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Exchange 2003 Server - data protection and keeping e-mail online 24/7

Posted on 2006-07-03
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We have a small business with a few Exchange 2000 users. Management wants to move all the 50 e-mail users to Exchange 2003. This is a healthcare business which operates 24/7. All the users, especially management, are very dependent on their e-mail. Management wants 99%-100% availability of e-mail but do not want to spend very much on hardware/software for Exchange servers.

My task is to keep the system online and to be able to quickly get the Exchange server back online should it fail. We have purchased a new Exchange server computer with RAID drives. The current backup system for the business is Symantec LiveState Recovery image backups. The Exchange server is stopped while the database backup images are made.

The worst case scenario would be the Exchange server had to be replaced or all the drives replaced/reformated. We just recovered from an incident where the primary domain controller server's RAID configuration was corrupted, all the drives were replaced and the RAID configuration was created from scratch. The Symantec's LiveState Recovery restored the file server data without a hitch. However, my understanding restoring/re-creating a Exchange server can be more difficult, yes or no?

Is there a way to have a redundant Exchange 2003 server, or a replicatation Exchange server, is this where one would use a Exchange Recovery storage systems, or is there a better solution?

Thank you,
Daniel





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Question by:DMVance
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Sembee earned 1500 total points
ID: 17032716
You want the redundancy, you have to pay.

The cheapest way to get redundancy is another identical server and a copy of something like double take. That will mirror your production server and in the event of a failure, it takes over.
At the top end is a cluster - which does a similar thing.

There is nothing in Exchange natively to have a failover server.

If they don't want to pay, then you are looking at good backups, high quality hardware built to the agreed best practises. Something like the Symantec tool or Ghost are not practical for Exchange because they are out of date as soon as they are completed.

With available hardware I can have access to new email in about 4 hours, access to old email will depend on the size of the store the speed of the backup drive.

Simon.
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