Wednesday 23 April 2008

SBS Disaster Recovery - Finished

Wow ...

After one full week of working on the failed SBS from last week, many attempts to Swing the old SBS onto new hardware, and recover data, we are finally finished.

The new SBS box was installed very early yesterday morning. We brought it online, shifted the client desktops off of the backup server, and verified their data.

Outlook, their shares, printers, and passwords were as they were with the exception of a couple of users that needed to change their passwords while on the backup DC.

A number of years ago, Jeff Middleton, the author of the SBS Swing Migration was up here in Edmonton sharing some of his Katrina Experiences. It was an amazing and very inspiring time for myself personally.

One of the questions he was asked was about introducing a second DC into the SBS network to provide some redundancy for Active Directory. His response as I recall it was something along the lines of, "That introduces a whole new can of worms".

He wasn't kidding. We ran into all sorts of hiccups, hurdles, and road blocks recovering and subsequently installing the new SBS because of the backup DC.

Since there are a number of things sitting here needing attention, some chronicles on the SBS disaster recovery (DR) will be forth coming.

This DR was probably one of the most challenging we have faced to date.

But, with the time, tools, and talent that we have we triumphed! And, most importantly: Our client is very pleased with the outcome.

We were able to salvage Active Directory - meaning no desktop profile impact at all, all of their data, and bring them back over to the new SBS server with a reboot and a couple of extra startup scripts.

More to come ... and a nod to Jeff Middleton: Thanks! Those Swing skills came in very handy with this recovery. :)

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

*All Mac on SBS posts are posted on our in-house iMac via the Safari Web browser.


David Moisan said...

Congratulations on making it out of the woods. Elaborate on your problems with the second DC when you have a chance. I too had always thought it was a good thing to have for redundancy and my SBS shop at SATV had a backup DC for awhile before its motherboard died.

Philip Elder Cluster MVP said...


Thanks for that.

A new post, which you have probably seen already, describes some of the major grief faced in this struggle because of that second DC.

We run solo DC here in the shop. The thought of tying up a second system just for redundancy does not make sense for us yet. Given the pretty good success rate we have had with ShadowProtect, that is the direction we will stick with for now.

Server 2008 Read Only DC might be an option given it will run on Core.