Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Restoring Exchange 2003 Cluster to Standalone Server

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Restoring Exchange 2003 Cluster to Standalone Server

    Hello all,

    Lately I've been going through out DR plan and I've finally come to our relatively new Exchange 2003(file sharing) cluster. I've been going through Microsofts Disaster Recovery Operations Guide for Exchange 2003 and so far I have not found a clean way to restore exchange from a cluster onto a standalone server. Assuming that the entire cluster has been destroyed.

    Here is our setup.

    2 node cluster running Server 2003 R2 SP2 Enterprise, Exchange 2003 Enterprise. Both nodes are attached to an HP MSA fiber channel storage array. We have two DC's that will be geographically dispersed.

    I have yet to find any documentation on restoring an Exchange 2003 cluster to a standalone server.

    Here are a few things I have in mind.

    1. Name the standalone server the same as the exchange virtual server. Then install exchange in /disasterrecovery mode and restore the databases.

    2. Try to recreate the cluster inside VMware Server and restore the cluster according to microsofts Disaster Recovery Operations Guide. Although I'm sure there will be issues restoring an exchange cluster onto different hardware.

    3. Break our cluster and rebuild exchange in a non clustered environment. That way we can have a standby Exchange server offsite that is identical to the live system. This is really only an option if we can't find a solid way to restore exchange from a cluster to a standalone server.
    CCA: XenApp 5.0

  • #2
    Re: Restoring Exchange 2003 Cluster to Standalone Server

    When planning a DRP solution you need to take the SLA in mind. You can create your recovery area in several ways, some of which you've mentioned. Just think of how complicated it would be to put it all together and get it running when things go bad.

    For example, you can pretty easily create a new non-clustered Exchange server with a different name. Make it work, patches and all. You can then backup your stores on the cluster, and restore them daily/weekly on the non-clustered server. For that to work you need to create stores with the exact name as on the clustered server. Then, is something goes bad, all you need to do is to restore the latest backup (if you have a newer one), re-home the user's mailboxes, and re-point the user's OL profiles to the new server (auto-redirection won't work assuming the clustered server is all gone).
    Cheers,

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

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Restoring Exchange 2003 Cluster to Standalone Server

      I'm not familiar with re-homeing mailboxes so I'm going through some documentation on that now.

      Do you know if the first scenario I mentioned will work? It seems like the most straightforward, assuming it's feasible.
      1. Name the standalone server the same as the exchange virtual server. Then install exchange in /disasterrecovery mode and restore the databases.
      Thanks again for your help!
      CCA: XenApp 5.0

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Restoring Exchange 2003 Cluster to Standalone Server

        It could, yes, although I haven't tested it myself.
        Cheers,

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

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Restoring Exchange 2003 Cluster to Standalone Server

          We're going to try it out it the near future.

          I'll post back and let everyone know how it worked out.
          CCA: XenApp 5.0

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Restoring Exchange 2003 Cluster to Standalone Server

            Update:

            Well, I've had the chance to try one of my ideas out.

            This is all working with Server 2003 R2 SP2 enterprise servers with Exchange 2003 Enterprise SP2.
            Scenario 1:
            Restore clustered exchange server to standalone exchange server by naming the standalone server the same as virtual clustered exchange server. Then restore onto standalone server using /disasterrecovery.

            Here's what I did.

            I took our DC that's installed in a VM. Shut it down and made a copy that I would later bring up into a segregated network. At the same time I took an online backup of our Exchange server with ntbackup.

            Brought the DC up in the segregated test network, seized FSMO roles, cleaned up metadata with ntdsutil, cleaned up sites and services, cleaned up DNS by deleting entries for the other DCs.

            Then I added the soon to be exchange server into the domain. I named it the same as our clustered exchange server. Then I tried installing exchange 2003 in /disasterrecovery mode. When I tried to select the install option for messaging and collaboration exchange options it would not let me select /disasterrecovery. It told me I could not perform this option because it's a clustered exchange server and it needs to be managed from cluster administrator.

            So, I've learned that you cannot use /disasterrecovery to recover a failed exchange cluster to a standalone exchange server with Exchange 2003 Enterprise.


            Scenario 2:
            Built a new standalone exchange 2003 server and restore the database backup from the clustered exchange server to it.

            I'm having problems with this one as well. Building the new server and updating it all goes well. I have problems when I go to restore the database to the new server. It does not like the fact that the storage group and databases have a different name. Well, they are named the same but because they're on different servers they're not.
            For example.
            First Storage Group\Mailbox Store (EX-1)
            First Storage Group\Mailbox Store (EX-2)
            EDIT: Of course I could just right-cllick the store and rename it!! *smacks forehead!*


            I need to go through the Exchange DRO guide again to see if I can pick up on something I'm not doing.
            Last edited by bill_sffcu; 15th December 2007, 08:07.
            CCA: XenApp 5.0

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Restoring Exchange 2003 Cluster to Standalone Server

              Another Update:

              First off, thanks to Daniel Petri for pointing me in the right direction.

              Scenario 2 eventually worked once I got passed the simple problem where I had to rename the database so the names matched. After that it went fairly smoothly.

              I didn't use LDIFDE re-home the mailboxes, instead I used ADModify which I got here.
              ftp://ftp.microsoft.com/PSS/Tools/Ex...Tools/ADModify

              Once I got passed the problem where you need to change the homeMDB attribute drop down box before you change the homeMTA attribute. If you modify the homeMTA first it will blank out the homeMDB drop down box.

              Here's a good article on ADModify
              http://www.msexchange.org/articles/A...ttributes.html

              And the ADModify.NET site.
              http://www.codeplex.com/admodify

              Then of course I would need to hit the Outlook clients and get them pointed at the new server.

              After that everything seemed to work just fine. I'm going to be putting together some documentation on this that I'll post later once I'm finished with it.
              CCA: XenApp 5.0

              Comment

              Working...
              X