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MIS Systems Thread, SIMs Redundancy options in Technical; Hi I was wondering what mehods people use to make SIMs redundant/failover I am currently running 1 sims server which ...
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    soapyfish's Avatar
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    SIMs Redundancy options

    Hi I was wondering what mehods people use to make SIMs redundant/failover
    I am currently running 1 sims server which is backed up every night to a DLT drive and the tape from the previous nights backup is taken off site.

    I contacted capita today and was told that they are developing a redundant/failover system but it will be "some time" until its avaliable.

    The best option I can think of that will not compromise my support contract is to purchase another server with a DLT drive and configure it with SQL2005 standard and SIMs and should a failure occur with the live server use the most recent backup tape to restore the SIMs.mdf and .ldf etc to the new server.

    My problem with this arrangement is that It will take 4 hours + to restore.
    assuming it fails during the working day. I would dearly like to have some kind of failover so that if the server fails the user will notice no loss of service giving me time to repair/replace the dead server while running from the hot spare.

    Is anyone running such a system while still recieving support from Capita ?

    The motivation for this is that we are nearing a time where parents will be able to view attendance data and acheivement data from SIMs via our VLE and as the VLE reads the data from SIMs I would like it to be as robust as possible...

    Maybe I am asking too much !

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    Gatt's Avatar
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    I have often wondered this myself - at present we have 1 server which is backed up by the LEA - at least we hope they are (saying they do and actually doing it are 2 differnt things)

    Often wondered if we could "mirror" the sims server to another box....

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    Forget the tape drive in the redundancy idea, have it (however often you want) synchronise the files over onto the second server over the network which will be a lot quicker than relying on a 4 hour restore.

    I'm sure you could go even further with the whole process and have it nearer unnoticed but be aware you'll need more licenses for SQL Server likely and technically you should for SIMS.

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    soapyfish's Avatar
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    I do have have backup exec 12d on the sims server that will let me restore the database to a seperate server but this assumes that the database and the first server are avaliable.

    when you say syncronize to another server what software method would you suggest ? I do understand the need for licences for SQL and sims its self

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    Robocopy would do for you I'd imagine, mind you, getting hold of the ldf/mdf during normal operation may be a bit dramatic, maybe shadow volume copying ... oOo, I'm gaining an interest in trying this for myself now.

  6. Thanks to kmount from:

    soapyfish (12th February 2009)

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    soapyfish's Avatar
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    Cheers In will look at robocopy not tried it before maybe I can use it with the dbattach program to automate it ?

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    soapyfish's Avatar
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    GATT

    Do you connect to the SIMs server hosted at the LEA or do they just handle the backups ?

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    Well, if you only want to sync them at night you could script a back up with the SQL Admin manager or even harshly do a stop service back up in a sheduled task.

    I'll have a think but I openly admit there's plenty more experienced folk on here who've probably done this, or at least took bold steps forward in sussing out some pitfalls.

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    soapyfish's Avatar
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    Yes I need to look into it very carefully as if cash is required then it will have to deliver all the expectations ! cheers again

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    Gatt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soapyfish View Post
    GATT

    Do you connect to the SIMs server hosted at the LEA or do they just handle the backups ?
    its managed by the LEA unfortunately.. I do have admin rights for the server though - well with a few restrictions here and thare but in general i have as close to Full rights as i can..

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    soapyfish's Avatar
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    So if your server goes down its the LEA's responsibilty completly... that not entirely bad news

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    Just seen post so no applicable really!
    Last edited by RobFuller; 12th February 2009 at 08:41 PM.

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    Gatt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soapyfish View Post
    So if your server goes down its the LEA's responsibilty completly... that not entirely bad news
    Yeah its over to the LEA - but Im their Human Shield when the firing squad break my door down!

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    soapyfish's Avatar
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    We Currently have no virtulization at all and I did not think that capita would support that setup although I could be wrong is that something that you do ?

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    Gatt's Avatar
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    Im wondering about setting up a 2nd server then trying to mirror the sql database over onto it and using rsync or a similar tool to copy the file structure across..

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