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  • Switching between two mirror exchange servers

    Hello People!

    I have 2 exchange 2003 servers which are identical and being synchronized all the time (using a 3rd party product).

    now if one of them fails a switchover performed (all users are moved from one server to the other in a transparent to the user way).

    now i checked for some time what it is really doing in this switchover process:
    1) changes the dns for the failed server so the ip will direct to the mirror server
    2) starting all processes on the mirror server
    3) moving all users from one server to the other in AD = from what i read on the internet it is changing the homeDBBL value to direct to the new server.

    now is there maybe anything im missing in the process?
    and did anyone see\write\know a script that can do step 3? (will save me lots of time of scripting)

    thanks from ahead.
    Last edited by CrushKing; 31st August 2008, 11:20.

  • #2
    Re: Switching between two mirror exchange servers

    Shouldn't you be asking the third party product provider this question?
    If they cannot answer the question then your product selection is flawed.

    There are products that will do automatic fail over for you - DoubleTake and NeverFail immediately spring to mind. If you want failover then you need to use the right tools - scripts built on another product simply don't cut it.

    Exchange doesn't have a failover process, what you are doing isn't true fail over as it will rely on an awful lot happening. The major thing that will fail is that Outlook will not work if you are using a server with a different name. Automatic redirection of Outlook requires the original server to be live, if you are trying to do a failover then that is not the case.

    Or let me put it another way - you cannot do failover on the cheap. There is a simple formula - the longer you can be without email the cheaper it is. There are no shortcuts.

    Simon.
    --
    Simon Butler
    Exchange MVP

    Blog: http://blog.sembee.co.uk/
    More Exchange Content: http://exchange.sembee.info/
    Exchange Resources List: http://exbpa.com/
    In the UK? Hire me: http://www.sembee.co.uk/

    Sembee is a registered trademark, used here with permission.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Switching between two mirror exchange servers

      Hey Sembee,

      I don't try to save money with creating my own fail over and we do have this auto option... but it failed recently on several occasions and when going back it gave us some problem aswell.
      So I am checking what happens there in the background when you click the "perform a switchover" button.

      thats why I'm mapping the processes that happens and have prepared a virtual test environment to try and do a manual switchover.

      so if you have any ideas i would like to hear them...

      thanks from ahead

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Switching between two mirror exchange servers

        If you have an automatic solution then perhaps you should be asking them why it isn't working?

        The point is, what you are trying to do is not going to work for many many reasons. Exchange simply isn't designed to failover unless you are using clustering.

        Changing the homemdb value will not really get you very far, because Outlook cannot update itself. I don't know how you are replicating the data, but have you actually confirmed the databases will mount if the server has another name?

        I am trying to save you from wasting lots of time getting a solution to work which I know will not. If it could be done then it would be done by many many people (as it is one of things that many companies want without the hassle of clustering) and was why it was introduced in to Exchange 2007 SP1.

        Simon.
        --
        Simon Butler
        Exchange MVP

        Blog: http://blog.sembee.co.uk/
        More Exchange Content: http://exchange.sembee.info/
        Exchange Resources List: http://exbpa.com/
        In the UK? Hire me: http://www.sembee.co.uk/

        Sembee is a registered trademark, used here with permission.

        Comment

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