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If I loose my only DC, will Exchange 2003 still work?

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  • If I loose my only DC, will Exchange 2003 still work?

    We have a cluster setup to run Exchange and File Sharing.

    They are 2 reasonable powerful HP pizza boxes connected to a NAS storage array.

    Our DC is an old IBM box that used to run Novell. right now this is not in production, although it's up and running. Our users still connect to our old Novell box for their Email and file sharing.

    If that one and only DC dies, will Exchange die with it?

    What kind of recovery options will we have? I'm assuming this could get extremely ugly and may involve completely rebuilding AD and Exchange from scratch.
    CCA: XenApp 5.0

  • #2
    Re: If I loose my only DC, will Exchange 2003 still work?

    Exchange will, soon after the death of your DC, fail.

    I'd recommend you urgently consider getting another DC in there. Even if you use older hardware, or even a PC spec machine, you should have another DC in your network.

    With the loss of your only DC, your network will pretty much grind to a halt, with your users not having anything to authenticate against. AD won't function. DNS (if it's on your only DC) won't function. The list of things that your users depend on will grow.

    Assuming you are backing up your present DC, then with the loss of your DC, you'll be looking to recover\restore the DC. You may be restoring back to the existing hardware. You may have to souce new hardware if the odl IBM box can't be fixed.

    Once you have recovered the DC, Exchange will work (with a reboot, perhaps). You won't need to do anything to Exchange, because you are recovering the same Active Directory as before. Things would just get really hairy if your backup does not work. You'd reinstall a DC but it wouldn't be the same as the old, even if you use the same domain name etc.

    Save yourself a world of pain by putting in another DC.

    robbyb

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    • #3
      Re: If I loose my only DC, will Exchange 2003 still work?

      ^^^^I pretty much figured that.

      As far as recovering a DC. Assuming that I have more than one DC in the network.

      The easiest way to recover a failed DC would be to have a functioning DC seize the FSMO roles if necessary, delete the old DC out of AD if necessary and then reinstall 2003 and DCPROMO it back into the domain as a brand new DC.

      ^^^Yet another reason why a DC should only be a DC.
      CCA: XenApp 5.0

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      • #4
        Re: If I loose my only DC, will Exchange 2003 still work?

        That's the approach I'd take too. Thanks for the reputation point, Bill!

        robbyb

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