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  • Isolating live system

    Good morning chaps!

    So I've been tasked with having an identical system up and running at any given moment in the event of a hardware failure on our main production server. Our production server is currently running Hyper-V and I would like to transition to VMware. The long term goal is to switch out our production with the backup, leaving VMware as the main hypervisor and installing VMware on the current production machine to use as a failover.

    Now that I have an identical system configured in an isolated environment (DC, Exchange, Forefront TMG), are there any measures that I have to take into consideration in order to "stub" the system? I don't want any of our mail to accidentally end up at the backup system, which hasn't happened but I was just curious as to what measures I should take in order for this system to remain completely isolated. I still need it to access the internet for searching, activation, and updates but I don't want anyone on the outside knowing its there. It is currently utilizing one of our public IPs and has the same internal networking addresses, just completely isolated.

    Our production network is using a .66 IP from our public IP address range, the backup is using a .69 IP. I figure there shouldn't be a problem with DNS since its registered to the .66 address, suggestions?

  • #2
    Re: Isolating live system

    You have everything on one server?
    Presuming you have the licences, any reason why you simply do not have two of everything?

    Two DCs, two Exchange servers? There is no need to have something isolated, plus you have the problem of how to keep it up to date.

    If you have everything on a single machine then you should be using Enterprise edition of Windows, as that is the most efficient way of licencing for multiple VMs on a single piece of hardware. That will mean you can use a DAG.

    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.

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    • #3
      Re: Isolating live system

      Well here's the thing, we purchased everything as a part of Essential Business Server 2008, which includes 3 licenses for Server 2008 Standard edition. EBS is no longer available so we can't purchase the same product to have the additional licenses or same services. I'm guessing we could always purchase a couple more Server 2008 licenses and just replicate the DC and Exchange servers if we wanted to go that route.

      We never really considered having two of everything since it seems like overkill but we might consider it as a part of our plan. We'd even consider doing away with EBS since documentation is awful and is a pain to work with but we'd need something comparable.

      I do know all 3 servers are tied in with one another and I don't want to risk breaking anything by introducing something that isn't a part of EBS.

      We're still weighing our options here but so far the plan is to have 2 servers to virtualize everything and the VMs housed in a NAS (eventually a SAN). Still open to suggestions but that's more or less the game plan.

      What do you mean by DAG?

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      • #4
        Re: Isolating live system

        EBS is a dead product. Even if it wasn't, to run any kind of live backup system you would require additional licenses and that would mean full product. At this stage that would also mean Exchange 2010.

        DAG is Database Availability Group, a new feature of Exchange 2010. As you didn't provide any version information in the original post, then I presumed the latest version.

        With Exchange 2007, your options are more limited. You could buy an additional Exchange 2010 standard license, then use downgrade rights to actually install Exchange 2007. You could then use SCR to have a copy of the database on the second server. It isn't live failover, but the data would be there and just needs to be activated.

        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: Isolating live system

          Sorry for the delay, been very busy here. We're running Exchange 2007 so that would pose some limitations as you mentioned. Instead of running multiple "live" systems, I have decided to store the VMs on a SAN and configure 2 servers with the Hyper-V role enabled in the event one machine should give out. I figure it would simplify the licensing issue and we'd have a cold spare ready to go within an hour or so.

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