I am supporting a company sells things to the public in three stores. At this time, the main site has two servers (file + AD server, and citrix server), and the other locations have one server (all windows 2003). For years they have gotten away without any failover capability, but it's obvious that if any of the four boxes died, they would not be able to deal with it well. The POS software would be gone etc. They do have backups, and raid 1 on all servers.
I would like to get them set up so that if a server died, they could keep transacting their business. They would need the least expensive solution that will get them there.
I've looked briefly at failover clusters and they look pretty complicated to set up. I am not sure that two servers at the main office would do it; as it is now they have two servers (file + AD server, and citrix server) and unless we combined the roles into one server, that'd be four boxes. But a failover cluster is the only way to get what they need, isn't it?
I don't think going to the cloud is an option for them, but I will look into it. If they had some amazon ec2 instances going, they'd be isolated from local machine failures, but still subject to internet outages.
If we do stay with local servers, an option I am considering would be to have the two satellite offices rely on citrix for access to the POS software. Then at least they would not need redundant servers.
This question may be hopelessly broad, but I would welcome any views you may have to offer.