SOS Swarbrick SoftwareSOS Standby Server Computer Backup

A product of Swarbrick Software, Inc.  





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SOS Standby Server
     VMware, Exchange & SQL Failover


VMware & SOS Standby Server Clustering Provides Exchange Failover & SQL Failover

SOS Standby Server provides failover services for Windows servers, including Exchange failover and SQL failover, allowing you to be fully operational within seconds after a server failure. Our product images your existing Exchange server, SQL server, or file server into VMware virtual machines which run on the standby failover server. These virtualized servers are in "hot standby" mode. They receive continues data synchronization, while remaining hidden inside a virtual network inside the standby server. This prevents their identical SIDs, machine names and services from causing network conflicts. The SOS software keeps the user data such as file shares, SQL data, or Exchange Server mail stores in sync using our proprietary open-file replication software that allows you to backup files while they are in use. The revolutionary software package provides hot standby or cold standby server high availability without the complexity of typical clustering software.

SOS VMware Failover Provides High Availability and Backup for Exchange and SQL Servers

Failover mode initiates quickly and brings the hot standby online within seconds. When SOS Standby Server goes into failover mode, it will confirm that the main server is actually down, then it un-hides itself by leaving the VMware virtual network and joining the physical network. The failover sequence then adds the IP address of the failed server to the NIC card, sends an ARP broadcast to inform switches and NICS that the MAC address of the cloned server is now associated with the IP address of the failed server. The SOS Failover Module then publishes shares and starts Exchange and SQL services, providing both Exchange failover and SQL failover. The end result is transparent to the end user at the workstation. They keep right on working, allowing the network administrator to diagnose and repair the main server without stress from distraught managers and employees.

Standby Server: “Simple, Elegant and Easy To Setup”

The software is remarkably easy to setup and configure. Complete instructions are included. Identical or special hardware is NOT required. A fully functional 2-week trial version is available for download. Email and telephone technical support, as well as hands-on remote installation assistance is proved for no charge during the two-week trial period. This enables you to confirm the product meets your needs without requiring a great investment of your time in learning the product. Neither do you have to spend a dime before you are sure SOS Standby Server is a good fit for you.

Our software comes with many additional features not included in other replication-failover solutions. Our software will work with VMware virtual machines, or with physical machines. Creating virtual machines is not necessary in every environment. SOS also backs up your servers and workstations four different ways: Replication with Failover, Daily Archiving, Offsite Backup, and Drive Imaging. It is a complete disaster recovery suite for your entire network.

Our licensing model is unique. We provide you with a site license, meaning that you can replicate an unlimited number of servers or workstations to the standby server with NO ADDITIONAL FEE. We are the only company that does not charge for backing up additional machines. The only exception is an additional charge if you purchase more copies of the Open File Access Module. That is an optional add-on that is only needed if you are backing up open-locked files, such as Exchange or SQL. This agent must be installed on any machines that have such data.

  1. Option Annual Support: We also want you to know about our ongoing program to keep our software in state-of-the-art condition. We often get feedback from customers concerning enhancements and features they would like to see incorporated into the software. We work diligently to incorporate valuable updates into the software on a regular basis. In 2008 we released an update on an average of one a month. As our customer base grows our software is installed in many varied environments, which sometimes brings to light adjustments that need to be made for specialized situations. When you have an annual support contract you will receive all these updates, patches, tips and instructions that are released throughout the year for free, along with free phone and email technical support, and a reduced labor rate for any on-site or remote hands-on support from Swarbrick Software. Most of our clients purchase support. We believe it is a wise choice. SOS Standby Server is an investment into your disaster recovery plan. Adding annual support will keep that investment up-to-date and insure it is configured for peak efficiency.

4-Way Backup Protection

The SOS software will perform backup four different ways:

  1. Mirroring with Failover,
  2. Data Archiving
  3. Offsite Backup
  4. Drive Imaging

Below is a description of each of these functions...


The software will continuously monitor and mirror any data sets which you specify, on any servers or workstations on the network, for as many machines as you like, with no extra licensing fees. The Standby Server makes its connection via standard windows networking shares. It can connect through hidden administrative shares or regular shares. It can also be directed to connect to a combination of share / directory paths, such as \\machinename\sharename\directory\subdir\  etc. You do not need to install any software on the machines you are backing up data from, unless they have open/locked files you want to back up, such as SQL databases. In that case you will need the open file access module that we have available. The open file access module is installed on any machines that have locked files you wish to back up.

Data sets on servers are continuously monitored and any data changes are replicated in real-time to the Standby Server using the Rsync protocol, which provides byte / block level delta transmission of only the changes in files. In other words, the entire file is not transmitted, only the changed portion. This significantly reduces network bandwidth.

Exchange failover, SQL failover and general file server failovoer are available through the failover mode. Failover mode can be initiated on the Standby Server for any servers which fail. In the event of a server failure, Failover is selected from the Tools Menu. The failed server is selected from the drop-down list and when the Failover Button is clicked on, the IP address of the failed server will be added to the network card of the Standby Server. The Standby Server will then automatically create shares with the exact same share names as were used by the original server, and share all the mirrored data using those sharenames. The end result is that the failed server still appears to be online to all workstations, as the IP address, data, and sharenames are all identical to what was on the failed server.

The Standby Server will continue to back up other machines on the network while at the same time providing failover for the failed server. If a second or third server should fail while the Standby Server is already providing failover services for another server, that is not a problem. Standby Server can provide failover services for multiple servers at the same time.

Restoration of identity and data back to the failed server after repair is accomplished via a simple and straightforward sync process that will release the IP address, and transmit any new data from the Standby Server back to the original server.

The beauty of this entire process of mirroring with failover is in the inherent simplicity of the design. Because no complicated clustering procedures are employed, the nightmare of complicated cluster configuration is avoided, and the frustrating complexities found in other competing products is eliminated.


Every night at midnight (or whatever time you specify) the existing mirror of data sets is archived into a folder with the day’s date. Daily archived data sets are kept for as many days as you specify. Archiving is an important part of any backup / disaster recovery scheme. If databases become corrupted, or files are accidentally deleted, the same corruption or deletion will of course immediately replicate to the mirror. However the archives are untouched. So in the case of data corruption or deletion, the files can be easily restored from the archive. SOS Standby Server handles this beautifully. Just right-click on the file in the archive and click restore. Standby Server knows which machine the file came from and what directory on that machine it lived in. The file is immediately transferred over the network back to its original location. IT administrators rave about this convenient feature!


SOS Standby Server’s offsite capabilities are unique. It comes with its own client and server software for complete setup of an offsite data location. The server portion, called SOS Offsite Data Receiver can be installed on any 2000, XP or 2003 operating system. The machine does not have to be dedicated. Many people use workstations at another office or at a residence to receive offsite data. The client portion is built into Standby Server. Just check the box for offsite, and the data is mirrored to offsite continually as it is mirrored to the onsite Standby Server. The Rsync protocol is used to do a delta transmission of only byte level changes through the Internet to your offsite location. The software will also transmit to commercial data vault companies, if that is preferred. Some people prefer to transmit to offsite on a scheduled basis, such as once a day, rather than continually. For this reason, the SOS Backup Scheduler is included. This component will allow you to transmit to your offsite location on a scheduled basis.


GhostBuster Drive Imaging Server, GhostBuster Windows Client, and GhostBuster Boot CD are included with SOS Standby Server. The GB Windows Client allows for scheduled drive imaging of workstations and servers. The GB Boot CD allows for creation and restoration of images of machines running any operating system. The GB Drive Imaging Server provides a centralized location for managing the receiving and transmitting of drive images over the network. The drive image created by the GB software is a file created bit-by-bit by reading 0s and 1s off of the hard disk platters and streaming them over the network into one large file. This file can be transmitted back from the GB Server directly to the workstation or server, allowing a blank hard disk to be rebuilt from scratch back to its original condition with operating system, programs and data all in one place. Additionally the GB Drive Imaging Server has the capability of mounting images as virtual drives, allowing you to pull individual files out of the image. Since images are created below the operating system level they automatically backup all files, regardless of whether or not they are open, locked or system files.


The combination of mirroring, failover, archiving, offsite and drive imaging capabilities in one package, provides a comprehensive disaster recovery suite that has unparalleled functionality. Exchange failover and SQL failover are integral to the product. Continuous real-time mirroring insures loss of no more than a few minutes of data in the event of failure. Failover provides for instant data availability which avoids costly downtime and loss of employee productivity. Archiving delivers simple, easy, and fast restoration of lost or damaged files, protecting against data corruption and human error. Offsite backup protects against fire, flood, theft and terrorist attacks. Drive imaging gives a backup of the entire hard disk, allowing for quick and easy restoration of servers and workstations from bare-metal.


If you used SOS Standby Server to backup one server, our price is less than the competition’s. But when you consider that we have no per-seat licensing, the price of Standby Server becomes astonishingly low. All competing companies sell you a different product for each function, one product for mirroring and failover, another one for offsite backup, another one for drive imaging, and so on. Then they charge you for each machine you want to back up with those products. Not so with SOS Standby Server! You get all these products in one package, for one license and one price. Then you can back up ALL machines on your network for no extra charge!  Yes, you can drive image all your PCs, mirror and archive their data and transmit what you want offsite, for all the machines on your network – at no extra charge!  This is unheard of in the industry. We are the only company that does it – and this is why you want to buy – SOS Standby Server!


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