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Utilizing Virtual Server 2005 R2 and Windows Server 2003 RRAS to cope with a system failure

January 16th, 2006 by Patrick Elliott

After our slight system issues yesterday, and the fix I implemented to cope with it until I could physically get to the server to fix it there – I’ve decided to go into a little more detail on how you can use Virtual Server 2005 R2 in conjunction with a Windows Server 2003 RRAS (Routing and Remote Access) VPN to implement a temporary quick-fix to a server outage.

First off, for the purpose of this scenario – the server that was having issues needs to be a Virtual Machine running on Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 or VS2005 R2.  There also needs to be physical access to the machines’ VHD file.

What I did next was to copy the VHD file and VMC configuration file to the remote (backup) Virtual Server 2005 host server and load the VMC config file as if I were loading a new machine.

Next, I changed the IP address of that guest machine to match that of the internal network it was now running on, as well as some config files for App Server sofware running on the VM.

Then, I created a simple demand dial VPN connection into my already existing Windows Server 2003 VPN infrastructure (More information on setting this up is available here: Windows Server 2003: Virtual Private Networks)

Lastly, on the Routing and Remote Access firewall settings on my external server (which is also running the VPN)  I added the IP address formally being used for the MSBLOG external server to the Reserve Public IP Addresses for use by Internal Clients list, and allowed incoming traffic (also make sure on your internal end — the backup server in this instance – that a firewall is running only letting the proper ports in — 80/TCP in this case)

Information on setting the public IP reservations and NAT (Network Address Translation) configuration in Routing and Remote Access can be found here: NAT Tools and Settings

After that is done — the setup works — only a bit more slowly due to a 384 kilobit transmit rate on the ADSL line at the backup site.  But the key is that it does indeed work.  Try it out — it just may save you time and money in travelling to get a backup server running.

And finally — a diagram showing the logical flow of data to and from the requesting web surfer  😛

Patrick Elliott, Microsoft MVP – Windows Server System

MSBLOG backup Visio diagram

Posted in Products, Windows Server System | 1 Comment »

This entry was posted on Monday, January 16th, 2006 at 12:50 pm and is filed under Products, Windows Server System. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response

  1. Patrick S Says:

    Jee, I didnt know how involved it was-and its going fast for 384 transmission!