Exchange cluster on a windows cluster with the same name.

Posted on 2009-07-15
Last Modified: 2012-05-07
I have recently taken over a network of a medium size company, We have a 2 node exchange cluster at the home office and a standalone version of exchange in a remote location for failover purposes. The problem is whoever set up the cluster named the exchange cluster and the windows cluster the same name. The cluster is always a problem and hardly ever works for failover purposes, also we are unable to even set up doubletake for auto failover because the names are the same. The question is it possible to rename the exchange cluster or the windows cluster.
Question by:titan56
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Expert Comment

by:Dmitriy Ilyin
ID: 24866734
Do you mean clusters groups?
All my groups contain recourses:
Node Set

My group "Cluster group" contain also DHCP
And srvexccr1 contain as you can see Exchange CCR cluster (also contain self IP, Name, Node Set and exchange recourses)

Is this what you need? Because Q is not clear for me :(

Author Comment

ID: 24868544
I am sorry for not being cliear. the Name of the exchange virtual server is the same name as the windows cluster, We need to rename one of them. The reason for this is doubletake will not allow us to set up auto failover while these are the same.

Expert Comment

ID: 24935264
HI!  Fair warning, I work for Double-Take Software =)

Yes, that's true for Exchange Server 2007, we don't support what's called Like-Named Cluster Failover.  We do support it in Exchange Sever 2003, however it's not a best practice - specficially because of the issues you are seeing.

What we would normally sugggest is to do the following:

1 - Stop the Exchange Resources on the Target cluster.
2 - Stop any Exchange Services on either node that are running in the background
3 - Copy the databases to someplace safe (such as a USB drive or another volume)
4 - Rebuild the Target cluster Nodes (drastic, yes, but it is often the easiest way to do this, and doesn't impact the Source servers)
5 - Create a new EVS (or CMS in Exchange 2007) on the Target cluster with a *different* name than the Source EVS. It appears that you have only one EVS in your photo, but if you have more than one on your Source cluster, set up a corresponding, differently-named EVS for each of them on the Target clsuter.
6- Download the latest version of Double-Take and DTAM from - the Double-Take Application Manager (DTAM) is a free wizard that will assist in the setup.
7 - Upgrade/Install DT 5.2 and DTAM on all nodes in the cluster (this will require a reboot, so move the EVS between nodes of the Source cluster before you begin to avoid downtime)
8 - From the Target or another box entirely, run DTAM and follow the instructions in the interface and the user guide.

If you run into any issues, give our Support Team a call.

By using standard failover between two EVS's that have different names, you can eliminate the issues you're asking about here.

NOTE: If you cannot rebuild the Target cluster for any reason, call into Support and ask them for best practices for Like-Named Cluster Failover in Exchange 2003.  We do support it, but it isn't a best practice.  It is also not available at all for Server 2007, as the new Failover Clustering solution set doesn't work well with the Like-Named theory.

Hope this helps.

Please do not assign points to this answer, as I work for Double-Take Software and it would be unfair to those who are volunteering in these forums.
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Expert Comment

ID: 24935357
Awww hell, I apologize, I totally misread your question.  Let me try again.

Are you saying that the name of the EVS and the name of one ore more of the Nodes in the Source cluster are identical?

Or are you saying somehow that the cluster resource group and the Exchange resource group are identical?

Or, are you saying that someone named the Target server name the same as the Exchange cluster?

Or, am I totally off base and it is something else entirely?

Based on that answer, I will offer a better response.

Author Comment

ID: 24938190
what i am trying to say is the name of the microsoft cluster and the name of the the exhanger virtual server are the same. the computer names all have different names. And we realized this issue when we tried to set up double take for automatic failover.

Author Comment

ID: 24938213
We have done a lot have research and have found that we can rename the microsoft cluster, but we do not know how this will affect exchange.

Expert Comment

ID: 24938214
That clears things up a little bit.  Is it at all possible that the client installed Exchange into the cluster group itself?  If that's the case, then Exchange was installed as an unsupported configruation by Microsoft, and Double-Take is just re-stating that.  Unfortunately installing Exchange into the cluster group can cuase a lot of problems with a ton of applications and procedures, with Double-Take and DTAM being just two.

Accepted Solution

TalonNYC earned 500 total points
ID: 24938242
All I can suggest is that you *strongly* consider either rebuilding the cluster, or taking the opprtunity to build out a new Exchange 2007 system and migrate your users.  Renaming a cluster or an Exchange EVS is usually considered a bad idea for many reasons.

In addition to this, if the name change just turns out to be cosmetic (from an AD perspective) DTAM will still tell you that it cannot protect that cluster.  We look more at AD components than just the NetBIOS name of the cluster object.

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