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Best way to build a replacement server

By TPCosmo ·
I am running a Windows 2000 network which consists of three Windows 2000 Servers. Two DC's and a stand alone ISA Server. One of my servers is an Exchange 2000 server, and I'd like to build another server which I will have 'on the shelf' in case of a failure of my current Exchange Server.
I am a little unsure of the proper method to accomplish this. My concerns are mostly with Active Directory, and SIDs and such.
What would be the BEST way to have a server ready to in place of a current server, but have the transition transparent to the user. Would a Backup/Restore of AD from one machine to another do the trick?
Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

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by Curacao_Dejavu In reply to Best way to build a repla ...

My suggestion is if the hardware is identical the answer is easy.
Use ghost or another image software (MS ?) to make a image of the server.
Then you need only a current backup of the database.
YOu can use this link to search in the exchange technet forum.
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/treeview/default.asp?url=/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/exchange2000/support/exctopkb.asp

(one long link)

Also check the disaster recovery at:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;326052


With exchange 5.5 we actually rebuilt a server with the exacht nebiosname,connection configuration etc (unfortunately we dont have imaging software, so the whole process takes almost half a day, so you know much time you can expect to rebuilt a server from scrath)

Leopold

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by TPCosmo In reply to

Thanks anyway....I used and recommend the MS article
http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/docs/recovery.doc
which I found. It lays out the process fairly well.

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by TechKid In reply to Best way to build a repla ...

If your worried about active directory and your exchange server is also a DC (which it really shouldn't be) you MUST back up the system state and not just the exchange database in order for the previous answer to work. A problem you can run into is that AD will tombstone the exchange server after 60 days. So, if your ghost image is older than 60 days, the image is useless in your AD environment because once you restore the server AD will see that the replication is too out of date and will tombstone your server. You may want to back up the system state anyways as it contains a lot of valuable information that Windows changes constantly.

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by TPCosmo In reply to

Thanks anyway....I used and recommend the MS article
http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/docs/recovery.doc
which I found. It lays out the process fairly well.

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by Bjorn.Tore In reply to Best way to build a repla ...

Hi.

Here is an alternate DR solution since offline HW would be a vaste of money ( if its preinstalled with Windows 2000/Exchange thats extra licenses, even if its offline)

If the exchange server goes down so you need to replace it, the users will know within 3 minutes.
If you need 24/7 uptime, clustering solution is the way to go..

Instead:
1. Make sure the current exchange server runs on redundant hardware.(UPS, RAID Drives with spare, CPU, Memory)

2. Buy extra of most likly parts to fail( my experience RAID adapter & drives)

3. Have a fast online backup solution.( SDLT or faster)

4. Do online backups as often as you need.

5. Make a DR bootCD.

6. If disaster strikes, boot on CD, start restore( 50 Gb/hour or faster, boot up system, and you are online again.(depending on backup system, procedure may be different)

Your exchange server, if properly setup and maintained, will probably never go down. But thats a bet nobody should afford to make.

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by TPCosmo In reply to

Thanks anyway....I used and recommend the MS article
http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/docs/recovery.doc
which I found. It lays out the process fairly well.

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by TPCosmo In reply to Best way to build a repla ...

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