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  • Windows high availability

    Hello all,

    I am having a tricky situation to deal with, so I will hope someone already had to do almost the same and might give me a clue.

    So, we run a critical service on Windows 2003 R2 server. This service is not designed to be used as high-availability software (no wonder why).

    As this system, must up and running with a 99.99% uptime, I believe the solution is to have a system which is working like one is the real and one is the hot stand-by ready to take over if the first goes down.

    So, I believe the idea would be to have one IP per server and one virtual IP address on the real server, so that only the real is authoritative for the service (no risk of brain split).

    Where it is more tricky is that the service run depending on a file (which serves of “database”) and thus we need the secondary to not run the service (otherwise if it takes over, the database would be the open with the status and the time we started the service).

    I have checked solution which are able to :

    - Replicate only some directories in real time
    - Exclude some files from the replication (configuration files, for e.g.)
    - Mount / Unmount IP address for the stand-by / faulty server
    - Start the service AFTER it takes the IP address
    - Refuse the old master to become master without an human to approve it

    So far, the only solution I have found is Doubletake.

    How would you manage this if you were me (taking consideration that they refuse making modification to the service system) ?

    Thank you !
    Last edited by Gregory; 30th July 2008, 10:08.

  • #2
    Re: Windows high availability

    Looks like you need to pretty much clone the server.

    Maybe look at http://en.doubletake.com/. It isn't cheap however.

    *Edit*

    Doh you already mentioned double take.

    I don't know what can be done to the system without making changes. If this server is so mission critical then this should have been looked at from the start surly?
    Please remember to leave positive reputation points (The Ying Yang Icon) if someone helps you.

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    • #3
      Re: Windows high availability

      doubletake/wansyncHA/neverfail

      I'd contact all three of them

      another solution might be to simply get a very good server - redundant PSUs, good raid controller with raid6, a machine designed with uptime in mind
      ________
      Starcraft ii replays
      Last edited by DYasny; 6th March 2011, 19:18.
      Real stupidity always beats Artificial Intelligence (c) Terry Pratchett

      BA (BM), RHCE, MCSE, DCSE, Linux+, Network+

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      • #4
        Re: Windows high availability

        We use Doubletake and it does exactly what you need. We use it for our production Exchange and SQL servers. Their tech support is exceptional. I highly recommend it.

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        • #5
          Re: Windows high availability

          Thank you both for your replies.

          I have already looked into wansyncHA and it seems less robust than Doubletake.

          neverfail seems to be a good product too, but it looks to me more for precise missions and less generic.

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          • #6
            Re: Windows high availability

            Is there something in particular wrong with Windows Server 2003 Clustering for this requirement? As long as the data is hosted on your SAN a cluster seems to be the absolutely perfect solution for this - I don't know what DoubleTake and so on are (never heard of them) but Replication seems to be a poor cousin to Clustering.


            Tom
            For my own and your protection, I do not provide support by private message under any circumstances. All such messages will be deleted and ignored.

            Anything you say will be misquoted and used against you

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            • #7
              Re: Windows high availability

              They both have their uses. Double-Take etc all replicate the data as it stands to another location. Clustering can, for example, give resilience when a server fails another takes its place. If the SAN fails though you have a problem.

              CCR for Ex 2007 is both for example. If a server fails the other takes its place, if the san fails the copy of the data on the other server takes its place albeit they actually work on the basis if server1 or san1 fails then server2/san2 takes its place.
              cheers
              Andy

              Please read this before you post:


              Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

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              • #8
                Re: Windows high availability

                Originally posted by Stonelaughter View Post
                Is there something in particular wrong with Windows Server 2003 Clustering for this requirement? As long as the data is hosted on your SAN a cluster seems to be the absolutely perfect solution for this - I don't know what DoubleTake and so on are (never heard of them) but Replication seems to be a poor cousin to Clustering.
                1. windows clustering requires an external shared storage. those are rather expensive usually.
                2. the HA software actually allows you to replicate a server without sharing the storage, which makes the system more robust - less single points of failure.
                3. it is possible to set the HA software so, the replicated server is replicated over a WAN link, in case of natural disasters (like a BSA commission )

                I am actually administering several paired servers, where the main server is located in Moscow, and the backup server is located in Israel.
                ________
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                Last edited by DYasny; 6th March 2011, 19:18.
                Real stupidity always beats Artificial Intelligence (c) Terry Pratchett

                BA (BM), RHCE, MCSE, DCSE, Linux+, Network+

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                • #9
                  Re: Windows high availability

                  It is pretty cool on this forum, the questions creates real debates.

                  Thanks all for replies. I will feedback in few weeks when the decision will be taken and all what I have tried as well.

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