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Disaster Site w/Double-Take and Virtual Servers?

By cwhitmore ·
I'm in the planning stages of setting up a Disaster Site. NeverFail is very expensive, but Double-Take seems to do what we want and is atleast half as much in cost. Anyone have experience with Double-Take in a Virtual Server environment?
If so, what is your experience?

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You have many options

by Simon Murawski In reply to Disaster Site w/Double-Ta ...

I work for a UK company that specialise in Doubletake installations (we are doubletake partners) and have configured many many installations using multiple failover scenarios, including many virtual installations.

So we have implemented many installations in exactly the situation you are asking.
You have many options, but for a few simple ones, you could replicate from one source phyical server to a remote physical or virtual one protecting just the application data, or you could use the new full server failover feature.

Full server failover will replicate the entire source server (including O/S) to a remote physical or virtual server, and on failover it can put all relevant files in place, reboot the target server and when it comes up again it will actually "be" your source server, so obviously this is mainly best suited for a total DR of a site when the source server is no longer available, but you can get servers up again quickly exactly as they were - but on different hardware and is can also retain network settings for the remote subnet if you like.
Full server failback is slow though due to the fact it "is" your source then, so the source can't be brought back online.

If you want remote replication but also require it to provide high availability for when only one server goes down not the whole site, or when you want to get up and running on the source quickly again, then you wouldn't probably use the full server failover, (as failback would require the source to be wiped to only have windows and DT installed, then you would basically protect it the opposite direction again replicating the whole O/S and data back again).

So, you would instead just protect the source application, such as file server, exchange, sql or sharepoint etc, if you use those applications you can make use of the doubletake application manager (DTAM), which is available when you buy the product it's included on the media, or if you have a support login on doubletakes website you can download it, that will setup your servers for you, even the targets exchange server configuration for you, then select relevant data to replicate and makes it nice and easy to failover and failback using a pretty interface.

To see how easy it is to failover/back with the DTAM please see the online demo, after a minute or so you can choose to watch the application manager demo or full server failover demo.
http://www.doubletake.com/_docs/swf/dt-flashdemo/index.htm

I'm not sure if the application manager is available for download from their website if you're not a customer though.

Also the licensing for DT is very easy, 1 license per server, regardless of what application or data it's protecting etc.
Also if you are going to use a virtual server setup for your targets (or sources), you can have a virtual license bundle for the target, so that you could have 5 windows virtual servers, but under the virtual license it works out MUCH cheaper than 5 physical server licenses, also Microsoft let you have multiple (5?) windows standard virtual installs, if you buy a single windows enterprise license and one standard, also works out well.

Hope that helps.

Simon Murawski
CWL Systems

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