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Looking for suggestions to set up a sound exchange environment with redundancy and failover

Posted on 2008-10-30
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Last Modified: 2013-11-30
We have a company with multiple sites running exchange 2003.  There are two email servers. The main server at the corperate office, and a back up server at a smaller remote site.  We are trying to find a solution to implement that would involve email redundancy and fail over.  If the main email server goes down, have all new mail forwarded to the back up server and distributed.  Also when the main email server is down, the clients are able to get their contacts and calendars.  I know it's alot to digest, but would appreciate any suggestions.  Thanks!
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Question by:drinaldi
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by:bcrosby007
ID: 22840823
First you would have to set up replication between the two exchange servers. Then create separate MX records for each server with the primary having priority. When the primary goes down, the secondary takes over after a few seconds of "lag".
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sandeep_narkhede earned 1000 total points
ID: 22840826
With Exchange Server 2003, I think you need to implement a third party product, there are a lot available & following are the links for few

http://www.doubletake.com/english/products/geocluster/Pages/default.aspx
http://www.xosoft.com/products/WANSyncExchange.htm

Read Microsoft suggestions for implementing the above though

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa996051(EXCHG.65).aspx
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb124066.aspx
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by:MrLonandB
MrLonandB earned 1000 total points
ID: 22841314
sandeep is right. You can run Exchange clustering, Doubletake or something similiar...and you can get in to some high costs with those. But that's the way to do it. Any other attempt at failover is going to require manual intervention and leg-work...no matter how you slice the pie.

It's a never-ending round-robin...when there's a mail server failure, management wants some kind of redundancy to prevent a future outage. You then offer them the solution they want so that there is uninterrupted failover and invariably that will be said to "cost too much - isn't there something else we can do?".  And about the only thing you can do, is to have another server up and running at all times, or loaded and ready to bring on-line in the event of failure...which basically just saves you the time of having to build one in the case of catastrophy.
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