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MS Server 2008 handles virtualization and failover clustering

Posted on 2008-10-13
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Hi, I have a several part question.  We acurrently have a single file server and a single exchange server, both running MS server 2003.  How well does MS Server 2008 handle virtualization and then combine that with failover clustering?  Would it be fesible to try and run both the file server and exchange server on a slice of a virtural server, then cluster them to a backup server?  We currently have about 100 users and are looking at options as we replace our older servers.  How would we have to configure the roles of exchange in a situation like this?  Would microsoft virtulazation handle this or would we need to go to VM Ware.  And on top of this all would it work with a SAN on the back end?
Thanks - Wayne
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Question by:wspjones99
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spyordie007 earned 250 total points
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So multipart answer...

First Server 2008 supports failover clustering of the Hyper-V role, and yes to support this you would need shared storage on the back end (SAN).

Next Exchange 2007 is supported virtualized, however for high-availability the preferable solution is application-aware clustering.  If you use failover clustering with Hyper-V and your Exchange server goes down all Hyper-V (or VMWare for that matter) can do is to restart that guest on another host and hope it runs.  It would be more preferable to run 2 seperate Hyper-V servers (without failover clustering or shared storage) and create your failover cluster (using CCR) between the Exchange hosts.

Gotchas are going to be to make sure you can support the performance and storage requirements of the two workloads; very plausible given your small size but should still be planned for (fixing performance issues after the fact are much harder).

Cheers,

Erik
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by:wspjones99
ID: 22706607
Thanks for the reply.  I am still confused about the exchange part.  How many roles would we need to deploy as a minimum?  We will not be doing uinified communications.  Also, what is CCR?
Thanks - Wayne
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by:spyordie007
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CCR is Cluster Continuous Replication, an Exchange cluster technology that allows for a shared-nothing architecture (including no shared storage).

At a minimum you're going to need the Mailbox, Hub Transport and Client Access server roles for Exchange.

NOTE: If you decide to cluster Exchange (CCR) it requires the Enterprise editions of Windows and Exchange and the Mailbox server role cannot coexist with any other server roles.

Erik
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