Is it possible to have two SBS in parallel on different domains?

Discussion in 'Windows Small Business Server' started by Brian, Mar 30, 2005.

  1. Brian

    Brian Guest

    My boss wants to have a backup to our present SBS. The machine in question
    has failed twice in the last month and a half and caused a great deal of lost
    time. He's basically looking for a means to ensure zero downtime (or near to
    it anyway).

    Is it therefore possible to have two SBSs operating in parallel with a trust
    relationship between them, allowing users to use some services on one or the
    other? I envisage one to be doing email/proxy serving and the other file
    serving. With the data mirrored between them. If one goes down, the other
    can, with a minimum of reconfiguration be made to take up the slack.

    I suspect it can't be done but need to be sure before I present an
    alternative to the boss.
     
    Brian, Mar 30, 2005
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. Brian

    Matt Gibson Guest

    Nope, SBS can't do trusts period.

    What kind of hardware are you running that's had failures? Or has it been a
    software problem?

    If you're running redundent power supplies, SCSI RAID 5 plus hot spare, and
    ECC RAM, your chances of having a hardware failure are pretty slim.

    Matt Gibson - GSEC
     
    Matt Gibson, Mar 30, 2005
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. I would suggest you look into Symantec Live State Recovery which takes an
    image of the server on a schedule you define and allows you to recover to the
    same hardware.

    If you are talking hardware failures then you need to rethink the box you
    are using. You should be using a "Server" class machine with redundant
    power, RAID 5 SCSI or SATA drives.
     
    KKI Technologies, Mar 30, 2005
    #3
  4. Brian

    Brian Guest

    Is this relevant?

    It must be nice working up there in the big end of town, where you can snap
    your fingers and change reality to suit what you want. Down here, at the
    coalface, us poor workers have to make do with what we've got.

    Now, I've convinced the boss to purchase a new server. However, because
    he's lost confidence in this POS server we do have, he wants to go belt and
    braces and have complete redundancy.

    Now, perhaps instead of making asinine observations and asking silly
    questions, why not answer the question I posed or is it something you don't
    know the answer to? If it isn't, why have you bothered to contribute to the
    thread?
     
    Brian, Mar 30, 2005
    #4
  5. Brian

    Brian Guest

    Is this relevant?

    It must be nice working up there in the big end of town, where you can snap
    your fingers and change reality to suit what you want. Down here, at the
    coalface, us poor workers have to make do with what we've got.

    Now, I've convinced the boss to purchase a new server. However, because
    he's lost confidence in this POS server we do have, he wants to go belt and
    braces and have complete redundancy.

    Now, perhaps instead of making asinine observations and asking silly
    questions, why not answer the question I posed or is it something you don't
    know the answer to? If it isn't, why have you bothered to contribute to the
    thread?
     
    Brian, Mar 30, 2005
    #5
  6. Hi Brian -

    Matt was completely on-the-ball. The best investment for insuring uptime in
    an SBS environment is to get the best hardware you can afford. And I can
    guarantee that getting one very beefy SBS is going to be extremely less
    expensive both to purchase and maintain than a multiple-server redundant
    scenario.

    --

    Chad A. Gross - SBS MVP
    SBS ROCKS!

    www.msmvps.com/cgross
    www.gosbs.org
     
    Chad A. Gross [SBS MVP], Mar 31, 2005
    #6
  7. Brian - The answer is NO. You can't do two SBS in a Trust. If you are
    running POS you should run it on a separate server using TS instead of local
    sessions.

    Use a separate inexpensive server as a BDC so you have account access if SBS
    is down. You will continue to operate but will not be able to completely
    manage AD untill SBS is back online. Use good hardwre for SBS.
     
    Jim Vierra (DSS/MCSE), Mar 31, 2005
    #7
  8. Brian

    David Elders Guest

    Hi Brian,

    With respect, that's unfair. Having a bad situation and possibly an unhappy
    boss breathing down your neck are one thing, being impolite to those
    attempting to help is however unnecessary and unwarranted.

    Matt did answer your specific question - you can't run 2 SBS in parallel
    because SBS doesn't do trusts. As Chad's post correctly points out and which
    backs up Matt's post, splashing out on a better platform for your SBS is
    going to be far more cost-effective *and* provide you with fault-tolerance.

    As an aside, you'll find more people prepared to help if you don't just
    flame them when they try to...

    Regards,


    David
     
    David Elders, Mar 31, 2005
    #8
  9. Brian

    Brian Guest

    I apologise, my reply was, shall we say, rather more terse than usual.

    However, I get rather annoyed that when I come looking for help, instead get
    fatous questions/suggestions.

    I am not working for a large company. It has taken me 6 months of hard
    talking, coupled with the failure of two root disks to convince my boss to
    splash out on a new server. Both he and I don't have confidence either in
    the hardware or software at this moment. Backup failed, SBS has proven a
    PITA to reinstall and configure and lost data and time has resulted.

    My experience thus far with Windows has not been the best, I admit. I am
    though, forced to continue with it on this site because of his preference for
    it. That however may well change, simply because we cannot afford both a new
    server and the software with the way Microsoft prices its products if one
    wants to move away from the severe limitations imposed upon SBS and implement
    reduncy to the level that the boss desires.

    In 20 years I've never had the trouble I've experienced in the last 5 weeks
    so can perhaps understand why I am a little "tense". I am unable to wave
    magic wands and change the server I have, instantly to the server I need.
    Nor will I be likely to be able to shop in the big end of town to purchase
    what I want, so I have to make do. Not everybody has bottomless pockets to
    spend on IT.
     
    Brian, Apr 1, 2005
    #9
  10. Brian

    Matt Gibson Guest

    I understand your frustration, I really do.

    If price is THAT big of an issue, then just modify my suggestions slightly.
    Implement RAID 5 in SATA, and skip the ECC RAM. Hard drives are the single
    most likely component to fail, and the most expensive in terms of downtime
    (in a non-RAID situation) to replace.

    What are you currently using for backup? Why did it fail? You didn't
    mention these things, and they may be moot for reasons I don't know about,
    but knowing why the backup didn't work is critical to making sure it doesn't
    happen again.

    SBS is a wonderful product, and yes, it has its quirks. The trick is to
    worth with them, rather than fighting against them the entire time.

    There was a thread on here a while back about SATA vs. SCSI in servers.
    Some people said that they'd only ever put SCSI in a server, and would walk
    away from a client that didn't want that. Others said that you have to
    match the clients needs to the product. However, both sides agreed that if
    the client repeatedly went against your best practices, then it was time to
    leave the client to their own devices. (This next bit assumes that you
    don't work for this company). That being said, if the client is unwilling
    to spend the kind of money necessary to ensure uptime, but at the same time
    demands 5 nines of uptime, then maybe it's time you just walked away from
    the client?

    Matt Gibson - GSEC
     
    Matt Gibson, Apr 1, 2005
    #10
  11. Brian,

    I think you just have to get your head around it from the other direction.
    The value of the infrastructure to the business, I mean. You're not seeing
    the value, so you're not wanting to invest what it takes. That's
    understandable, but wrong.

    You've come to the realization that controlling costs is important for a
    business - any business. You've identified that losing time and data has a
    cost, and is expensive, and it's an expense you'd like to avoid going
    forward.

    Hardware failure was the cause of the loss, not software. Not SBS. And, in
    our collective opinions, you're addressing it in the wrong way - by hoping
    that 2 x substandard hardware will equal one good hardware. But that can't
    work.

    Honestly, and I mean HONESTY, a properly installed and configured SBS - done
    by a skillede SBS tech - and on a good hadware platform - is something that
    I trust my business on, and my customers businesses on.

    I am first and foremost a small business owner. You and I, we can talk the
    same language, I guarantee it.

    A redundant server means nothing to me, other than a cost I don't want, or
    need. I don't think you need it either.
     
    Les Connor [SBS Community Member - SBS MVP], Apr 1, 2005
    #11
  12. Brian

    Brian Guest

    I've been fighting fires for the last few days and unable to reply, so my
    apologies.

    The problem was, first that we encountered a failure of the root partition
    on the raided set of disks my predecessor had set up. It simply was running
    slower and slower to the point where it would not reboot any more. I
    suspected a worm, because of the massive number of emails I found in the
    queues when I attempted to inspect the system but was unable to find any with
    our virus checking system (Trend).

    So, out of caution and because in my experience, using a root partition on a
    raid system looks attractive but causes more problems than its worth. I much
    prefer a seperate raided root disk, if possible. I installed a seperate IDE
    root disk as a temporary fix.

    Anyway, the backup system hadn't been working as well as it should, simple
    as that it was one of the things I was working on fixing, when the system
    failed. I'd just installed Veritas, to replace ntbackup, which hadn't been
    working properly. We were still working out the teething problems with the
    backup system when it collapsed, so we had no reliable backups to restore
    from.

    In the emergency of getting it working "now", I installed a seperate single,
    non-raided IDE root disk which was brand new. It failed after five weeks,
    just as I'd got everything reset up. Again, the backup system was still
    having teething problems worked out - what was really screwy was that on the
    morning the disk failed, I was doing a trial restore and it worked perfectly.
    However, after the root disk failed, I was again forced to do a complete
    reinstall and once I'd got it to the point where I could a restore, the
    backup files had become corrupt, so a restore wasn't possible.

    So, I have the boss breathing down my neck, tearing his hair out, after two
    major disasters within five weeks of each other and I can't bring back his
    beloved emails. To say I was pissed off is an understatement, to say the
    least.

    Before this had all happened, I'd been suspicious of the server's
    capabilities and in the meantime had set up a redundancy server just running
    W2.3K on a slightly suped up PC, as a file server and mirrored the disks
    across the network, just to be on the safe side. This saved my bacon and we
    were able to limp along. However now, because of having to upgrade it to a
    PDC while the SBS was down, I have to fix that as well, as you can't have a
    seperate PDC in an SBS domain (bloody stupid decision on Mr.Gates behalf if
    you ask me) and in the meantime they are fighting over the Active Directory
    but that is by-the-by.

    So, I am still frantically trying to keep the cobbled together servers
    running until we can get something new and hopefully better. Even so, he
    still wants to have some form of redundancy available, which I believe is
    understandable, considering our experience thus far.

    It is impossible to "walk away" as he employs me (I could quit but it
    wouldn't solve the problem, now would it?).
     
    Brian, Apr 7, 2005
    #12
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.