How can I set up a redundant/failover Exchange 2003 server?

I want to set up some kind of failover/redundancy for our MS Exchange 2003.  It's currently running on our SBS 2003 server.  Apparently I can't install it on another server separate form SBS.  How can I set this up?  Do I set up a separate Exchange server altogether, and somehow configure it to take over if the main SBS server is offline?

Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

I think what you're looking for is a cluster.

I'm not sure if SBS supports clustering, so you would need to purchase two licenses of Exchange, two licenses of Server 2008, and two physical servers.

Then you would need some shared storage (iSCSI, Fibre Channel, or DAS twin-tail SCSI) to host the databases and the quorum drive.

Alternatively, you could move to Exchange 2007 and use CCR, which can do clusters without the need for shared storage (but it doubles the amount of storage you'll need, since the databases will be stored in two places.

You could also implement an ESX cluster.  This would require two licenses of ESX Enterprise, two physical servers, and a SAN (iSCSI or FC, DAS SCSI is not supported).  Then you could install Exchange once, and fail the virtual machine back and forth between devices.

Of the above, Exchange 2007 CCR will afford you the highest level of uptime, as it protects against database corruption.

Either way, going from SBS to a setup like this is a BIG step in skill-set, as well as price.  Depending on the number of users you have and the technology you choose to accomplish this, the costs could start around $25,000 and run as high as $100k or more.


Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
TheodosiosAuthor Commented:
Ouch, I didn't realize clustering was the only solution (which I don't believe SBS 2003 even supports).

Any suggestions for a "cold" standby?

Thanks in advance.

It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.