View Full Version : Synchronized Servers?

01-20-2011, 10:19 PM
Hello Everyone!

I need a bit of advice on how to set something up for a client of mine.

A financial company I work for has about 10 employees on-site and each has their own workstation. There is one local server.

The employees save data like documents and such on their workstation (locally) and sometimes save various data on the server for sharing. They use specialized application that run off the server and have a database on the server.

What they want to do is buy a dedicated server from a hosting company and set up an exact replica of the local server they have. They want to sync data between the servers but I would gather that they would only be using one or the other and not both at the same time.

Basically, if something happens to the local server, they want to be able to resume work normally from the secondary server without any problems. All information, programs, data, ect. should already be set up and working. It is essentially a backup but always ready to go. No down time.

Anyone know how I would go about doing something like this?

01-27-2011, 06:30 PM

I think what you are looking for is mirroring the two servers. If you are using windows servers (2003-2008) there is a built in service called DFS replication that would do the trick. At the place I used to work we tired using it but was unhappy with the fail over, so we went with a third party solution using Double-take. It is quite expensive though.

Linux is much easier if you are using it. I would use rsync and Hart beat, I think, but this is all off the top of my head so there might be better ways now.


01-27-2011, 06:39 PM
Have a read up on server clustering.

01-28-2011, 10:48 PM
Failover Clustering


01-30-2011, 06:20 PM
Look into hot sites.
Here is the link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backup_site - to read up on it.

This can get expensive, so it depends on their budget for this project.
For something cheaper, maybe mirror the hard drives, RAIDs; pray the whole server doesn't crash.
I am not sure if DFS would do the job.

Clustering would work. You need the Enterprise Edition of the Windows Server OS and a second server.

06-20-2011, 09:03 AM
You need the advanced or enterprise level server software and it is pricy plus of course you need two servers and you need two advanced server licenses as well. Then normal setup like buying any new server.

Likewise you would pay double for the terminal servers as well.

I always give the client a high ball price on stuff like this before I got sharpen the pencil, just to see if they are really serious or just stupid.

I hate to have the time in research to come up with a bit to have them say "what the heck? I didn't know it'd be that much."

Tell them about $10k all in and if they blink then they are not serious.

06-20-2011, 09:55 AM
There is also the option of ShadowProtect and it's headstart restore feature.
Basically you have another fairly grunty machine on the network running win7 pro 64bit.
Shadowprotect on the server backing up every 15 mins to this 2nd machine and Imagemanger with headstart restore running on the 2nd machine.
Basically if the main server fails you failover to a virtual machine of the main server (from the last backup file) on the 2nd machine. You can generally have it up and running in about 10-20 minutes.
May be a cheaper option for you to look at.