Acronis on Small Business Server 2003

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by finnitto, Aug 10, 2005.

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  1. finnitto

    finnitto Registered Member

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    We have two identical boxes and one is running Windows SBS 2003 server. We want to be able to failover to the second box in the event that the first SBS server fails. The failover does not have to be automatic.
    What options do I have with Acronis?
     
  2. napoleon

    napoleon Registered Member

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    You can image the server and restore it if the main server fails, but that's about it. This should work fine if the hardware is the same. If the data is static on the server, you can image the failover now and have it waiting. Otherwise, you can image it once the primary fails.
     
  3. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello finnitto,

    Thank you for your interest in Acronis Server Disk Backup Software.

    We recommend you to use Acronis True Image Server 8.0 for Windows or Acronis True Image Enterprise Server 8.0 to backup your servers.

    Please take a look at the version comparison page.

    You can also find more information on how to use these products in the respective User's Guides.

    Please note, that there are two approaches available:
    Disk Clone - moves the entire contents of one disk drive to another.
    Create Image - creates a special archive file for backup and disaster recovery purposes.
    Please read http://www.acronis.com/products/trueimage/faq.html#9c

    Disk Clone approach is usually used to upgrade the hard drive to a larger one, while Disk Image approach is basically dedicated for the complete data backup and disaster recovery purposes.

    Using Acronis True Image Server 8.0 for Windows or Acronis True Image Enterprise Server 8.0 you will be able to create an image of your server or to clone the hard drive of your server thus creating an identical copy of this machine (in case both servers have the same hardware of course).

    Please also note that in order to transfer your Windows system to a different hardware, you should first prepare Windows using Microsoft System Preparation Tool (Sysprep) http://www.acronis.com/products/trueimage/faq.html#17

    We recommend you to download and install the free trial versions to see how the software works on your computer.

    The trial version of Acronis True Image 8.0 is available at:
    http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/download/trueimage/

    The trial version of Acronis True Image 8.0 Enterprise Server is available at:
    http://www.acronis.com/enterprise/download/ATIESWin/

    In case you will be satisfied with the work of the trial version, please visit Acronis online store to purchase the product.

    Please also note that we have a flexible system of discounts and the amount of the discount varies depending on the number of copies you want to purchase.

    In case you are planning to purchase many copies, please contact our Sales Team at sales@acronis.com.

    If you have any further questions please feel free to ask.

    Thank you.
    --
    Alexey Popov
     
  4. TonioRoffo

    TonioRoffo Registered Member

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    Please, Please...

    *DON'T* tell users to use sysprep on Windows 2003 Domain Controllers - they will lose all their domain settings.

    Image the thing as is, then on the new machine boot the computer from the 2003 CD, use "repair", gets you in the console, and fix the boot.ini from there (bootcfg)

    Then reboot the machine using the 2003 CD, go past F8, select repair install when the machine asks you to.

    Reinstall service packs.

    It'll take some time but your machine will run flawlessly.
     
  5. TonioRoffo

    TonioRoffo Registered Member

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    Alternate method: (but do a full backup first)

    Run windows 2003 CD *FROM WITHIN* windows - choose to do an upgrade.

    Setup will install some stuff on the machine, and reboot a first time. Shut down before reboot.

    Mount disk in new machine (or clone it to the disk on the new machine) and continue setup...

    That was a secret tip actually. Please deposit $1000 in my account 22.xxx.xxx lol :)
    :ninja:
     
  6. Alan Culshaw

    Alan Culshaw Registered Member

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    Tony, the solution you mentioned of a partial upgrade and then swapping hardware is brilliant. I would assume however that you still need to apply Windows server 2003 service pack 1, Exchange service pack 1 and SBS service pack 1 to that server. I have outlined my scenario below and would be interested to hear if you though the repair load or the patrial upgrade technique would be better and which would be faster.

    My secnario is as follows:

    I have a customer who is using SBS 2003 and has a second server for terminal services. Both the SBS 2003 server and terminal server are running out of puff due to the installation of a some new database software, which will only run on the workstations if the executables are loaded from the server (YUK) so I propose to upgrade the SBS 2003 server to a more powerful system with considerably faster/larger, hard drives, more memory and a faster processor. The terminal server is only used so that the two main database applications can be accessed from their three remote sites.

    I plan to take a full image of the current SBS server onto a removeable USB hard drive,using Acronis true image server, (this is done daily anyway), then restore that image to the new hardware.

    Given that there will be substantial hardware differences between the old and new server, I propose to repair-load SBS 2003 over the restored image and re-apply the service packs. Obviously I will record all the necessary information (Nic IP data etc) from the old server to patch into the new during the repair load. Naturally at this stage the old server will be physically disconnected from the network. (I have only been caught once having two "identical" machines on a network).

    The SBS 2003 server has Exchange, MSSQL and Pervasive SQL running on it. The upgrade will take place on a Saturday when the users have no need for the system. I plan to disable all exchage, sql, pervasive services and pop3 collections before doing the final image prior to the upgrade.

    A week after the new SBS 2003 server is working, I will use the same technique for the terminal server. In fact I will restore the terminal server image over the old SBS server making it the new terminal server and then using the same repair load and service pack updates for that.

    I posted this scenario on the Microsoft SBS news group last night and by this morning I had three doom and gloom replies. What am I missing, as I have used this technique many times to upgrade harware on XP workstations?

    Sure I realise a server is more complex, but the only problem I forsee is that I will have to revalidate the keycode with Microsoft over the phone instead of the internet, as the key code will already be recorded against the origional hardware.
     
  7. TonioRoffo

    TonioRoffo Registered Member

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    I've did the repair load about 5 times now, on 2003 and even with the old Windows 2000 Servers. I'm about to try it on SBS today, but the result should be the same.

    The other method is experimental - I've tried it a few times, but I'm worried what will happen if you need to add a driver with F6 like in a normal install. It can't be done that way, and might possibly fail, i'm not sure if you still have the chance to add a driver.

    I'm still looking at options to, in advance, add drivers to the old system (in a dormant way if you like) before upgrading or moving/cloning the disk.

    It never failed, and you have a failsafe way to return to the original state at different points.

    Of course you have to check the event logs, you might have a problem here or there, but nothing the MS KB can't fix.

    Clone & install fails? You move the old server back into place, net result, you lost a saturday, from the customer P.O.V. nothing happened.

    MS boys tend to be very conservative and only look at what the expensive MCSE lessons told them. It might be dangerous in multiple DC environments (due to DC's getting out of sync) but on single DC environments? Easy ticket to success.
     
  8. Alan Culshaw

    Alan Culshaw Registered Member

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    I just had another thought.

    I could take the usb backup drive and restore an image to the new server off site before the event (I would just have to make sure pop3 collection was turned off on the retored image-- I wouldn't like to pick up email on the new server while the old one is still running). I could even do this at my home join one of my systems to the domain and could test it fully to see it it was working and once satisfied I would only need to copy all the data files from the more recent image by making the recent image a mounted drive. Even the Exchage and SQL data files should be easy as all I would to do is stop these services while copying the data

    Please post your results of the SBS system you plan to do today
     
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