I'm planning a DR strategy. Please forgive me for asking stupid questions.
My organization is small with <20 users and one single domain. I am in a 100% Windows 2003 environment with one Exchange 2003. I have a singe PDC and that's it. The whole domain works perfectly with no problems plus Exchange 2003 is working great also. My goal is to set up an offsite location.
Since my organization is so small, I have decided to set up a secondary DC with another Exchange 2003 offsite. Both networks will have the same IP network of 192.168.50.x.
I read this article on setting up a secondary DC and I have no problem with the instructions.
My only question regarding setting up the 2nd DC is do I have the give both servers the same name somehow? The PDC is called (SRV1) and I want to call the 2nd DC (DR-SRV1)
My real problem comes with installing the second Exchange 2003 on the same subnet. Since this is going to be an offsite location Exchange server, I want to restore my InformationStore to the new EXCH server connecting to the secondary DC every couple of days so it will have all the latest records. (Don't worry, my InfoStore is small so it's not a problem)
1) After I have gone through all the steps of creating a secondary DC, do I need to run forestprep and domainprep before I install Exch? Remember, this is a second Exchange that I do not want to start accepting emails until I start pointing all the MX records to it and thats only if the first Exchange dies on me.
2) Is there a special way to install EXCH so it's tied to the secondary DC? (If so, can you point me to specific instructions?)
3) Do you have to name the MailBox the same as the primary EXCH? I plan on using the default which is what the Primary Exch uses but it has the ([server name]) after the Mailbox Store. Example: Mailbox Store (SRV2). Since this is a new server at the offsite location, I was going to name the server (DR-SRV2). Will this cause a problem?
If I can get all this set up, I want to be able to cut the VPN connection off and pretend a total disaster and login as a user and see if I can see my mailbox.
Ultimately if the test goes well, I am going to use CA XOsoft to replicate the Exchange servers. They said if I can set up the Exchange servers correctly, their software will replicate with no problems.
I threw a lot out there and I hope someone can give me some guidance.