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Can I have one server as the backup to another? RRS feed

  • Question

  • If I have two servers both having the same configuration ex domain controller, active directory, DNS, DHCP, same Windows Server etc. Can I assume that one server can take the place of another for Windows Server operation?

    On the data side, is there a software or other method that can keep the data the same on both servers so that if I lose one server, I have the second one ready to go? 

    Wednesday, February 19, 2020 4:28 AM

Answers

All replies

  • This happens by default with active directory domain services (multi-master model). If one fails you can seize roles to another healthy one and rebuild failed one with absolutely no loss.

    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/win32/ad/features-of-the-replication-model-for-active-directory-domain-services

    As to DHCP failover you can work through this one.

    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/previous-versions/windows/it-pro/windows-server-2012-r2-and-2012/hh831385(v%3Dws.11)

     

    (please don't forget to mark helpful replies as answer)

     

     



    Regards, Dave Patrick ....
    Microsoft Certified Professional
    Microsoft MVP [Windows Server] Datacenter Management

    Disclaimer: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties or guarantees, and confers no rights.



    Wednesday, February 19, 2020 4:35 AM
  • As Dave says, for Active Directory and DNS, the replication / backup is automatic, and can be easily configured for DHCP.

    However, if you have data for another application stored on the domain controller (not recommended, but understandable in small environments), if you configure that data to reside on a separate volume, you can use data replication to replicate the data from one server to the other.  Microsoft has a built in capability called Storage Replication (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/storage/storage-replica/storage-replica-overview).  There are also a lot of third parties that over similar capabiities.


    tim

    Wednesday, February 19, 2020 2:25 PM
  • That ultimately depends on the role:

    - AD - both servers can be configured as domain controllers in the same domain. This is actually the recommended configuration. Note that there are FSMO roles which have to be assigned to a single DC - but you can transfer them between the two as needed

    - DNS - you can configure both DCs as DNS servers hosting the same zones - that's also the recommended configuration.

    DHCP - you can set up DHCP in the HA (load-balanced or failover/standby mode) configuration

    hth
    Marcin

    Wednesday, February 19, 2020 4:10 PM
  • Sounds like the Domain Controller is fine as is. 

    The server has separate hardware for OS and for data. Data contains items like redirected user folders and files. 

    Yes, this is small operation. 

    Sounds like I am trying to do something like the storage replica. However, the link provided only gives an overview so additional research is needed. 

    Monday, February 24, 2020 7:54 PM
  • No absolutely not.  An active directory domain controller should not serve data other than what is required by the role.  If the AD server has additional roles assigned, good luck, that is not desirable nor best practices.

    Tiny font follows for good measure:

    A real world example is you can do anything you want with the AD controller.  It will be limited in performance by the constant disabling of any HDD cache and will be slow to perform all tasks and anything outside best practices introduces potential holes that can be exploited.

    Wednesday, February 26, 2020 2:59 AM
  • Tried to use Storage Replica, but got hung on TEST-SRtopology failing to find one of the volumes. I started another question for that problem. 

    https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windowsserver/en-US/340fdf7e-9547-4b91-ad6a-798034675dd9/testsrtopology-what-has-to-be-done-to-a-volume-so-testsrtopology-can-find-it?forum=windowsbackup

    Tuesday, April 28, 2020 11:38 PM
  • Sounds good.

     

    (please don't forget to mark helpful replies as answer)

     

     



    Regards, Dave Patrick ....
    Microsoft Certified Professional
    Microsoft MVP [Windows Server] Datacenter Management

    Disclaimer: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties or guarantees, and confers no rights.

    Wednesday, April 29, 2020 1:03 AM
  • Please close this thread and start a new one for new topic.

     

     



    Regards, Dave Patrick ....
    Microsoft Certified Professional
    Microsoft MVP [Windows Server] Datacenter Management

    Disclaimer: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties or guarantees, and confers no rights.

    Tuesday, May 26, 2020 7:49 PM