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  • Upgrade & Fault Tolerance Recommendation

    Hi All,

    Thanks for you time!

    Our current scenario consist of:

    1 Exchange Server 2003 STND on a 2003 Domain.
    - DB size is nearing 70GB serving ~70 users.
    - Hardware is about 6 years old. (originally installed on a custom non-brand machine)

    The reason that triggered an upgrade was a recent server crash that took a whole day to restore. This made 40 in-house & 15 Remote users a little lost. (2nd reason is the 75GB limit)

    I know "hire a consultant" is a common reply for this kind of posts, but I have some spare time & I'd like to do some research myself. Also, if I am going to manage a new design in the future, I might as well get to know it better.

    I was reading about 2010 HA that is also available on STND (Yey!) but have to be installed on 2008 ENT edition (why? "there goes the cost savings")

    I was thinking about: Exchange 2010 in a virtualized solution (HYPER-V?)

    I would appreciate your personal opinion on a good fault tolerant solution with minimal cost in mind.

    Thanks a lot as always!

    Yosi

  • #2
    Re: Upgrade & Fault Tolerance Recommendation

    You will not get fault tolerance on the cheap.
    Simple rule - the longer you can be without the system, the cheaper it is.
    Doesn't matter whether you use Exchange 2010 and Windows Enterprise edition, VMWARE ESX and its solution or HyperV. All of them are going to cost.

    If you don't need live failover then the cheapest solution is actually Exchange 2007. SCR allows you to have the data on a second server, but requires manual intervention to make it the live system. SCR runs on standard edition of both Exchange and Windows.

    The reason why "hire a consultant" is become the response is because the design and installation of an Exchange environment is becoming more complex. You don't build your own car, you get it built for you by someone who has the skills to do so. However they don't drive the car.


    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: Upgrade & Fault Tolerance Recommendation

      thanks, Simon. Didn't "actually mean a $500 setup" but if you had to choose between the following, which one would you invest your money in?


      A: All New LCR:
      - new Server with 2008 OS & Exchange 2010 Standard

      B: Shop Special CCR:

      - 2 servers with 2003 ENT OS & Exchange 2007 ENT (future 2010 upgrade not included)


      Both will cost around the same, the first lacks CCR, the second lacks new OS & EXC 2010 features.

      thanks for your help.
      Yosi

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Upgrade & Fault Tolerance Recommendation

        I wouldn't even consider a Windows 2003 based solution - that is a seven year old OS, so you have already limited the lifespan of the implementation. You can't buy Windows 2003 any longer, so you must be purchasing Windows 2008 and using downgrade rights.
        Remember that Windows 2008 R2 is currently not supported with Exchange 2007.

        Furthermore you can't purchase Exchange 2007 either, so that would also be downgrade rights.

        Therefore you either using old systems/licences or someone has provided you with bad information.

        Even if I was deploying Exchange 2007, I would still be recommending that Windows 2008 R2 and Exchange 2010 is purchased and downgrade rights are used, so that upgrades to the latest version of both at some point in the future.

        Exchange 2010 for a new deployment is the preference, unless there is a really compelling reason not to (third party support for example). However your second option simply doesn't make sense and I would have to wonder about the legitimacy of it. Both variants require Windows Enterprise edition and both can be run from Standard edition of Exchange.
        Only CCR requires Enterprise of both, but given the chance, an Exchange 2010 DAG based solution would be preferable. It can also be run over two systems, whereas CCR requires three at a minimum.

        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: Upgrade & Fault Tolerance Recommendation

          thanks for the thorough explanation.

          - yes, the second option would mean getting software from like ebay and such, but I see, it doesn't worth it. tnx

          Appreciate it!
          Last edited by YosiNYC; 28th January 2010, 02:11.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Upgrade & Fault Tolerance Recommendation

            one last thing, focusing on your quote earlier:

            "If you don't need live failover then the cheapest solution is actually Exchange 2007"

            If I'm only getting Standard versions of both Windows(200 and Exchange(2010), none of the DAG features are available, correct? In this case would it be smarter to buy it anyway with downgrade rights and use 2007 for now? (this way at least I get SCR)

            tnx, and sorry for all the Qs...

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Upgrade & Fault Tolerance Recommendation

              If you are getting standard edition of both then Exchange 2007 may well be the best option at this time. That will give you SCR. It was unfortunate that Microsoft removed any kind of data replication on standard edition of Windows from Exchange 2010.

              Although at least with DAG you can do it with only two servers, as the Hub and CAS roles can exist on the same server, whereas with CCR they cannot.

              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


              • #8
                Re: Upgrade & Fault Tolerance Recommendation

                ok seems like we may be able to go for the whole DAG solution and pay the big bucks...

                When I spoke to a CDW specialist, he was like, if it was me, I would virtualize everything with "VMwhere vSphere Essentials Plus" made for small businesses in mind, together with an entery-level "Promise v-track SAN".... to accomplish your server fault tolerance...

                any thought on that? Is he trying to sell me something (well of course) but maybe it is something worth while looking into?

                I guess the real question would be would that be a better solution, to get Standard 2008 OS & Standard Exchange 2010 & use that together with the virtualized solution rather then using DAG alone?
                Last edited by YosiNYC; 28th January 2010, 23:16.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Upgrade & Fault Tolerance Recommendation

                  I haven't used the VMWARE solution for data replication. If you are going to look outside Exchange then you need to look at other products. There are products such as NeverFail, DoubleTake etc which can replicate the Exchange data.

                  However don't take a sales person's opinion. If you are going to look at a VMWARE deployment then you really need to consult with a VMWARE Specialist. There are lots of them around.

                  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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