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Multi-Site exchange setup

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  • Multi-Site exchange setup

    Morning all,

    I have been tasked with doing a Multi-Site exchange setup:

    There will be 4 sites connected with a VPN and the client want an allways up solution.

    Each site needs to replicate so if one site is down users can connect to another site and get their mail. Calandars and Tasks need to be shared accross the group too.

    Some Advice Please:

    1. Can this done?
    2. What version of exchange will be the best for this?
    3. And where can i get more info on how to do this?

    Thanks in advance

  • #2
    Re: Multi-Site exchange setup

    What is your budget?

    IIRC there are products like doubletake which will do this but not cheap.
    For E2K7, SCR will replicate logs but there will be downtime as they are replayed
    CCR is not going to be happy across the VPN

    Sembee will give you a definitive answer -- mine are from vague memories
    Tom Jones
    MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
    IT Trainer / Consultant
    Ossian Ltd

    ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **


    • #3
      Re: Multi-Site exchange setup

      Although you have 4 sites why would and do you need exchange on all the sites, best to consolidate into the least possible sites as possible, save time on admin and costs as Exchange is powerful enough to handle the most demanding of requirements. Personally I would consider this for all services and deploying Citrix as a desktop from 2 datacentres for Business Continuity and redundancy.

      As for which version? I would not think of anything else other than 2008r2 with Exchange 14 (2010) if only for the HA facilities. As for 2003 and 2007, why buy into old technology both good enough in their day but now redundant and superseeded. 2010 rocks !!

      Of course it depends on size and budget and staff/political issues but there is no reason to have your Exhange environment spread out, just more hassle.


      • #4
        Re: Multi-Site exchange setup

        I m not good enough in exchange but I can give my opinion here

        Main Site : You can have 2 DCs , HUB/CAS NLB , MailBox Role, Edge Transport Servers (Everything in HA)

        Branch Site : On Each branch you can have 2 servers , 1 for DC (Global Catlogue),
        2nd Server with Mailbox , HUB/CAS Roles

        Now This scenorio you can use with Exchange 2010 using DAG , So each site will have a copy DAG which will replicate to main site as well

        Waiting for exchange gurus answers !



        • #5
          Re: Multi-Site exchange setup

          Hire a consultant.
          While it is possible to do, it is complex and will require some key skills.
          Anything about a simple Exchange deployment really requires a specialist to get involved. The skills and knowledge involved are extensive and really a waste to learn for a single deployment.

          You aren't going to get a live fail over on the cheap or on low bandwidth.
          A DAG may be suitable on Exchange 2010, or a stretched CCR on Exchange 2007.
          Another option would be to use something like VMWARE to replicate the data and handle failover.

          Note that in most cases it is a complete server - so if you have a server in site 1, then that entire server would be replicated to site 2. A server in site 2 would have to be replicated to a server in site 1 - separate the existing server - that would mean four servers total. If you want all data in all sites then you are looking at a lot of replication, a lot of bandwidth and to be honest, I would struggle to recommend that kind of solution.

          There are lots of options, but it all depends on many many factors, most of which are best discussed with an experienced high availability specialist.

          Simon Butler
          Exchange MVP

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          Sembee is a registered trademark, used here with permission.


          • #6
            Re: Multi-Site exchange setup

            Thanks to all with your responces,

            I will look at the 2010 DAG and will look at a consultant too.

            The main reason for the fail over is due to the instabilty of comms in South Africa, as we have cable thefts all the time.