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Exchange 2003 Server failover

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  • Exchange 2003 Server failover

    Hello,
    I'm working with a replication product that replicates all the databases (EBD and STM) and the transaction logs (including the queue), which are all on a SAN disk. i'm trying to build a procedure to fail over the server to a server that is running on the DR site, under these assumptions:
    * The production and DR servers are installed with different names, and are both registered as Exchange servers with AD
    * The Exchange on the DR server is down during regular times
    * There will be no other underlying tool to manage the fail over, except Windows scripts

    At a certain point, the production server crashes, and the DR server needs to kick in. for that, I will:
    * Change the DR server name to the production server name
    * Bring up Exchange on the renamed server
    * The whole thing should be seamless to the Outlook, except the time when both server are down. no action should be required from the users.

    ++ Do i need to change anything else except the server name?
    ++ If the DR server's Exchange was installed under a different name, would there be any consequences over time, except changing the server name (like some changing credentials, etc.)?
    ++ Is there a way to change the server name and reset the computer account by scripting, rather then using the System properties and AD GUI?

    Thank you so much,
    Ehud
    Last edited by ehud; 15th March 2007, 02:02.

  • #2
    Re: Exchange 2003 Server failover

    Would it not be better to configure an active / passive cluster for Exchange 2003?

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/l.../bb123612.aspx

    Just from what I read, what you want to do seems a bit long winded when the features are already available to you in windows 2003 (As long as you have the enterprise edition)

    Michael
    Michael Armstrong
    www.m80arm.co.uk
    MCITP: EA, MCTS, MCSE 2003, MCSA 2003: Messaging, CCA, VCP 3.5, 4, 5, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, ITIL, MCP, PGP Certified Technician

    ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points sigpic where appropriate **

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    • #3
      Re: Exchange 2003 Server failover

      Thought about that. the production and DR hosts are too far apart (geographically).

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Exchange 2003 Server failover

        I don't believe I'm saying this but did you consider moving to Ex2007?
        Cheers,

        Daniel Petri
        Microsoft Most Valuable Professional - Active Directory Directory Services
        MCSA/E, MCTS, MCITP, MCT

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Exchange 2003 Server failover

          Mmm.
          Ok, maybe I need to clear things. I'm writing a Best Practice document for a product named RecoverPoint, which is a SAN replication solution.
          My problem is, there is no MS recommendations on how this is done, in terms of what in the system need to be duplicated in a DR server so that a failover would be invisible to the Outlook users.
          The setup should be available for 2 scenarios - a server failover (failing over the active Exchange server to the DR) and data mining (mounting the DR server t olook for a deleted email, appointment or contact, while the production server is still up and serving). The setup needs to be inclusive, so using the /DisasterRecovey flag is irrelevant.

          for now, the solution is to install 2 independent servers, and to rename the DR server to the production server name for a server failover, and to mount it in an isolated environment for data mining. however, what I'm trying to achieve is to failover the server without changing the server name, and have AD redirect the users to the new server. that way, there's no need to isolate the DR server for data mining, and only the relevant user will be failed over to the DR server, or maybe a new profile will be used for that.

          I already covered using a Boot From SAN server, and MSCS running Exchange as a virtual server, and they both work well. However, since i cannot force anyone to use these 2 options, i must also give a feasible solution for a physical setup.
          Exchange 2007 section will come right after the 2003 section is done. Why would you not recommend moving top 2007? Have not experimented with it yet...

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          • #6
            Re: Exchange 2003 Server failover

            When you do experiment with it you will (probably) feel the same...
            Cheers,

            Daniel Petri
            Microsoft Most Valuable Professional - Active Directory Directory Services
            MCSA/E, MCTS, MCITP, MCT

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Exchange 2003 Server failover

              2 more:
              1. When we failover, and revert to a previous image of Exchange, Outlook in cached mode does not resync the changes. every change coming from the going back in time does not resync. is there any way to instruct Outlook, by some Exchange flag, to resync everything?

              2. the way we approach a failover is to make the DR server name identical to the production (in Boot From SAN and virtual server it is implicit, in physical servers we actively change it). So, for data mining we need to run Exchange with the same server name on the DR side. the problem we encounter is that the whole notion if isolated environment fails - the cluster fails with a message of not having a connection with the GW, even if we set itself to be the GW. the physical fails because the local AD, running on the DR server itself, says it cannot communicate with the AD servers. kinda makes you think that even though the PDC/BDC approach was seemingly dropped, it still exists.

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              • #8
                Re: Exchange 2003 Server failover

                This post might help you.

                http://forums.petri.com/showthread.php?t=13934
                MCP, MCSA+messaging, MCDBA, OCA.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Exchange 2003 Server failover

                  No. Actually, the replication technology is the one thing i do have. what I'm looking for is the way to do it after the data is there. bring up the DR exchange while the production is still up. how is that done, after the DR host is isolated?

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