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Looking for advice

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  • Looking for advice

    We are a small(er) sized business and currently have the following setup:

    [1] 2003 DC with 2003 Exchange
    [1] 2003 Application and storage server

    Our APP server is backing up AD, Exchange, and all user data via Backup Exec.

    I am looking for suggestions to setup an additional DC and Exchange for redundancy. We are on a limited budget, but I would like to have something available in case of a failure (aside from restoring from a backup). Email is very vital but we do not have the budget for a cluster (yet). An optimal setup would be to have backup databases that replicate data, but do not respond to user requests (if that's possible).

    Any and all suggestions are welcome.

    Thank you,


  • #2
    Re: Looking for advice

    1. Cluster anyways does not work for AD as AD is not cluster aware and can not create the AD resources in cluster.

    2. AD replica will work for you but you can not have replica of Exchange in such way that is why most of the companies go for Exch Cluster.

    Additionally there is no harm if ADC also offers authentication, Do you have any specific reason for ADCs to not to participate?

    Kapil Sharma
    Life is too short, Enjoy It.


    • #3
      Re: Looking for advice

      Thank you for the reply.

      I don't have a reason for an additional DC not authenticating clients. I just "figured" it would be easier to troubleshoot. I figured wrong.

      So would you recommend I setup an additional DC on an inexpensive server with the same basic services?

      Do you have any other ideas for a way to backup the Exchange databases that could be brought online/mounted in case of a failure?

      Thanks again!


      • #4
        Re: Looking for advice

        Definitely have additional DC installed even if this is a low cost box.
        Make it also GC and install DNS server on it.
        Make sure the clients point to the second DC as their secondary DNS server.

        As for Exchange, if something goes wrong with your DC/Exchange server that requires reinstall, you will have to follow the Exchange Disaster Recovery procedure that will only work if you have at least one additional DC (otherwise this will require full server restore):

        1) Reinstall the server using the same name
        2) Make it DC/GC and install DNS on it
        3) install Exchange using "/disasterrecovery" switch. Search google for more details.
        4) install the same Exchange SP that was there before the disaster using the same "/disasterrecovery" switch
        5) Mount the Exchange stores.

        If you need more detailed steps, you might want to ask the question in the Exchange forum.
        Guy Teverovsky
        "Smith & Wesson - the original point and click interface"