Mirror A Site Running Server 2003 Web Services

Dec 19, 2008

Mirror a site running server 2003 web services

I'm a network admin at a university and one of the departments is hosting their site on their own personal server running Server 2003 and Windows Web services. They've been asking me how would they go about mirroring their site in the event of a power loss intentional or otherwise. There are times during holiday periods where building maintenance will shut off power but they still want students to be able to get to their site. So they want to set up a mirror on another server in an office offsite.

I've done some research on the subject but I haven't been able to find anything dealing with mirroring Microsoft hosted sites.

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Windows Server 2003 Software Array Mirror/Mirroring

Jan 8, 2007

We damaged a file on a windows server 2003 system which caused us to get a grey screen where the login windows should be (it was setup as a domain controller)

We tried booting it in safe mode and all the other modes etc etc.... but to no avail... we couldn't get it to work.

So we wanted to replace the file manually using another pc (by inserting one of the harddrives into the pc, and copying the file to it).

We used a windows XP machine.... imported the harddrive using disk management..... we had to un mirror the drive to be able to access it.

Once the mirror was broken i gave it a drive letter, copied the the new file to it, and, removed the drive letter i assigned it, and tried booting with *just* that drive in the windows 2003 server.

Now it wont boot, it just reboots everytime i tries to start up, probably because we broke the mirror on a different machine.

It still boots from the other untouched drive... that was in the mirror, but we have no way to edit the files on there.

So is there any way to actually get this, once mirrored drive, to boot now its a single disc?

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It makes sense to me to pay 2x hosting costs so I can have a site mirrored in case the main site goes offline, then I can just switch the dns to the new host. The trick is how can I automatically keep Site B mirrored as part of site A. Using Plesk Backup doesn't seem practical as it's not automatic. Does Cpanel have a site mirroring feature?

Would something like rsync work? Doesn't this require shell access? I'm looking for best practices to be able to mirror Site A to Site B in an automatic method..

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I'm having an issue with a client site and I am not sure what to do at this point. Conversations with the host (GoDaddy) haven't led to a solution and to be honest, I'm not sure it's their issue to handle although I will be firing off an email to their domain dispute department shortly. I spoke with a couple of supervisors there and they were as baffled as I am.

Here's the situation:

When people Google the name of the client's business, it returns their site but on a different domain. The entire site is there, nothing is changed but the URL. It's like having an unintentional mirror site except that none of the forms work which is what tipped off the users that something was wrong but of course, they don't notice that they're not actually on 'www.clientsite.com' so they think it's just a form error when in actuality, they're not even at the right domain.

There is really no way for this other domain to profit from mirroring the client's site; it's just a business profile type of thing with a few forms for contact, employment applications and vendor applications. No secure info is transmitted other than perhaps the occasional email address but we're not talking a heavy volume site, it's a niche market and really not something that would be a typical target. There's no eCommerce, no subscriptions, no financial info.

I'm at a total loss. Could this happen if this other site is hosted on the same server as my client's site? Could it be an actual error of some sort or would it have to be intentional?

The whois for this bogus site leads to DomainsbyProxy.com and I'll be sending them a letter as well but I'd really appreciate any input you all might have on HOW this could happen. Should I also contact Google?

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Current Status

My main website is a dating/magazine/community site.

I use server ONE for as my main server for:

nameserver
mail
apache - php
mysql

This server uses FreeBSD with CPanel/WHM
Server ONE load averages are about 1-1.5

A year ago I got another server (server TWO) to host a php chat script, and unload the main server. This server hasn't a domain attached to it and I'm using it through its IP.

This server runs:
apache - php
mysql

And it also uses FreeBSD but with Webmin.

The load averages for Server TWO are about 0.20.

Recently I transfered all the images of Server ONE to server TWO, with a good result for loads on server ONE.

What I want to doSome users of the site complain that they can't see any images of the site due to IP based images src.

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When I tried to setup a subdomain redirection through Cpanel, I just got again the IP of the other server.

Who can this be done?

If I must setup DNS stuff in server TWO, in order to achive it, can I use it also as spare nameservers for the domains hosted on Server ONE?

What else is easy to transfer to server TWO in order to unload server ONE?

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We have recently had an IT guy perforn the upgrade from wss 2.0 to wss 3.0 and we have since lost the entire database architecture and I believe the data stored therein. Is there someplace on the server where the data records could be stored and has anyone had similar problems with this type of upgrade? The IT firm says it's a problem with a security patch from microsoft but I can't find anythying referencing that online.

The following may provide some background on what transpired and how it has been handled thus far; these are from correspondence between our company and the IT firm in chronological order:

Our initial inquiry:
5/23 We have several questions regarding the upgrade of the SPS software, not the least of which being why was the upgrade performed without any advance notice to our office, this notice would have allowed us to take the precaution of having our people save their work in progress and prevented the loss of data and time that we experienced. In the future we would ask that we be shown the professional courtesy of prior notification before commencing any major work to the server environment.

At about 1:00 yesterday all of the computers at the shop went down, we contacted (IT REP) and he said that you had started the install of the 3.0 software that morning and at the time he said that the install was complete.

And since that time we have had multiple problems with the system. First we have no remote access, and receive a server error of the server application is not available, the lay-out of the pages does not process properly iethe column order displays in a random sequence and not as called for in the column settings. The default page now has the added search feature however the format of the prior software has been retained which causes the navigation of that particular page to differ from the rest of the site.

Please contact us as soon as possible, as (COMPANY OWNER) has no access to the system and no e-mail.
Reply from IT Rep:
5/24 IT REP worked on the phone for over 7 hours yesterday. The Microsoft Tech and IT REP agreed to continue this morning. I know as of last night the remote portion of the Companyweb and the internal site were functioning. However, they are continuing to work to retrieve the existing data.

Did you ever add the other external hard drive to your backup rotation? If so, please let IT REP know. I have meeting this morning until 11:30, if you need anything please contact IT REP.

We will discuss what caused the problem and future prevention after all is resolved.
Our response:
5/25 I am inquiring as to the progress toward restoration of the company web. As you are already aware, the data contained in the company web is crucial to the day to day operation of our business. We are not able to access any of our scheduling information for installations, production or customer service issues. While we have been able to track most of these items thus far, the amount of information available for scheduling next week is quite limited.

It would be helpful to have some indication of when we expect to be restored as well as an estimate of the percentage of data which may be lost, so that we can begin to formulate our response to the situation.

I am certain that you and IT REP understand just how serious the consequences of this situation can become, and assume that you will be capable of providing us with periodic updates as to your progress.

I would also be interested to find out if there are plans to work this out over the weekend or if it has been decided to place this on the back burner and resume restoration of our vital data on tuesday. IT Reply:
5/25 At this point, this is a Microsoft issue that they are working on to resolve Im only facilitating their ability to access the server and work. I am doubtful that they work on the weekend, but I will find out. IT REP and I have spent roughly 25 hours in the last 2.5 days working on this, myself until almost midnight last night, so he and I are putting forth every conceivable effort to resolve this. In the mean time, I have turned off the automatic updates (which are enabled by default) to prevent this type of thing from happening again. Keep in mind that if there were 2 hard drives being used in a rotation as IT REP suggested, wed have backups from before the failed patch to revert to.

As soon as I have any indication of a target time for resolution, I will not hesitate to let you know.Our next question:
5/25 Have we checked to hard drive that is currently in use to see if there is anything salvageable on there. Isn't the server partitioned and mirrored?Latest IT correspodence:
5/25 I have a few suggestions from microsoft that we were going to try, but it looks as though someone took the external drive off the server, so we were unable to do it. I was just checking to see that someone did do that, and that it's in a safe place until it can be reconnected.. The server uses a RAID 5, not mirroring. Mirroring wouldn't matter either, as in a mirrored configuration, 2 drives mirror each other - when the primary is written to, the secondary (mirror) is immediately updated. I'm pretty sure we can get the data files (.dwg, .xls. ,doc, etc) out of the sharepoint database, but we'll need the drive reconnected. The Microsoft engineers have left for the day, but we'll be back on it next week on Tues when they're back in.

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At an given time, the mirror seems to be pushing at least 50 Megabits of trafficthe server is also an IRC server (irc.igsobe.com) for customers and internal staff communications.

The hardware is a low end Dell Pentium 4 @ 2.66 GHZ server, running with 512MB of RAM and a 400 GB ATA hard drive. CentOS v5.3 is the operating system.

If you're interested, you can view the HTML logfile analysis here but that doesn't tell the full story as FTP users make up a good portion of the traffic. We've received over a quarter million hits in the first few days of November alone.

18:14:15 up 65 days, 9:04, 5 users, load average: 0.31, 0.69, 0.56

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[root@web2 ~]#

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