Calling all server and networking experts

December 19, 2010 at 17:25:15
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Calling all server and networking experts

I have a particular problem for a project I am working on.

The project is to develop a trade website to enable web order of complex kits of parts which are currently ordered via Fax or phone ordering.
The website being developed is intended to supplement the existing system not to replace it.

Currently the manual system operators key in the ordering information into the computer system.
The system data thus created in addition to several other source data files is used to populate SQL tables in a windows 2000 Server.
These SQL tables provide a snapshot of the current order state.

The website being developed for lack of suitable ADSL / Cable links is being located on a remote server.
The remote server will be initially synchronised from the local windows 2000 servers SQL tables

On D-Day the SQL Tables on both the local and remote servers will be identical.

When the web order system goes live the web servers SQL tables will be updated with newly taken web orders.
The local server SQL tables will be updated with manual orders taken.

The web design is such that, post order, both manual and web customers will be able go on the website and track their order online.

There is therefore a requirement to keep the SQL tables on both local and web servers up to date with current ordering status.

My question is, is it possible to synchronise the SQL tables using mirrorring or other techniques such that the local and remote servers update the SQL tables in a way that does not end up corrupting one anothers SQL tables?

How would one go about keeping the two sets of SQL tables in sync?
What techniques would be required for this?

Secondly is Windows 2000 Server up to the job for this?
Would we need to move to Windows 2003 Server or Windows 2008 Server or later?

Although I know a lot about Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7, I do not know much about Windows servers so a laymens guide would be particularly useful.

I hope you are able to help.

When everything else fails, read the instructions.

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December 21, 2010 at 01:42:46
There is a development project Microsoft has setup. Using the right software (yes you will need to be running Server 2008 Web Edition on BOTH systems) it is entirely and pretty easily doable.

Microsoft Sync Framework Developer Center is here.


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January 6, 2011 at 05:51:02

Thank you for responding.
I am at the moment reading up the information that you have provided.

Just a few questions though:
Have you used this feature? Does it work?
Is it a new non tried feature?
Does it need additional programming to keep two SQL servers in sync?
I am looking at servers which start in sync but then go out of sync due to local changes to each which again need syncing without loosing updates from either end

When everything else fails, read the instructions.

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January 6, 2011 at 07:35:15
First, The Server 2000 does not do the work it is the SQL Server that is insstalled on Server 2000 that does the work. What version of SQL Server are you running?

I know that SQL Server 2005 supports replication but you usually need a connection between both servers. Not only that, you may need to double check your Licensing of your SQL server because it may only support one server install not two.

Another solution is to do as you said above but there will be reconciliation issues. Lets say you only have 1 widget in stock and some one calls in and orders it over the phone and another person orders it over the internet. Which person gets the widget. The computer will not know how to reconsile this.

The best solution is to establish a secure connection to your SQL Server so that there is only one server. We have the same issue with our only permit sales. Our web server is hosted off site but our SQL Server is on site. Our solution was to setup a Firewall Box (We used a Free BSD). Then we connected it outside of our edge router and used one of our Public IPs on it. Then we setup the firewall to first block all ports except for SQL Server and set it to only except traffic from the Public IP of our Website Server.

Then the DBA and Web Programmer made code that would make request to our Firewalls Public IP. The requests done by a limited access SQL Server account so to prevent the possibility of SQL Injection.

We then installed a second NIC in the Firewall, gave it a private static IP and connected it inside our NAT.

This established a secure connection to our SQL Server. If a hacker wanted to get at us, they would first have to hack our Web Server, then hack the SU user and try to introduce SQL injection on a box that has no Access to the File Servers. Worst case they would corrupt our database which only stores public records.

If you have private information like credit card information or such on your SQL Server then You could store that Information on a Different SQL Server and develop system to get it from there. We personally do not store any of there Credit Card info on our server. We just use the Banks Merchant plug in to process the Credit Cards and store if the Credit Card was approved or not.

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January 20, 2011 at 01:22:30

Thank you for that useful information. It may come in handy.
Currently we are in talks with the company that will be hosting the trade website with regards to the options going forward. This is one of the options we will be discussing.

Additionally I have also been researching replication and the possibility of using that. If anyone has any thoughts or ideas or experience of that I would be interested to hear about it.

When everything else fails, read the instructions.

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