Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Just wondering if a network of approximately 15 users has only 1 Server Running Windows 2003 and wanted to add a "secondary server" so that in the event the "primary" fails for any reason the secondary can take control while the primary is fixed.

Is this very hard to do? Approximately how long should it take? What type of server lisc should I buy? Would I install 2008 or 2003? How does it actually "mimic" the primiary server for all its info?

The server currently is the DNS Server, AD Role, and I will check for more info. Although it's not the Exchange Server or the DHCP I would like it to maybe be in the future.

Sorry for basic questions. Just looking for some guidance.

share|improve this question

List all the actual services that the first server provides and go through them one-by-one.

For AD (and AD-integrated DNS), you get another Windows server of the same or later version, and run dcpromo on it to add it as another DC in your domain, running DNS. Adjust all your client DNS configs (usually set by their DHCP server) to use both machines as their DNS servers. Easy as pie.

For non-AD DNS ... screw it, just use AD-integrated DNS unless you have a really strong reason not too. If you're not yet, change that first.

For DHCP - you can split the scope and make each machine's pool be one-half of the scope.

Exchange - you're not going to make a DC be an Exchange machine in your environment. If you need HA for your Exchange server, you'll need another Exchange server.

You didn't mention file and print as services hosted by your current DC, so I'll assume it's not doing that.

Do you have any other services that this machine is providing, that you need redundancy for? As above - list them, and figure it out or ask more specific (new) questions.

share|improve this answer
Thank you I will get all that info and post back. Yes it is Print Server also. – Ike12 Mar 21 '11 at 18:57

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.