Backup Solutions to Remote Site

Schoolies

Senior member
Oct 9, 1999
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I'm looking for some ideas.

I have a Windows 2000 Small Business server in New Orleans, that is running SQL and Exchange as well as about 3 other applications. We have a remote office 75 miles away that uses Remote Desktop to patch into the server.

Basically, I want to replicate the NO server to Baton Rouge, daily so that if the NO office is under 20ft of water, the remote office will up-to-date as of the previous days backup with little or no configuration required to get it operational.

I do not know of a way to do this other than, use a product like Symantec System Recovery but even with that, most likely the remote office will not be running for a good day and would require a technician to be on site. The owners are adamant about this being automated daily and very little techie intervention required (during hurricane Katrina computer technicians were spread pretty thin since all of New Orleans was relocated).

I do not think it is really possible to have this sort of seamless replication occur but I'm hoping someone can prove me wrong?
 

netsysadmin

Senior member
Feb 17, 2002
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How much money do you have to spend?

We run software from Legato that will replicate our SQL servers in different geographical locations and failover either manually or automaticly. We also just got the WansyncHA that was posted above and are about to install it on our Exchange server. Keep in mind both of these products are around $10,000+ each plus you need to have enough bandwidth between the servers to support the replication. So unless you have that much to spend I doubt you will find a product that will do something like failover with no user intervention without spending a lot of money.

John
 

mxnerd

Diamond Member
Jul 6, 2007
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Replication on the LAN is already hard enough. Let alone remote replication. Deep pocket required.
 

skyking

Lifer
Nov 21, 2001
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I'm probably talking out my arse, but I believe you'll need some nightly downtime to effect your database backup. DB's don't back up well when online. I could script something in unix to do this but I don't know enough about Windows and SQL.
I did a little google and came up with Ahsay offsite backup server.
I found a few testimonials about it, and it looks like it was tailored for your application.
 

mxnerd

Diamond Member
Jul 6, 2007
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What Schoolies described probably is not only data replication, but server mirroring. That will be a challenge.

 

mxnerd

Diamond Member
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What does COOP stands for? Is it "Continuity of Operations Plan"?
 

Schoolies

Senior member
Oct 9, 1999
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I am doing a demo of Xosoft's product on Thursday. We will see how it goes. netsysadmin, I'd be interested to see how your experience with Xosoft is.

Yes it is basically server mirroring over the WAN... yep pricey... and they were worried about the $1000 for Symantec's System Recovery. :)

I found another site that offers server synchronization and replication:
Link
 

SoulAssassin

Diamond Member
Feb 1, 2001
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What kind of pipe do you have to the remote office? You need to look at your change rate and such as well. Bottom line though...this is what you want:

http://www.symantec.com/enterp...sp?pcid=2245&pvid=50_1
Veritas Replication Exec
Veritas Replication Exec 3.1 helps organizations ensure continuous, around-the-clock protection of Microsoft SQL and Exchange applications. With Replication Exec, data is copied from the application server to a secondary standby server in real time as files are created or changed. By ensuring the data is always protected and readily accessible, Replication Exec helps minimize downtime due to server loss.

Download Data Sheet (PDF)
Key Features

* Copies data in real time from the production application server to a standby server, ensuring that a secondary copy of the database is always available.
* Intuitive user interface allows administrators to quickly set up replication to occur continuously, as files are created or changed.
* If the primary server fails, administrators can quickly bring the standby server online or copy the database replica to a new application server.

Key Benefits

* Provides continuous, around-the-clock data protection for SQL and Exchange applications, minimizing downtime or data loss resulting from server loss or failure.
* Signficantly reduces the impact of server loss on business operations by ensuring that SQL and Exchange applications are back up and running with minimal downtime.
* Helps administrators do more with less by enhancing protection of SQL and Exchange applications while improving service levels without increasing workload.


edit: disclaimer....I work as a subcontractor for Symantec but from an objective POV this is still what you want.
 

Schoolies

Senior member
Oct 9, 1999
495
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76
very nice. thank you very much.

From your experience, how well does this work and do you have any tips or recommendations?
 

netsysadmin

Senior member
Feb 17, 2002
458
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SoulAssassin...The product sounds good, however the OP was asking for failover with little to no user interaction. The Veritas product would need an experienced Admin on the failover side to get that box up and running. The other products he has already talked about allow for auto or pushbutton failover that would require no user interaction at all.

John

Originally posted by: SoulAssassin
What kind of pipe do you have to the remote office? You need to look at your change rate and such as well. Bottom line though...this is what you want:

http://www.symantec.com/enterp...sp?pcid=2245&pvid=50_1
Veritas Replication Exec
Veritas Replication Exec 3.1 helps organizations ensure continuous, around-the-clock protection of Microsoft SQL and Exchange applications. With Replication Exec, data is copied from the application server to a secondary standby server in real time as files are created or changed. By ensuring the data is always protected and readily accessible, Replication Exec helps minimize downtime due to server loss.

Download Data Sheet (PDF)
Key Features

* Copies data in real time from the production application server to a standby server, ensuring that a secondary copy of the database is always available.
* Intuitive user interface allows administrators to quickly set up replication to occur continuously, as files are created or changed.
* If the primary server fails, administrators can quickly bring the standby server online or copy the database replica to a new application server.

Key Benefits

* Provides continuous, around-the-clock data protection for SQL and Exchange applications, minimizing downtime or data loss resulting from server loss or failure.
* Signficantly reduces the impact of server loss on business operations by ensuring that SQL and Exchange applications are back up and running with minimal downtime.
* Helps administrators do more with less by enhancing protection of SQL and Exchange applications while improving service levels without increasing workload.


edit: disclaimer....I work as a subcontractor for Symantec but from an objective POV this is still what you want.

 

Oakenfold

Diamond Member
Feb 8, 2001
5,740
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76
If you want replication here's another example:
EMC SRDF
I'm not sure if that would fit your needs, just thought I'd throw it out there even though this solution may be more targeted for mainframes.

More food for thought. John made an excellent point about Veritas, I'm not familiar with it as a replication utility but I have seen it in use for backup of DB's and servers by SysAdmin's.
Edit- my faux pas, I confused the name, it's actually Veritas Netback Exec that I've seen.

I'm not certain about EMC"s product user interaction so keep that in mind, I don't get to play with this stuff. :brokenheart:
Forgot to mention, I don't think the EMC stuff is cheap. Let us know how it turns out ;)
 

netsysadmin

Senior member
Feb 17, 2002
458
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Oakenfold...That is replication for a SAN. We run a product from EMC under the Legato name that does server to server live replication. It works, but we have had some issues with it. The other problem is they only sell it with installation. So the bulk of the cost will be from the contractor who comes to install it. We decided to try the XoSoft product on our Exchange box to see how it goes. If we like it we are considering dumping the Legato software when we migrate to SQL 2005. We should have the XoSoft WanSyncHA up and running soon.

John

Originally posted by: Oakenfold
If you want replication here's another example:
EMC SRDF
I'm not sure if that would fit your needs, just thought I'd throw it out there even though this solution may be more targeted for mainframes.

More food for thought. John made an excellent point about Veritas, I'm not familiar with it as a replication utility but I have seen it in use for backup of DB's and servers by SysAdmin's.
Edit- my faux pas, I confused the name, it's actually Veritas Netback Exec that I've seen.

I'm not certain about EMC"s product user interaction so keep that in mind, I don't get to play with this stuff. :brokenheart:
Forgot to mention, I don't think the EMC stuff is cheap. Let us know how it turns out ;)

 

SoulAssassin

Diamond Member
Feb 1, 2001
6,135
2
0
Originally posted by: netsysadmin
SoulAssassin...The product sounds good, however the OP was asking for failover with little to no user interaction. The Veritas product would need an experienced Admin on the failover side to get that box up and running. The other products he has already talked about allow for auto or pushbutton failover that would require no user interaction at all.

John

It could be as simple as just starting a group of services via a script and making a DNS change. Or it can be used it conjunction with VCS for automated failover. There's a bunch of ways to do it that don't require user interaction.
 

SoulAssassin

Diamond Member
Feb 1, 2001
6,135
2
0
Originally posted by: Oakenfold
If you want replication here's another example:
EMC SRDF
I'm not sure if that would fit your needs, just thought I'd throw it out there even though this solution may be more targeted for mainframes.

More food for thought. John made an excellent point about Veritas, I'm not familiar with it as a replication utility but I have seen it in use for backup of DB's and servers by SysAdmin's.
Edit- my faux pas, I confused the name, it's actually Veritas Netback Exec that I've seen.

I'm not certain about EMC"s product user interaction so keep that in mind, I don't get to play with this stuff. :brokenheart:
Forgot to mention, I don't think the EMC stuff is cheap. Let us know how it turns out ;)

I think you're blending the names of Netbackup (which is my bread and butter) and Backup Exec into one. :) As netsysadmin pointed out, SRDF is for SAN replication on a Sym.
 

Czar

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
28,510
0
0
I read some time ago about someone using VMWare server, the free product, and some other free product to replicate the virtual machines real time onto a remote site.

Havent looked into it yet but virtual rules so I'd recomend that :)
 

yuppiejr

Golden Member
Jul 31, 2002
1,318
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0
Originally posted by: Czar
I read some time ago about someone using VMWare server, the free product, and some other free product to replicate the virtual machines real time onto a remote site.

Havent looked into it yet but virtual rules so I'd recomend that :)

That could work for the basic server O/S, applications and config but would not be practical for databases or file storage arrays. You'd need to use something else like Riverbed, Tacit, etc. to keep a remote data source in sync with wherever this data is stored locally. If $1000 is a balking point there's no way you can afford realtime server replication in it's current form, some form of manual fail over/DR strategy is going to be involved.
 

Czar

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
28,510
0
0
Originally posted by: yuppiejr
Originally posted by: Czar
I read some time ago about someone using VMWare server, the free product, and some other free product to replicate the virtual machines real time onto a remote site.

Havent looked into it yet but virtual rules so I'd recomend that :)

That could work for the basic server O/S, applications and config but would not be practical for databases or file storage arrays. You'd need to use something else like Riverbed, Tacit, etc. to keep a remote data source in sync with wherever this data is stored locally. If $1000 is a balking point there's no way you can afford realtime server replication in it's current form, some form of manual fail over/DR strategy is going to be involved.

for databases you should use log shipping to the remote site
for file storage then distributed file storage is definetly the way to go

both built in features :)
 

mxnerd

Diamond Member
Jul 6, 2007
6,799
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Originally posted by: Czar

for databases you should use log shipping to the remote site
for file storage then distributed file storage is definetly the way to go

both built in features :)

What about AD & Exchange? Any built-in way to do remote replication?
 

SoulAssassin

Diamond Member
Feb 1, 2001
6,135
2
0
Originally posted by: mxnerd
Originally posted by: Czar

for databases you should use log shipping to the remote site
for file storage then distributed file storage is definetly the way to go

both built in features :)

What about AD & Exchange? Any built-in way to do remote replication?

With AD you might as well just setup another DC in a remote site, no reason to complicate things further than that. The product I linked to earlier with do exchange replication. If you're on a EMC SAN you can get into TEIM and things like that. Not really a good built-in way to do remote replication.
 

Czar

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
28,510
0
0
Originally posted by: SoulAssassin
Originally posted by: mxnerd
Originally posted by: Czar

for databases you should use log shipping to the remote site
for file storage then distributed file storage is definetly the way to go

both built in features :)

What about AD & Exchange? Any built-in way to do remote replication?

With AD you might as well just setup another DC in a remote site, no reason to complicate things further than that. The product I linked to earlier with do exchange replication. If you're on a EMC SAN you can get into TEIM and things like that. Not really a good built-in way to do remote replication.

yeah, AD is no problem, just create a second active directory server on the remote site (there always should be at least two anyways)

with exchange I'm not sure what to do, nothing built in as far as I know