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Exchange server redundancy

Posted on 2004-03-24
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Last Modified: 2010-04-11
I have Exchange server in my network. Is it possible to install second Exchange server in Network and synchronize databases, so incase if first server failed second server will take care of all users ?
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Question by:AlexC77
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Expert Comment

by:blackss
ID: 10673582
Exchange is integrated into Active Directory so your users will be fine as long as you have more then one dc.  What you want to do is duplicate Exchanges services through Clustering, if possible.

Let me know if you want more info.

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chaaser earned 250 total points
ID: 10675090
It's not possible to synchronize the mail store database, if that's what you have in mind. If you want redundancy for mail access, you have to build a cluster with a shared storage device.

The Active Directory stores only names, e-mail addresses and other user-related info, not the mailboxes.
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Expert Comment

by:compuoddity
ID: 10676331
It is possible to have a computer on standby which will limit your downtime to a few hours rather than a few days.  It is necessary to follow the procedures for setting up such a system, and to make sure that you have proper backups.

There are several placed you can check to find information on how to do this, as you will want to be concerned with hardware specifications, ensuring that a server with a duplicate name is not joined to the network, etc.  I recommend starting with the groups and work your way up from there.
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Expert Comment

by:ekriner
ID: 10681725
There is actually a third party software that does the job pretty well. www.xosoft.com wansync exchange. It uses delta replication which is pretty much file replication in the MTA directory.

We are using it in a live environment with a 13 GB Information store, performances are pretty good.

The failover process is pretty well explained in their white papers, basically it requires to run scripts that monitor if your main email server goes down, if it does, active directory gets updated so that all email users tie to the failover mail server instead of the main one, and using a script as well the failover server gets the main server IP assigned.


Drawback : the product is pretty expensive ( I think around $2000 per server ).
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Expert Comment

by:compuoddity
ID: 10686754
Trust me... 2000$ is not THAT expensive, given other solutions out there.  I only took a quick look at the product, but didn't see anywhere where it says that it manages failover for the client-side outlook.  Do you have to manually change their pointing every time a server goes down?
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Expert Comment

by:chaaser
ID: 10686826
I don't think so. I think the DNS information is changed via script so that the Exchange server name points to the currently active server's IP.
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Expert Comment

by:bluntguy76
ID: 10688599
That's correct, the change in the DNS server as well as the change in Active directory allows you not to have to redirect outlook clients.

However, by experience, you would have to restart your outlook client. A simple script such as:
net send * "PLEASE RESTART OUTLOOK"
Would do the trick.

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