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Data replication in Exchange

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  • Data replication in Exchange

    We are looking to run Exchange 2003 on a virtual server, but host the data files on a Windows Storage Server NAS device. We'd like to implement a failover mechanism. Whereas we are likely to use (or at least investigate) Microsoft's DFS file replication system for mirroring standard files, it isn't recommended for database applications. There do appear to be third-party solutions, such as HP's StorageWorks mirroring software, but that's expensive. Does anyone have any recommendations?

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.

  • #2
    Re: Data replication in Exchange

    DFS won't work with Exchange, as you do note.

    Microsoft's support for Exchange on NAS is limited to those solutions that appear on their list http://support.microsoft.com/kb/839687

    You don't say whether you would want to failover to a remote site or not. HP's StorageWorks is indeed expensive, and likely needs additional HP hardware to work, depending on whether you are going to stretch your failover to another site.

    But I wondered if you have considered Exchange 2007? 2007 has a neat feature called Local Continuous Replication that will replicate a mailstore, and keep it up to date. It will replicate to another disk on your server, and will even replicate to a share. So your Exchange database could be replicated to a distant server.

    I'm not yet into 2007, so I've no experiences to impart as yet, but if you are interested then here's a link that describes the process: http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/...ation-LCR.html

    robbyb

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    • #3
      Re: Data replication in Exchange

      I'm not so sure that the 2007 is a cost effective idea now, because you'll need to run Exchange 2007 on 64 bit hardware for it to be supported by MS.

      Unless you are in line to upgrade your hardware anyway, in which case 64 bit hardware is not much more expensive then 32 bit...

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      • #4
        Re: Data replication in Exchange

        Thanks for the reply.

        The point you make about Exchange 2007 is an interesting one, although we may not be ready to migrate to that yet.

        We intend to replicate to another NAS device on our LAN (gigabit), most likely located in a shared server room. Both NAS devices are likely to be HP ProLiant storage servers, so should be suitable for storing Exchange data and using HP's mirroring software, if it comes to that.

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        • #5
          Re: Data replication in Exchange

          Double-Take (http://www.doubletake.com) looks very promising (if the price is acceptable to those that pay the bills).

          Just to expand on this issue, we're looking to move as many of our server roles onto virtual servers, and this includes Exchange. Double-Take requires a licence for each server, and we'll minimise cost if we can restrict the need for licences to the two NAS devices. From what I've read, it seems that Double-Take can provide failover for Exchange, but I'm unsure whether it can with the set-up that we propose, i.e. a virtual Exchange application server with a physical Exchange data server (the NAS device). Failover would require the virtual Exchange server to be able to seamlessly change its data source from the main to the mirror NAS device.

          Does anyone have any comments?

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          • #6
            Re: Data replication in Exchange

            Mimix is another contigency program.

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