Exchange 2007 deployment

Hi,

I am looking into a completely new Exchange 2007 SP1 deployment and my only concern at the moment is what kind of replication to use.

The initial architecture will consist of 2 Edge, 2 Hub, 2 Cas and 2 Mailbox servers. What is the recommended replication method to achieve high availability? There are currently two SANs in place and in a few months second one will be moved into another building.

Which is the way to go? CCR? SCR? Which can scale better (CCR allows only up to 2 node clusters?)? How about 10 active mailbox servers and 3 - 4 passive, is this kind of setup possible?

Thanks in advance!
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mmilicAsked:
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Exchange_GeekCommented:
"The initial architecture will consist of 2 Edge, 2 Hub, 2 Cas and 2 Mailbox servers"

This can be decided on

1) The number of Outlook / OWA / OL Anywhere users you would have ?
2) How big you would like to keep your DB size ?
3) How many mailboxes you would plan for per server ?
4) What is going to be your hard ware configuration ?
5) Backup - storage plans ?
6) RPC I/O calculations.

There are couple of links which would help you understand and decide more upon the infrastructure.
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb738124.aspx
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb124518.aspx
http://msexchangeteam.com/archive/2007/01/15/432207.aspx
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa996719.aspx

Coming to your question of CCR / SCC.
SCC - Single Copy Clusters -This depends if you want to have a similar storage of what legacy products (such as E2k3 or E2k) had.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb125217(EXCHG.80).aspx
http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Installing-Two-Node-Exchange-Server-2007-Single-Copy-Cluster-Virtual-Server-Environment-Part3.html

CCR- Cluster Continuous Replication - For this also you need clusters however storage of DB is stored locally by each node and not same storage location (shared storage).

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb124521.aspx
http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Installing-Configuring-Testing-Exchange-2007-Cluster-Continuous-Replication-Based-Mailbox-Server-Part1.html

SCR - Stand Alone Cluster Replication - For this you do not need any cluster / shared storage. You simply need two E2k7 SP1 boxes of same built and you can achieve some thing of what Double-Take used to be proud upon.

http://msexchangeteam.com/archive/2007/09/13/447006.aspx

Hope this at least clears some doubts. Please do read the links and if you have questions please post.
mmilicAuthor Commented:
Thanks for this! I was hoping I may see some different links though which will explain what the cons of each replication methods are.

I have the above covered (IO/LUN sizes/etc) so that should be fine for the time being.

SCC is not recommended by Microsoft, is that correct?

Which of the two can scale up the best in the scenario I have mentioned? This will include multiple Exchange mailbox servers on 2 or more sites (at the time being, they are all going to be on the same site, but with two SANs).

Should I am for a combination of CCR and SCR? Perhaps CCR while they are on the same site, and then when I move the other SAN I add SCR on top? Would that be something that is recommended?
Exchange_GeekCommented:
Here are couple of comparison between SCC and CCR replication methods.

CCR is preferred over SCC for many reasons, some of which you already pointed out:

- CCR is less expensive to deploy than SCC
- CCR protects your databases by maintaining a copy of each database on a separate server; SCC does not provide any protection for your databases
- CCR provides service and data availability; SCC only provides service availability
- CCR is less complicated to deploy; SCC is more complicated because it involves shared storage and more cluster knowledge
- CCR reduces backup TCO by allowing you to offload backups from the active node to the passive node; SCC backups are possible from the active node only.

See http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa997928(EXCHG.80).aspx for some more information.

===============

- SCC does not provide a copy of the Store - you can use 3rd-party solutions to replicate the data. If you have existing investments in such solutions, and require a cluster to scale to more than 2 nodes or create more CMSes with lesser number of servers (e.g. 8-node cluster, 5 CMSes, 3 passive nodes), SCC may be the way to go.
- CCR does provide you with a replica of the Store and automatic failovers. CCR can be used in 2-node pairs, doesn't require expensive shared storage or cluster-certified hardware. You would need to understand how replication works (just as you would need to understand how any 3rd-party solution works, if deployed with SCC to provide a comparable solution with data redundancy.. ).

- SCR isn't a cluster by itself - it doesn't use MSCS (Clustering svc). It doesn't provide automatic failovers between source and target. It is used to replicate Storage Groups from a clustered (or non-clustered/standalone) source server to a clustered or standalone target. If clustered, the source can be SCC or CCR. It is designed to work across datacenters.
Exchange_GeekCommented:
SCC is not recommended by Microsoft, is that correct?

SCR is a concept introduced by MSFT with Exchange 2007 SP1 - definitely supported

Which of the two can scale up the best in the scenario I have mentioned? This will include multiple Exchange mailbox servers on 2 or more sites (at the time being, they are all going to be on the same site, but with two SANs).

CCR suits you best - since using SCC you cannot have a shared storage across sites.


Should I am for a combination of CCR and SCR? Perhaps CCR while they are on the same site, and then when I move the other SAN I add SCR on top? Would that be something that is recommended?

Combination of CCR and SCR is definitely a good option, however this would be thought and planned at a later stage - since this involves multiple servers (more than 2).

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