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I have an internal ASP.NET application running on Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise. We have another server offsite.

I would like to have a setup where if our primary server goes down, the offsite server can begin serving the application.

I've done a little googling andfound http://learn.iis.net/page.aspx/511/achieving-high-availability-and-scalability---arr-and-nlb/. I've also tried installing the Web Farm Framework. Frankly, the amount of stuff this thing wanted to install was crazy. I don't see why I should install SQL Server on one of the nodes in an application level cluster...

In short, these approaches seem very infrastructure intensive. Our databases are mirrored and have excellent fault tolerance. Is there a less invasive way to do this?

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If your databases are mirrored as you say, and both servers are always running, why not use Round Robin DNS? –  gravyface Jan 4 '12 at 19:21

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Frankly, the amount of stuff this thing wanted to install was crazy

Yeah. You really have to KNOW what you are doing,. Crazy for you?

if you would know what you should, you would know that this approach generally does not work. Ouch.

I would like to have a setup where if our primary server goes down, the offsite server can begin serving the application.

Do you ahve your own AS and run unicast addresses from multiple data centers? Alternatively you put up NS timeouts to some seconds and then have the logic to autoamtically switch over the DNS entries and HOPE (!) that your low TTL is honoured by the ISP's (which it is not)?

Otherwise: no, sorry, not possible. Either you manipulate DNS and pray, or you run Unicast addresses with your own international routing.

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I'm an application developer, not a system administrator. So yes, installing much of this IS uncharted territory for me because its not what I do. I used the term "crazy" not because it was complex, but because I generally try to do things with the least amount of overhead possible. This seems like A LOT of software to accomplish a simple goal. –  rsteckly Jan 4 '12 at 20:01
    
That is ok. I normally demand app developers to know the systems they work with - MORE than sys admins. Not knowing the systems you work for makes you... choose a technology set not even suited for that. You should not be here - your sysadmin should be. –  TomTom Jan 4 '12 at 20:31
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@TomTom- Where do you find app developers that actually know the systems side as well? At least this guy came here, the ones I deal with would have demanded a webfarm and NLB and an F5 and a proxy (oh and we'll probably need a seperate DMZ...). –  Jim B Jan 4 '12 at 23:06

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