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Re: Best Design for Backup Server Without Clustering

 
 
RCan
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      04-16-2010
Hi W,

see inline ...

"W" <> wrote
> What is the best way to provide for a backup server without enabling
> clustering? We don't need real-time recovery from a computer failure.
> Moreover, there is some benefit from leaving the backup computer turned
> off
> since that might improve recovery time from some kinds of events (e.g.,
> earthquake). In general the requirement is that if a computer fails, we
> should be able to turn on the replacement computer and get it working with
> the original computer's configuration within 30 minutes.


This is called a desaster recovery scenario and can be implemented on
several different ways.... :-)
The important thing is, how you will handle the data consitency from your
application which runs on top of the OS. For OS, MS had published several
documentations (see down below) how to backup and restore a Windows 2008
systems. As you have the requirement that you need to get the server up and
running within 30 minutes after it's failed, a "normal" tape backup and
restore will not work here. You also need to think here about the amount of
data which need to be back'ed up and then restored - copy / restore times
can be a show stopper with 30 min time window :-) SAN clone/copy/snapshots
procedures could also be used here. If you can handle the application
consistency a cold-stand-by hardware could help also you out and use a RAID1
system within the origin system. But the both systems need to be equal for
this scenario. -> http://support.microsoft.com/kb/249694/en-us

> 1) Create a logical volume A on a fiber channel array and install Windows
> to
> that volume.


This is called - Boot-from-SAN - which is fully supported by Microsoft and
works flawless :-) ISCSI as well FC is possible here .
Support Policy -> http://support.microsoft.com/kb/305547/en-us

> 2) Create one or more backup boot logical volumes B, C, on another fiber
> channel array.


......could not get you here - I think this is more a SAN question and
depends to your storage vendor. From OS perspective it is a volume and a
volume can be backup'ed or restored on usual ways :-)

> 3) Periodically use Windows Dynamic mirrors to mirror the from A to B, C,
> and D (alternating the backup targets to provide multiple recovery
> images).


again here...a SAN question. What exactly do you want to achieve here ? Site
failover ?
This is also supported and can be achieved with several 3rd parties like EMC
Mirrorview, HP Continous Access....

> 4) When we have a situation requiring a recovery, we attach the array
> containing B, C, and D to an identically configured backup server and
> point
> to B, C, or D as the primary boot volume.


correct - if this is a fileserver this will "could" but you should test and
evaluate this first !
If you have a such great SAN available and also 2 identical - which is no
more an requirement for windows clustering - servers why you don't want to
use failover clustering ? FC is really solid and supports several windows
roles, virtual machines ....of course I can only speak from my experience
till now ;-)

> Along these same lines, can anyone recommend an external 1U RAID box that
> takes 2.5" SAS drives and would connect logical volumes to the host
> computer
> by either fibre channel or SAS that doesn't cost a lot? Rather than
> implementing one large fibre array I would prefer to have multiple
> stand-alone systems that are easy to reconnect to different computers as
> needed for recovery.


Again, if this will work for your data/application, simply use an internal
RAID1 and re-use one of the disk for restore purposes. You only need to be
carefull as the MAC adress will change of the new system if you are working
with DHCP reservations. But again, this should be tested 1st before you go
to production with this scenario as a backup !
How to move a Windows installation to different hardware
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/249694/en-us

These all is intended for desaster recovery! and should not be the primary
backup solution - you also should do an regular backup of your
OS+application data !
Backup and Recovery Overview for Windows Server 2008
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/l...93(WS.10).aspx

Hope that helps

Regards
Ramazan



 
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