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

Posted on 2008-11-19
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
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?

Question by:Theodosios
    LVL 18

    Accepted Solution

    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.


    Author Comment

    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.


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