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Backup Server confused?


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#1 softcrew

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Posted 23 April 2015 - 09:44 AM

Good day!

 

I am newbie to network administration. I am currently working in a company with max of 30 users and windows server 2003 is installed. All of the MS Access databases used by the clients are stored and shared in th server including their files like documents, pictures, etc.

 

My concerns are?

 

1.) The server has no backup. It means that when the windows server 2003 will fail, they cant access the databases and other files. I have cloud backup everyday but only those important files like databases.

 

2.) Is it the best move to create a backup server like windows server 2012? So incase of windows server 2003 failover, the 2012 will take charge?

 

I need your advise guys as I dont want to take some risk in the future.

 

Thank you!

 



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#2 DaemosDaen

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Posted 23 April 2015 - 01:18 PM

Having dealt with similar in the past, I would suggest migrating (rather than creating a backup server, I am assuming a 2003 AD environment) from server 2003 to server 2012 R2, It's fairly painless unless Exchange is involved. If your worried about the 2003 server, then it probably on older hardware, so newer hardware should alleviate that worry a little. Windows XP system sill still authenticate against it and only have issues with Group policy (this is normal windows XP anyway), Windows 7 has absolutely no issues.

 

This is all my experience. Others may have other ideas.



#3 softcrew

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Posted 23 April 2015 - 02:32 PM

thank you DaemosDaen for the suggestion. Just to clarify that regarding Domain Controller and Active Directory, etc.  I have created daily system state backups using Jobs Scheduler on the current server. Since I am planning to upgrade to windows Server 2012, can I still keep the windows server 2003 as backup server and make 2012 as my Main server? So in case of 2012 hardware fail-over, the 2003 server wil ltake over.

 

Thank you and hoping to hear to other network admin too..



#4 JohnnyJammer

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Posted 23 April 2015 - 06:27 PM

personalyl i would raise the domain level to 2008 on the server 2012, get another physical server (They are cheap IBM servers for 900 dollars) and purchase another server 2012 license. This will allow you to have complete redunduncy using DFSR to replicate files and utilise the DFS name space when issueing network drives. 2 X physical servers = $1,800 + MS Server LIC = $1,000 + 4 X 4TB Harddrives = $1,000. Total would be around $4,000.00.

 

This is a form of a disaster recovery, i woudl then purchase a tape drive HP tape drives LTO6 are around $2,500 and use back uptapes to create an off site data recovery.

Do a weekly backup of all data. its a little more expensive but you have to spend money to create a solid back/disaster recovery. total would be roughly $3,000.00 with 10 tapes.

 

On the other hand, if it where me. I would be buying a good physical Machine and going the VMWare way and create virtual servers (Maybe have the servers on a NAS), then you could replicate 2 NAS box's.

This would allow you the option to run the servers from a good workstation if you had to in the event of the Physical server going down, if the NAS went down then you could always configure the server to popint to the other NAS box IE(iSCSI targeting).



#5 DaemosDaen

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Posted 24 April 2015 - 07:44 AM

You can run both 2003 and 2012 on the domain at the same time, your domain lives in that state during the migration actually. I would still strongly suggest retiring the 2003 box though. Your backup/RD options depend on your budget and skillset really.

 

Our office actually uses something similar to the second option Johnny suggested (Multiple VM server attached to a NAS and the 2 NAS replicating As well (i.e. completely separate system) we use VEEAM to backup the servers to another NAS which replicated to another NAS in a separate location. but fortunately we had/have the budget for that.

 

Smaller locations that we support, simply back the server up using Symantec System Recovery pointed at a small NAS (buffalo linkstations) that are rotated out for DR reasons

 

Both options allow for a bare metal restore if needed.

 

As for cheep server. IBM's not the cheapest, but that discussion would spark an argument and sidetrack the thread.

 

(edit: should not type before coffee)


Edited by DaemosDaen, 24 April 2015 - 07:54 AM.


#6 softcrew

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Posted 24 April 2015 - 11:33 AM

thank you DaemosDaen, JohnnyJammer. Currently My Server is HP with Intel Xeon Quadcore processor, 280GB SAS HDD. Whats the recommended solid hardware if I will upgrade to 2008 or 2012?



#7 DaemosDaen

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Posted 24 April 2015 - 03:19 PM

I've speced 2012 from a little as 1 core, 4 GB ram  70GB (for a domain controller/DNS/DHCP server) to quad core, 12GB RAM, 3TB of space for a high usage file/print server. what ever setup you get for hardware (both are virtual servers), I do suggest hot swappable drives, what ever your suggestion is, and in Raid 5 (at least) with a hot spare.

 

I repeat these are all my opinions. I'm sure there are others.



#8 softcrew

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Posted 26 April 2015 - 11:39 PM

thank you DaemosDaenJohnnyJammer. I've decided to upgrade to windows server 2012. But I still be using my legacy windows server 2003 in case of hardware fail-over.



#9 Wand3r3r

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 02:37 PM

Sorry but none of this addresses your issue which is recovery from a server failure.  New hardware and 2012 is great for AD but with 30 users that loss is minimal if you didn't do the new hardware/2012.  You can easily rebuild the domain from scratch.  What you can't rebuild is the databases and where they live as well as the user files.

 

Assuming MS SQL Server you should have this on both servers and replicating the databases as well as users files between them.

 

Cloud backup is great until you have no internet access at which point you are screwed. Give serious consideration to a local backup solution.



#10 zcomputerwiz

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Posted 12 May 2015 - 07:33 PM

I've used Windows Server Backup (Windows Server 2008+) to an internal drive in tandem with an online backup solution; it's free and generally works well.

If you are going to use the old Windows Backup on Server 2003 make sure you create another separate backup job on another day of the week as well, because if the server were to fail during the backup it usually has already deleted the old (good) backup and began writing to a new (incomplete) backup file.

 

Personally I would run something like Symantec Backup Exec 2014 with an internal sata/sas drive, external usb/esata drive or NAS (alternatively, something like an RD1000 disk cartridge system is great if you want the option for off site storage). This provides the option to restore to a Virtual Machine (if you purchase that option with your Backup Exec license). If your Server 2003 or Server 2012 box fails (assuming you purchase and install Backup Exec on both systems), you can then quickly restore it as a VM on any physical replacement server with Hyper-V or VMware installed.

 

Do note that Backup Exec requires some additional licensing for the agent to back up SQL and other databases as well.


Edited by zcomputerwiz, 12 May 2015 - 07:35 PM.

Have you tried turning it off and on again?





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