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Topic # 150087 10-Jul-2014 19:36
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Looking at the right DR strategy for our organisation. E-mail was considered high priority so that means I probably need to run a second Exchange server at the DR site and keep it up to date. I have access to Exchange 2010.

Before I start to spend lots of money on consultants, just wondering at a high level, what would be the best way to run two Exchange servers so if one goes down, then I can have MX records changed and have all e-mail route to the secondary server?

Given the lowish volume of e-mail that flows through I thought I could do one large replication of the Exchange stores first and then keep them in sync (by whatever means that are available) via a site to site VPN. That would save on WAN costs.

I do recall when we were migrating from one service provider to another, we ran two Exchange servers with one primary and one secondary at each DC and we slowly migrated mailboxes from one to the other. However all mail did go out and come in via the one external connection and Exchange knew where the mailboxes were located.  However if the main Exchange  server went down, then even with MX record changes etc. those who had mailboxes on the main server would be out of luck. So that wouldn't work but I suspect Exchange 2010 is a bit more capable in that respect.

Thanks




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  Reply # 1086687 10-Jul-2014 19:53
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any thought of moving to something like hosted Exchange or Office 365 where this is taken care for you? :)

I can't remember if 2010 has this feature, but 2013 has database availability group DAG built in as part of the site resiliency framework

Some useful stuff here too http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/archive/tags/high+availability/default.aspx

Disaster recovery   In the event of a hardware or software failure, multiple database copies in a DAG enable high availability with fast failover and little or no data loss. This eliminates downtime and the resulting lost productivity that's a significant cost of recovering from a past point-in-time backup to disk or tape. DAGs can be extended to multiple sites and can provide resilience against disk, server, network, and datacenter failures.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd876874.aspx



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  Reply # 1086691 10-Jul-2014 19:57
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You don't even need to rely on changing MX records, just have two records with different preference levels.




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  Reply # 1086693 10-Jul-2014 19:59
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Inphinity: You don't even need to rely on changing MX records, just have two records with different preference levels.


indeed, that does sort your inbound mail but nothing else



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  Reply # 1086701 10-Jul-2014 20:10
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I probably wasn't clear on the MX records front. I just realised I don't have to change them since our MX records point to servers in the US that filter the mail before we get it. So all I would have to do is go to the US site and change the IP address of the Exchange server so mail goes to the new server.




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  Reply # 1086703 10-Jul-2014 20:12
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nathan: any thought of moving to something like hosted Exchange or Office 365 where this is taken care for you? :)



Not possible given the tight integration between Exchange and our DMS. I would have to somehow find a way to connect the hosted Exchange with the DMS which is a filestore and SQL database. That would have major performance impacts even if I could make it work.

nathan: 


I can't remember if 2010 has this feature, but 2013 has database availability group DAG built in as part of the site resiliency framework

Some useful stuff here too http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/archive/tags/high+availability/default.aspx

Disaster recovery   In the event of a hardware or software failure, multiple database copies in a DAG enable high availability with fast failover and little or no data loss. This eliminates downtime and the resulting lost productivity that's a significant cost of recovering from a past point-in-time backup to disk or tape. DAGs can be extended to multiple sites and can provide resilience against disk, server, network, and datacenter failures.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd876874.aspx




That's worth investigating. Thanks




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System Two: Popcorn Hour A200 ,  Oppo BDP-80 BluRay Player with hardware mode to be region free, Vivitek HD1080P 1080P DLP projector with 100" screen. Harman Kardon HK AVR 254 7.1 receiver, Samsung 4K player, Google Chromecast

 


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  Reply # 1086715 10-Jul-2014 20:29
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If you want to use a DAG (which 2010 does have) then make sure you are using windows server enterprise edition as Exchange replication uses the cluster service to replicate. If you are installed on server 2012 then you should be fine as all the feature sets are the same across std and enterprise.




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  Reply # 1086736 10-Jul-2014 21:10
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gjm: If you want to use a DAG (which 2010 does have) then make sure you are using windows server enterprise edition as Exchange replication uses the cluster service to replicate. If you are installed on server 2012 then you should be fine as all the feature sets are the same across std and enterprise.


Good to know. I am planning a migration to 2012R2 for all servers so that works well for us.

Thanks




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System Two: Popcorn Hour A200 ,  Oppo BDP-80 BluRay Player with hardware mode to be region free, Vivitek HD1080P 1080P DLP projector with 100" screen. Harman Kardon HK AVR 254 7.1 receiver, Samsung 4K player, Google Chromecast

 


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  Reply # 1086762 10-Jul-2014 21:33
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I see your issue with moving to the cloud but I do wonder how long MS will continue to produce new versions of exchange - there will no doubt be a time where it's a cloud only service so might be prudent to at least think about the options.

I've just stoked up the old exchange server and moved emails back from office 365 and it's like going back to the dark ages.

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  Reply # 1086822 10-Jul-2014 23:00
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Why not just go for Office 365? Will be the better (and often cheaper) solution IMO




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  Reply # 1086844 11-Jul-2014 00:04
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gjm: If you want to use a DAG (which 2010 does have) then make sure you are using windows server enterprise edition as Exchange replication uses the cluster service to replicate. If you are installed on server 2012 then you should be fine as all the feature sets are the same across std and enterprise.


DAG is indeed the way to go, nothing like taking a server down and watching your clients reconnect within about 5 seconds. Now you can do exchange server maintenance during the day without anyone really noticing.



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  Reply # 1086849 11-Jul-2014 00:19
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michaelmurfy: Why not just go for Office 365? Will be the better (and often cheaper) solution IMO


read 6th message in this thread :)

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  Reply # 1086850 11-Jul-2014 00:21
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nitrotech: I see your issue with moving to the cloud but I do wonder how long MS will continue to produce new versions of exchange - there will no doubt be a time where it's a cloud only service so might be prudent to at least think about the options.

I've just stoked up the old exchange server and moved emails back from office 365 and it's like going back to the dark ages.


one of MS differentiators is Hybrid, so I don't think on-premises Exchange is going away anytime soon

There are still good reasons for on-premises Exchange in some cases



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  Reply # 1087752 12-Jul-2014 15:06
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insane:
gjm: If you want to use a DAG (which 2010 does have) then make sure you are using windows server enterprise edition as Exchange replication uses the cluster service to replicate. If you are installed on server 2012 then you should be fine as all the feature sets are the same across std and enterprise.


DAG is indeed the way to go, nothing like taking a server down and watching your clients reconnect within about 5 seconds. Now you can do exchange server maintenance during the day without anyone really noticing.




Now sounds like what I want. Can you have your second server in another data centre? And what happens if the primary DC loses power? It's easy enough for me to route the clients to the second server via a VPN (possibly Outlook http RPC) but how much data would be lost. Or does DAG allow for realtime replication of the database?




System One: Popcorn Hour A200,  PS3 SuperSlim, NPVR and Plex Server running on Gigabyte Brix (Windows 10 Pro), Sony BDP-S390 BD player, Pioneer AVR, Raspberry Pi running Kodi and Plex, Panasonic 60" 3D plasma, Google Chromecast

System Two: Popcorn Hour A200 ,  Oppo BDP-80 BluRay Player with hardware mode to be region free, Vivitek HD1080P 1080P DLP projector with 100" screen. Harman Kardon HK AVR 254 7.1 receiver, Samsung 4K player, Google Chromecast

 


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  Reply # 1087761 12-Jul-2014 15:25
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DAG is designed to use the built-in continuous replication feature to replicate mailbox databases among servers in the DAG.

You also have to have HA on the Client Access Server (CAS) role, configure a single name space that Outlook connects to

IIRC in Exchange 2010 this is called a CAS Array

Its much simpler with Exchange 2013 as even across your internal network Outlook uses Outlook Anywhere over HTTP/HTTPS

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