Best options for Exchange 2003 Disaster Recovery - Cluster or VMWare or Both?

Hi,

We have a SAN and currently presented VDisks to our exchange 2003 server and use CA to replicate teh Vdisks to our secondary SAN. After consideration I now want to increase our DR Solution. My options are as follows:-

1. Exchange 2003 Clustering
2.VMware and virtualising Exchange
3. VMWare and virtualising Exchange with Clustering
4. Convert Exchnage to boot from SAN

I was wondering if anyone had any experience of the above and what the recommended solution is.
Our VM Servers are high spec DL585 servers and host a limited number of servers. We use CA for data replication to our DR site SAN and want a solution that will be of good performance yet be fast to recover.

Many thanks
 
PayneBSTAsked:
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hodgeyohnConnect With a Mentor Commented:
well, from what i have worked with, we have a customer that runs an exchange cluster.  a simple two server cluster system.
this has helped us in a few situations.
1.  patching is much easier, because we can patch 1 system, reboot, failover to the other, and patch the second system
2.  we actually had a hardware issue on one of the clustered servers.  it failed over to the good server,and we dealt with the problem.  Users are none the wiser.

last time i checked MS had limited support for exchange virtualized.

please check
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/897615

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Paul SolovyovskyConnect With a Mentor Senior IT AdvisorCommented:
You can actually use both technologies, setup a Microsoft Cluster with a pair of virtual machines and have the Information Store on the SAN as a RDM.  Create a rule that will keep your nodes off of the same ESX host and you will be using both technologies thus giving you HA and DRS as well as failover.
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