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  • Exchange 2K3 box just died

    Well...the title says it all...my 1 and only Exchange 2003 server just died...BSOD.

    I'm in the process of building new hardware and just needed some guidance. Do I need to "remove" the old server from ESM or anything like that?

    Can I call the server the same name?

    Thanks

  • #2
    Re: Exchange 2K3 box just died

    Was Exchange also on the DC? Do you have a good backup of the Information Store (databases)?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Exchange 2K3 box just died

      The Exchange server was Windows 2000 and was a DC. I had another 2000 DC already on the network that I used to seize the FSMO roles. I'm building the new box as Win 2K3 and as a member server, not as a DC. I'll probably DCPROMO another server so we have to be a 2nd DC once we get Exchange going again.

      I *should* have a good back up of the Store. We use ArcServe.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Exchange 2K3 box just died

        If the domain is alive then DR of Exchange is pretty easy. The key thing is NOT to remove the machine account in the domain.
        Install Exchange using the disasterrecovery switch, then restore the data. All you will lose is the information between the last backup and the point of failure. However Outlook clients should back fill if they are in cached mode.

        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


        • #5
          Re: Exchange 2K3 box just died

          Originally posted by Sembee View Post
          The key thing is NOT to remove the machine account in the domain.

          Simon.
          Oops...Being the old box was a Win 2000 DC I ran metadata cleanup and removed the DC account from the domain already.

          The replacement server will be a 2K3 member server. Does that make things more difficult?

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Exchange 2K3 box just died

            Means you have to do a lot more work.
            You are going to have to clean out Exchange from the domain, and then install Exchange fresh. All settings will be lost, so permissions, mailboxes etc. All user accounts are going to have to be attached to the mailboxes manually.
            All old email in user accounts that was from internal users, they will be unable to hit reply and just send. They will have to choose reply and then remove the user and select them fresh from the GAL. It is basically as if you migrated to a new domain.

            I also would not have recommended this being a good time to change either the OS or the role of the server. That should be done after you have the data back so it can be done in a controlled manner. DR should get you back to where you were before, by changing things you introduce variables which makes the DR process even harder.

            For anyone else reading this - in DR do NOT delete, change or do anything to the domain unless you are 100% sure of the consequences. Exchange in particularly has a fairly easy DR procedure, but does have a number of requirements - the machine account being the key one.

            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


            • #7
              Re: Exchange 2K3 box just died

              Live and learn from my mistakes, people.

              I'm restoring the Information Store at this point and just watching the tape spin. Hopefully the store will mount properly and everything will be good again.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Exchange 2K3 box just died

                as a secondary backup, you can instruct your users who have Exchange Cached mode enabled to create a PST of their mailbox, that way you have another copy of your emails in the event your IS restore doesnt go all that well.
                Daniel Frei
                -Windows Operations Server Administrator
                -Exchange Guru
                -Cisco Fanatic
                -SharePoint Hippie
                -Volkswagen Enthusiast

                www.lazynetworkadmin.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Exchange 2K3 box just died

                  Sembee...looks like I lucked out and didn't need to go to the extremes that you suggested. I was able to get the new server online, restore data, and mount the stores successfully. Outlook clients are connecting again and it seems to be stable. Gotta love the fact that AD saves everything; settings, paths to logs and stores. Even with me taking out the DC account and building the new box with the same name, it just worked.

                  OWA is not working yet, but I'll look at that on Monday...I'm just thrilled to have a working server again.

                  My single biggest issue in this whole ordeal was the fact the the restore took waaayyy too long. We are using an older version of ArcServe and never really had a suitable way to test it before and did not know it was going to take a day to restore the data. Time to look at alternative backup software and before anyone says "Just use the built-in Windows Backup", we need the ability to backup the Stores and get a Brick-Level backup too and don't want to rely on ExMerge on a daily basis.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Exchange 2K3 box just died

                    Why do you need a brick level backup?

                    By doing a brick level backup you are actually backing up everything twice.
                    I have never done a brick level backup, slow, inefficient, waste of time and space and close to useless for most DR scenarios.

                    With correct configuration of deleted item retention on the server, most content that the users delete in error can be recovered without going to any kind of backup. If the user deleted the item more than the DIR time, then it cannot be anything urgent and they can wait for a restore of the information store to take place.

                    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


                    • #11
                      Re: Exchange 2K3 box just died

                      Originally posted by Sembee View Post
                      Why do you need a brick level backup?
                      The idea of the brick-level, at the time of implementation, was to allow the ability to restore a single mailbox folder or the like quickly and easily. In the beginning we backed up everything every night; files, system store, stores, and brick level. This ran fast and served our needs. However, as the system grew the nightly backup took far too long and we cut it back to full backup once a week and brick-level every night. So, when we had to DR last week we restored the store and then brought it up to date with the brick level.

                      The organization I work for is non-profit and cash is tight, therefore we never had the resources or time to be able to truly practice and prepare for a DR. However, after this disaster I think I can convince them to let me spend some money to update software and to purchase test/backup hardware. Its a little late now, I know, but I believe we can learn from this.

                      Thanks for the advice and making me think of how we can/should be doing things a little different.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Exchange 2K3 box just died

                        To be blunt, you have your priorities wrong.
                        It is possible to recovery everything in Exchange from a full backup, it is not possible to recover everything from a brick level backup.
                        BLBs should be considered a luxury - only done if there is time and space. In the event of running out of either they are the first thing to go. BLBs do not flush the transaction logs and in the event of a failure of the system it is very hard to get Exchange back to the point of failure.

                        Exchange is not designed to be backed up using BLBs - it isn't something that Microsoft provide - it has all come from third party providers. Evan Symantec with Backup Exec have dropped them from the latest version, because they were so useless.

                        The links in this article make excellent reading.
                        http://hellomate.typepad.com/exchang...level_bac.html

                        As for being not for profit - that "excuse" doesn't stand up. You don't need any third party software to backup Exchange correctly for a full disaster recovery. Doing DR correctly does not have to be expensive. I have a full DR plan for my home network, and it doesn't cost me a cent.

                        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


                        • #13
                          Re: Exchange 2K3 box just died

                          It's definetely something for us to think about and make some changes. I would love nothing more than to get rid of ArcServe and use something that actually works.

                          Comment

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