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Clustering Two Windows Server 2012 Essentials For High Availability


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The issue is having one DC on the domain which is a requirement for this product I believe.  I think you might be better off cloning the physical to virtual to have a standby box ready to go.

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Drashna Jaelre

Well, you can get Server Standard, and use that as a secondary DC. (Can even install Essentials Experience on it....) But yeah. it's not cheap. :(

And No, you can't do that with two Server Essentials boxes... one will get teh boot, as one must be attached in migration mode.

 

Though, if high Availability is the issue, why not run it in HyperV on two machines, and run HyperV replication?

Edited by Drashna (WGS)
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I believe that you can have a secondary domain controller on the network with a server running WSE 2012, but the server running essentials must be the primary domain controller (own the FSMO role).  So you could get redundancy for Active Directory, DNS, and probably even the file server, but for the roles that come from Essentials - computer backup, dashboard, health monitoring - I doubt there is any way to have two servers provide failover behaviors.  Your best bet if you're worried about hardware failure is probably what Drashna said - run two Hyper-V (or maybe ESXi if you prefer) and set up replication so that if one goes offline the other becomes the operational machine.

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The only way I can think of being able to do this is as Drashna says is to virtualize the two 2012 Essential boxes on two separate Hyper-V hosts. These would either have to be running Server 2012 R2 with the Hyper-V and clustering features enabled or you could use the free Hyper-V server software but then (I suspect) you would need a third server running System Center Virtual Machine Manager (which requires Server 2012 and SQL Server) to handle the clustering and automatic failover.

 

On top of that you would need to remove the data drives from the servers and set up some kind of shared storage which both the hosts could see and access. My choice would be some kind of iSCSI setup on another box, maybe Windows Storage Server, connected to the different hosts and then the storage partitions presented through to the virtual machines.

 

To be honest the cost (not to mention the complexity) of doing all this is going to make the cost of DoubleTake seem like the bargain of the century!

 

John

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I am sorry it took me so long to get back to everyone. I just wanted to thank everyone for taking the time to respond to me. I guess I will just forget about all this because its going to be to complicated and or expensive to put in place.

 

Have a great day!

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