Exchange Load Balancing/Cluster

Posted on 2007-10-11
Last Modified: 2010-03-06
I would like to know what would be the best solution for me to bring on another exchange server into our environment for performance and redundancy.  Currently we have two sites that our connected via VLAN.  Site A as the exchange server, Site B doesnt have an exchange.  We would like to add an exchange server for Site B.  The thought would be if you were at Site B you would use that exchange server.  Also if Site A goes down everyone would be routed to Site B.  What would I use to have this work?  Can this be down using a cluster server?

Exchange 2003
Windows server 2003
Question by:K0ss
    LVL 5

    Accepted Solution

    Windows clustering for Exchange is done using Active/Passive failover.  This means that you have two servers; one of them does the work, the other does nothing.  In the event of a problem, services from the active node fail over to the passive node.

    What you want to achieve is both this functionality and localisation for Site B.  Without seeing your infrastructure it's hard to say how to proceed (I'd need to know user numbers, connectivity, etc.).  However, overkill is often the answer with redundancy for Exchange.  My personal thought would be to add three servers:

    Site A
    2nd Back-end Exchange server, in cluster configuration with existing server (you may need to add a 3rd back-end server for clustering, then retire server 1)
    1st Front-end Exchange server, for client connectivity from Site A

    Site B
    2nd Front-end Exchange server, for client connectivity from Site B.

    Using this configuration, your back-end has cluster redundancy.  Site A and Site B both point to the same back-end, and can be used interchangeably by clients (so if Site A FE fails, clients can connect to Site B FE, and vice versa).

    However, this relies on strong connectivity between Site A and Site B.
    LVL 104

    Assisted Solution

    If you want site b to backup site A then you are either looking at GeoCluster or something like DoubleTake or NeverFail.
    Clustering will require new hardware and also Enterprise edition of Exchange and Windows. Plus it takes some skill to do it correctly.


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