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Fail over Options for exchange 2003

Posted on 2006-11-03
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Last Modified: 2013-11-15
What are they,  we have a cluster and backups, and a previous question i asked pointed out there is no replication of mailboxes available.

I find it hard to belive that that all companies using exchange just put up with down time should a server break.

is there alternatives or do they just  go offline whilst servers restored?

cheers

windows and exchange 2003.
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Question by:mhamer
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lollygagr earned 250 total points
ID: 17868844
If you are using Exchange 2003 and Outlook 2003, you have the option of something called Dial Tone Recovery, where Outlook clients can continue to work almost normally even while their home server is offline being recovered.  The catch is that you need two Exchange 2003 servers in the same Administrative Group before the outage.  However, if you are a volume license customer, I have confirmed with MS that you can set up a Win2k3/Ex2k3 server specifically for failover and not be on the hook for licensing - IF and only if you do not use it for any other purposes.

Here are the details and steps for setting up dial tone recovery using Recovery Storage Groups and Outlook Cached mode:  http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/guides/UseE2k3RecStorGrps/92ae44a2-034d-478a-9ea0-261dde5b8ff1.mspx?mfr=true.  There is another helpful blog posting that talks more about the experience of Outlook users here:  http://mostlyexchange.blogspot.com/2006/02/recovery-storage-group-dial-tone-and.html.  There are a variety of methods to implement cached mode for Outlook clients, reviewed here:  http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/ork2003/HA011402591033.aspx.
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by:redseatechnologies
redseatechnologies earned 250 total points
ID: 17872204
Hi mhamer,

If you have a cluster, then it is replicating mailboxes - that is the only way to do it.

Without a cluster, the point is to not let your exchange server break in the first place :)

Lollygagr has the right idea with Dial-Tone recovery, but even that is more of an reactive solution that a proactive solution

-red
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Expert Comment

by:lollygagr
ID: 17873465
It's a given that you take all reasonable steps to secure and harden Exchange so as to mitigate risk, and clustering is a big step.  The best disaster recovery option is to never have a true disaster.  However, as a customer of mine found out when Katrina hit one of their Exchange sites last year, not all risk can be mitigated.  Dial-tone recovery is definitely a worst-case scenario option, and should only be implemented where justified by the potential risk.  With readily-available virtual server infrastructure, however, it's pretty easy to implement and can dramatically cut downtime even when a whole physical site is down.  
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