Leveraging BDR for Microsoft Windows 2003 Server Migrations
Microsoft (MSFT) will be ending its suport for Windows Server 2003 soon, a decision that has managed services providers (MSPs) scrambling to update customers with newer server products. But how can MSPs go about migrating servers without an increased level of risk and time consumption?
"The protection is so much more than just a back or even an image backup," he said. "It's the downtime protector."
Bickmore's MSP business leverages BDR in the following ways for his Windows Server 2003 migrations:
Verify image backup
Bickmore said his company uses BDR to verify the viability of image backup, spinning it up in a virtual environment to test it out.
"This peace of mind really helps us proceed with significant change, while still know we can revert quickly and effectively," he noted.
Free up resources need to build new server replacement
Many of Bickmore's customers are still running virtual servers on Windows Server 2003, he said, adding that while they may be on newer physical equipment, the fact that they are still running the legacy server software can become an issue.
"Often there is not a lot of extra capacity so our customers are faced with providing an entire additional server or more resources in the existing server only for the migration," he Bickmore pointed out. "With a BDR you can spin up the server on the BDR and then pull it from your virtual hypervisor."
This approach enables MSPs to free up the resources needed to build the new server replacement, avoiding unnecessary extra costs and still keep your customer running and protected.
Strong element of testing for migration projects
"All good migration projects have a strong element of testing," Bickmore said. "The BDRs are an ideal environment for this."
All good BDR solutions separate virtual machines from the active production network, allowing MSPs to fully test without interrupting live systems, he said.
Bickmore said he expects to complete a considerable number of these migrations in the next six to nine months. "We will not approach any of them without the trusty BDR backing us up," he said.