Tuesday 24 March 2009

Upgraded Recovery and Migration Test Server

One of the benefits of providing Intel based hardware is the ability to recycle their parts, or the entire box depending on our requirements for a server.

As part of most client server upgrades we remove any of the old hardware from the client’s site. Depending on the hardware configuration, the box will end up in our phenomenal Alberta Electronics Recycling Program, or put into some noncritical service needs such as our lab.

This screenshot is the result of combining components from two servers we recently upgraded at client sites:

09-03-24 Intel Pentium D Recovery and Migration Server

Intel Pentium D server with RAID and hot swap

The internals came from one server and the chassis from another.

This particular box will replace our older recovery test server that was used to provide our regional and remote clients with their quarterly backup recovery testing services.

Now, we will be able to use this particular box to recover not only our existing SBS 2003 clients using ShadowProtect, we will be able to use the Hardware Independent Restore capabilities in SP as well due to the newer hardware on this box.

This “new” unit will give us the ability to restore the larger server configurations that are running either SBS 2008 Backup or Windows Server 2008 x64 Backup without worrying about storage limitations (3TB in some cases) or hardware capacity problems. We will set the drives to a RAID 0 stripe to reach that level of data volume. The added benefit is a performance boost with striping the array across the six spindles.

Having this new box gives us the ability to run SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 migration tests for our client’s production SBS servers using their newly configured server box along side of this one. It is our preference to run the two SBS OSs on hardware when possible. Another benefit to the “new” lab box is the hardware is actually quite similar to our clients existing SBS 2003 server configurations!

And finally, the RAID controller in this box is an Intel SRCS16 PCI-X. We will be able to now start our Hardware Independent Restore testing using the built-in SBS 2008 Backup as well as the Windows Server 2008 Backup!

The box configuration:

An external USB DVDRW is used to provide optical media access for all of our lab based boxes.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*All Mac on SBS posts will not be written on a Mac until we replace our now missing iMac! (previous blog post)

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