Exchange 2003 Redundancy

Posted on 2009-07-02
Last Modified: 2012-05-07
Currentely I have a 2003Server running 2003 Exchange Standard with about 260 mailboxes.  the mailbox store is 62GB and growing. I am located in the US. My concern like many others I'm sure is not haveing redundancy in the event that there is a failure.  I'm not sure that Clustering the boxes is the best solution from a financial standpoint.  If I would have to do a restore of the Information Store -  I can only imagine that it would take a long time based on the 62GB.  I have thought about outsourcing as an option - here I would have the redundancy but for $9-$12 / mailbox I am also liiking at a large cost. I have also read some articles on continuous data protections such as Double Take, and XOsoft.  As I understand the importance of the email communication I realize that there are going to be cost associated with having some sort of redundancy -  what are suggestion in this situation.  what are others doing or have done that are in my situation?  I am just looking for feedback and options here.
Question by:dtooth71
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Expert Comment

ID: 24762648
We basically rely on using Hardware RAID to provide redundancy.  All our Stores are on RAID 1 arrays so that if a disk fails it can be replaced easily.  We also use tape backups using Shadow copy to back up the stores. I'm not sure that microsoft supports clustering with exchange 2003.  Have you got the option of creating additional stores to spread the data over and have smaller stores.
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Expert Comment

ID: 24765783
The simple answer with Exchange is that the longer you can be without the system the cheaper it will be.
62gb is not a very big store. Add a 0 and I would be worried.

You have to look at what you are planning for, cost of downtime etc. Then find a solution that works for you. DoubleTake/Neverfail etc is quite cost effective, you will need a second server.

There isn't really enough information in your question - in most cases you cannot decide what is required, it has to be a business decision.


Author Comment

ID: 24784228
we did have a buisness meeting and all agreed that the less downtime the better - that is why I am looking for an effective redundancy solution.  how long do you think it would take to restore a 62 GB store.  I guess I am more worried that I have a cap of 75GB with the standard version.  all theusers agreed that one day down would not be acceptable and that a backup redundant solution is necessary.  I currently have the mirror and RAID 5 for the stor and logs.which is good however if the board or controller go - I am out.  has anyone used DoubleTake/Neverfail etc?  outsourcing email sounds like a good idea to get 99.9% uptime too.
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Accepted Solution

Mestha earned 350 total points
ID: 24793352
How long to restore 62gb? How long is piece of string?
How long would it take to drive from Cardiff to London?
If you broke the speed limits, 3 hours, if you were in a battery powered car, probably about 5. Impossible to answer.

If you are concerned about the 75gb then you need to either look at an archiving solution or look at moving to Exchange 2007 or 2010. If you move to the newer versions of Exchange then you get additional options with regards to data replication.


Expert Comment

ID: 25055044
I would suggest you look at business continuity services offering by Geminare (  I very pleased with the service, they offer real-time replication of Exchange, SQL, IIS, Oracle servers and offers full failover capabilities, so during diaster you can easily request failover and within couple of mintues your users will be opertional running off of your geminare replica exchange server.  Price is very resonable.

Expert Comment

ID: 25071977
In addition to my previous message;  If you are considering spending $12 per mailbox for total of 260 mailboxes, your monthly cost would go as high as $3120.  With managed BCP service like offering, it is approximately $800 to $1000 per server, includes Exchange server license with 125GB data credits as well as free Active Directory server protection to offsite as well.  Hope this helps.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 31599156
thanks I am going to look into upgrading to 2007

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