Need help with off site cluster (Full Version)

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bwoods -> Need help with off site cluster (12.Jul.2010 11:26:20 AM)

Ok, Im not totally sure this is the right description, which is why Im posting here. Perhaps someone can get me pointed in the right direction.

I manage an Exchange 2003 SE server at our Business location, unfortunately we lose internet connectivity from time to time and I would like to be able to still run our mail server run at our co-location.
Our co-location never goes down, and I would like external regional managers, management and myself to be able to use the co-location while our internet service is down, using aircards and laptops.

Once our internet service is working again, I would like the co-location to update our main site,what any new emails.

In a database world - what I'm looking for is two way replication, where the main site is the main database and the co-location is the working (updateable) copy

Where the information store at our main site is copied (replicated) to the co-location information store

I have a valid 2007 SE license, and can upgrade to 2007 if this helps

If anyone can get me pointed in the right direction I think I can figure out what steps to do, I just need that initial push
1) Can this be done
2) What is it called (so I can research it)


jmadsen -> RE: Need help with off site cluster (12.Jul.2010 11:47:32 AM)

you need Enterprise version of Exchange 2007 to support clustering and also the enterprise version of Windows Server to do so

in 2010 you can get away with doing clustering on standard edition, the diff now between standard and enterprise is a matter of how many databases you can mount. Clustering is supported on both flavors of Exchnage 2010 - However you still need enterprise edition of Windows server, since it still use the Windows Failover Clustering Service to do so

you are looking at a minumum of 2 ea. Exchange 2010 Standard and 2 ea. Windows 2008 R2 Enterprise to do this (This is minumum - I prefer to split HUB/CAS roles out to their own servers, which brings us to a total of 4 servers)

another onption to get you better uptime, is to just move your existing exchange install to you co-lo and run it from there - your Outlook clients could connect to the co-lo using RPC over HTTPS if you don't have a VPN connection to the co-lo


bwoods -> RE: Need help with off site cluster (12.Jul.2010 3:33:38 PM)

Hi Jens, thanks for the reply.

Times are tight; I don't think I would get approval for the Enterprise versions; maybe I could squeeze 2 copies of 2010 SE out of them + another copy of Server.

I considered moving the exchange serve to the co-loc, we use RPC over HTTP for regional so no change and I could setup a site to site VPN, so no problems there.

What about performance? I have about 100 users - and they love to email each other 20 Meg presentation files each Qtr. - which is why I was hoping to keep two IS db (one at the main location and the other at the co-loc)

I'm not really an exchange admin, but I know a lot about systems, I'm weak on exchange's terminology so I'm having a hard time looking things up.

Is clustering the right term for what I'm trying to do?
I'm looking to have each database at a different site connected via site-to-site VPN?

So this isn't fail-over, I keep returning to replication or synchronization vs clustering - but again maybe it's terminology (and a solid understanding of clustering as well as exchange) getting in my way.

Then again maybe just me... Time to crack some more books.

jmadsen -> RE: Need help with off site cluster (12.Jul.2010 3:49:34 PM)

clustering is the right term

however - clustering can be quite expensive

i would move the server to the co-lo - as long as you are using Outlook in "cached mode" your users wouldn't see any performance degradation per say

the user would have a local copy of all the emails in Outlook and only replicating changes with the server

remeber for clustering to work you need Enterprise editions of Window Server ($2400 each)


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