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Making Exchange 2010 Highly Available

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Making Exchange 2010 Highly Available - 28.Sep.2011 10:30:03 AM   
danbrown

 

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I'm planning to do an upgrade for my company to Exchange 2010 early next year. I'd like to set something up that will make Exchange highly available to our users even if our primary site fails. The primary site is where our main computer room is located and where I'm planning to do the upgrade. It will all be done virtually in VMWare. I also have rack space rented at an off-site facility with a fast internet connection and VPN back to the main office. How can I use these resources to setup Exchange 2010 so that even if one of the two sites go down email is still accessable to both local Outlook users and remote OWA/Blackberry users? I've been reading up on all of the new features and I have a decent understanding of a basic setup but I'm not sure how to go about making this all work across two sites. I know I can use a DAG to replicate the exchange database to the remote site but I'm not clear on how I can use it to fail over if our main site becomes unavailable. Would I need two MX records with one pointing to each server? Any input would be greatly appreciated, thanks!
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RE: Making Exchange 2010 Highly Available - 28.Sep.2011 12:54:23 PM   
mark@mvps.org

 

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Since you have VMware there is nothing to stop you using VMotion internally and SRM across the data centre's. Read up on those and download the VMware white papers from their communities site.

If you want to use DAG that's fine as well. Do some reading on "DAC Mode" as it applies to the DAG. That will help you understand how to automatically fail over and, indeed, prevent automatic failover should you not wish to have a failover for a routine outage.

It's a little early to be looking at DNS and generally CAS related things right now. Do your reading on how best to fail over the databases and their servers first. In a month or so you can then get down to the bones of DNS, CAS & HT.

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Mark Arnold (Exchange MVP)
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RE: Making Exchange 2010 Highly Available - 29.Sep.2011 11:56:01 AM   
danbrown

 

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Really good point about using vmware, I hadn't considered that option. I'd like to know how exchange would work anyway so I'll check out that info and thanks for the suggestion, much appreciated!

Dan

(in reply to danbrown)
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RE: Making Exchange 2010 Highly Available - 2.Oct.2011 5:23:41 PM   
svoller

 

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We are looking at doing something similar you should read this article from Henrik Walther on teh Articles page:

http://www.msexchange.org/articles_tutorials/exchange-server-2010/high-availability-recovery/designing-site-resilient-exchange-2010-solution-part1.html

I have been using a lot of the ideas from this in our design. We planned to use a number of technologies.

We are using DAGs in Exchange 2010 on Hyper-V to protect Exchange and VMware replication to protect other services such as app servers and DC's etc. We bridged a VLAN between sites for the VMware replication so that the IP's dont change on the servers when they failover.

We are testing with DAGs at the moment to see whether it is better to to stretch the DAG across two AD sites and use DAC or create the single AD site on the Bridged VLAN with all the Exchange servers in the DAG in the same AD site. We have good connectivity so that is not an issue.

(in reply to danbrown)
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