    Blog: www.TheNubbyAdmin.com || Twitter: @Nonapeptide || GTalk, Reader and Google+: [email protected] || Skype: Wesley.Nonapeptide
    Goofy kitten avatar photo from Troy Snow: flickr.com/photos/troysnow/

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Server 2003 Question

      Thank you for responding

      It runs a Custom Program called MOIS .. Medical software that tracks appointments and notes etc for every patient. The Doctors are very reliant on it, and well have been resistant to adopt a disaster plan of any kind. Recently a NIC died and it was off and on ..so they now need something.

      The second function of the server is that of a file server, scanned patient records and other data is growing rapidly.

      So really not to much sense of complicated software, what I am looking for is a simple solution to get them back online if say the motherboard craps out etc.

      I have looked at using server replication like everrun, but it seems awful complicated and you have to run 2 servers consantly. I figure doing it this way it is considerly less expensive and I will have spare parts that match on hand for anything minor that might happen.

      The second machine would not be live or even on so it should be fresh and ready out of the box if it is needed with no wear or tear on any components.

      Can you reccomend and top quality backup software that would make an "image" of the server to restore to the new one?

      I am currently using the Symantec Product Backup Exec 10D.

      Thanks so much

      Stacy

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Server 2003 Question

        Originally posted by Internetguys View Post
        The Doctors are very reliant on it, and well have been resistant to adopt a disaster plan of any kind.
        do.rant()
        {
        Doctors, of all people, should understand the need for some preventive medicine and disaster planning. While it's not important to this discussion, it would be amusing to hear your pleas and their counterarguments (if they even had any).
        }

        Originally posted by Internetguys View Post
        I have looked at using server replication like everrun, but it seems awful complicated and you have to run 2 servers consantly.
        You're observations are correct. Clustering does introduce significant complexity.

        Originally posted by Internetguys View Post
        The second machine would not be live or even on so it should be fresh and ready out of the box if it is needed with no wear or tear on any components.
        Let me caution you about this. There is a "bell curve" for the liklihood of a working component failing. So, you may very well want to run the second server for a month or so and maybe even put a load tester on the CPU and disk system. If a component is going to fail, the odds are that it will either fail right away or far into the future. You wouldn't want to set up the spare server after a failure of the first server only to have a disk or CPU fan die two weeks later.

        Originally posted by Internetguys View Post
        Can you reccomend and top quality backup software that would make an "image" of the server to restore to the new one?
        That would be classified under CDP or Continus Data Protection. Such a thing can be quite expensive (but worth it). Read this recent blog post and follow some of the leads. I don't have personal experience with one so I'll refrain from attemtping to point you to one.
        Last edited by Nonapeptide; 14th July 2008, 21:52.
        Wesley David
        LinkedIn | Careers 2.0
        -------------------------------
        Microsoft Certifications: MCSE 2003 | MCSA:Messaging 2003 | MCITP:EA, SA, EST | MCTS: a'plenty | MCDST
        Vendor Neutral Certifications: CWNA
        Blog: www.TheNubbyAdmin.com || Twitter: @Nonapeptide || GTalk, Reader and Google+: [email protected] || Skype: Wesley.Nonapeptide
        Goofy kitten avatar photo from Troy Snow: flickr.com/photos/troysnow/

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Server 2003 Question

          Originally posted by Nonapeptide View Post
          do.rant()
          {
          Doctors, of all people, should understand the need for some preventive medicine and disaster planning. While it's not important to this discussion, it would be amusing to hear your pleas and their counterarguments (if they even had any).
          }

          Well in my case I have a circle of 20 doctors all in charge that can not agree on much.. too many chiefs and only 1 indian. So it gets kinda wierd some times that they dont understand the need for preventative measures..


          You're observations are correct. Clustering does introduce significant complexity.


          Yes, and I am only 1 guy so I like things as simple as possible.



          Let me caution you about this. There is a "bell curve" for the liklihood of a working component failing. So, you may very well want to run the second server for a month or so and maybe even put a load tester on the CPU and disk system. If a component is going to fail, the odds are that it will either fail right away or far into the future. You wouldn't want to set up the spare server after a failure of the first server only to have a disk or CPU fan die two weeks later.

          I understand about sudden death of machines you bet, but within a few days I would have the primary machine back to a servicable state, least this would be plan. To always have one machine ready for replacement.




          That would be classified under CDP or Continus Data Protection. Such a thing can be quite expensive (but worth it). Read this recent blog post and follow some of the leads. I don't have personal experience with one so I'll refrain from attemtping to point you to one.
          Yes I have looked at the CDP model (Everrun, clustering etc) and well it looks like more work and well the costs scare my docs. So they have accepted and understand the possiblity that they may lose a day at worst case scenario..so that is what I thought the 2 identical servers would work for this stituation.

          Agian I apprecaite all your input.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Server 2003 Question

            20 doctors in one place (and who knows how many nurses and support staff) with just you to handle it all? Oy! Sounds like you need a prescription for some extra strength headache medicine. I'm assuming that you've already got headaches trying to stay compliant with various government regulations.

            Just make sure you get some good backup software (Retrospect, BackupExec, etc.) and have alot of redundant storage space to handle differentials, incrementals, snapshots, etc.. Especially if you're doing desktop PCs as well.

            Let us know how things turn out.
            Wesley David
            LinkedIn | Careers 2.0
            -------------------------------
            Microsoft Certifications: MCSE 2003 | MCSA:Messaging 2003 | MCITP:EA, SA, EST | MCTS: a'plenty | MCDST
            Vendor Neutral Certifications: CWNA
            Blog: www.TheNubbyAdmin.com || Twitter: @Nonapeptide || GTalk, Reader and Google+: [email protected] || Skype: Wesley.Nonapeptide
            Goofy kitten avatar photo from Troy Snow: flickr.com/photos/troysnow/

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Server 2003 Question

              Actually I have about 70 Workstations and the server there now. I do it all myself and am a contractor to boot.. I am not there full time.

              All in all it works very well

              This next project is a bit duanting as they are open 6 days a week.. I have requested 3 days to complete the change i hope that is enough time

              But i guess we will see hehe

              If i have a heart attack I guess it is as ood a place as any...

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Server 2003 Question

                Whilst this is all very interesting stuff, it is definitely NOT anything to do with SBS, so I will move it to the Server 2003 forum.

                BTW, if you want a second server on standby, how are you going to update it with the latest data AND keep the OS updated with the latest patches AND have it in the same domain AND keep all the workstations connected if one server fails AND have the stations update/connect to the corrrect printers AND.......
                etc, etc
                Have you had a look a Doubletake which is good for this, pricey but cheaper than another contractor that you would otherwise need
                Last edited by teiger; 15th July 2008, 03:21. Reason: typos
                TIA

                Steven Teiger [SBS-MVP(2003-2009)]
                http://www.wintra.co.il/
                sigpic
                Iím honoured to have been selected for the SMB 150 list for 2013. This is the third time in succession (no logo available for 2011) that I have been honoured with this award.

                We donít stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.

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                • #9
                  Re: Server 2003 Question

                  Yikes! I didn't even realize that this was in the SBS forum. That's what I get for relying totally on the Quick Links >> Today's Posts shortcut.

                  Wesley David
                  LinkedIn | Careers 2.0
                  -------------------------------
                  Microsoft Certifications: MCSE 2003 | MCSA:Messaging 2003 | MCITP:EA, SA, EST | MCTS: a'plenty | MCDST
                  Vendor Neutral Certifications: CWNA
                  Blog: www.TheNubbyAdmin.com || Twitter: @Nonapeptide || GTalk, Reader and Google+: [email protected] || Skype: Wesley.Nonapeptide
                  Goofy kitten avatar photo from Troy Snow: flickr.com/photos/troysnow/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Server 2003 Question

                    I would say that this is not a domain. Why not setup as a domain and use server 1 and 2 as first and second domain controllers and then if one crapped out the second would be there, to take over and would hold all the data from the last replication.............say 30 minutes or less. I would certainly have at least raid 1, on both, and keep a spare MB, NIC, PS, in the office. I used to work in dental offices, loose data there and you are gone..........

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