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Offsite 2010 Exchange replication and HOTSITE

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  • Offsite 2010 Exchange replication and HOTSITE

    I have a client that is upgrading to Exchange 2010 from 2007. They are running virtual servers under VMWARE. They are interested in mailstore replication offsite on what I would describe as hotsite. Meaning if there Exchange server fails they can switch over seamlessly to the off-site exchange.

    They presently have their email being delivered to their server and an off-site non-exchange server so if they go down they will have email web client available to send and receive mail. They do not like this because of costs and due to the fact when their server comes backup they cannot sync the sent mail from the non-exchange failover host to their Exchange server.

    They are looking for a solution to their request and asking for recommendations. In calling some of the off-site hosting for 2010 Exchange they offer cloud Exchange but not sychronization between your site and theirs.

  • #2
    Re: Offsite 2010 Exchange replication and HOTSITE

    I am not aware of any provider doing this, because of the very close integration with Active Directory and Exchange. It would be a 1:1 server connection, which would be very expensive.

    However it can be easily done using native tools. You will need Windows 2008 R2 Enterprise on both sides and a dedicated server in a data centre. The server in the data centre would probably be best running VMWARE so that you can have a separate domain controller and Exchange server. You would then run a DAG. Link the two with a VPN, and have all email delivered to the server in the data centre. Then if something happens to the main office, email is under your control.

    I would also recommend that before you start moving clients to Exchange 2010 that you configure a CAS Array with a virtual name that points at the local CAS server. In the event of a failure you only need to change the DNS entry for the CAS array for all clients to use the second server. Failure to do that will cause a mess.

    Its going to have to be something that you build and maintain yourself, simply because of the AD integration required.

    Simon Butler
    Exchange MVP

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