Restore Exchange 2003 db to a standby server

Posted on 2009-12-20
Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Hi, I have one 2003 domain server with exchange 2003 installed on it. I am planning to set up additional domain controller with exchange 2003 installed on it, which will be our stand by environment incase the original server will die.

 I am planning to set the new server the same way as the orignal server, with exact partitions, mailbox stores names etc... the only thing that will be different is the server name.

My questions is, can I restore the exchange database to the stand by environment when the primary server hardware fails?

Question by:Turbowy
    LVL 7

    Expert Comment


    Instead of using a different Exchange server name I would be prepared to do a disaster recovery install instead.  It is much cleaner and will also support public folders.

    Author Comment

    Hi Brian, I am actually aware of these instructions, but they are only good after the server has failed. However, I want to build another exchange server on additional domain controller that will run in the real time so it MUST have a different server name.  I want to keep the downtime minimal incase the original server fails so that is why I need to know if I can restore the backed up exchange database to the standby server that has only the server name different?
    LVL 6

    Accepted Solution

    Yes you can restore the database to a server with a different name. There are a few things you should check when you do have a look at this kb:
    LVL 7

    Expert Comment

    What you are recommending can be done, but has a lot of manual steps that in a disaster type scenario are usually frowned upon as stated in the link.

    "As a best practice, your plan should be designed to avoid re-homing mailboxes during a disaster. If possible, you should restore or copy databases to new physical systems that retain the original Exchange installation configuration."

    On a hot standby server with a differnet name you can have replicated public folders and then be ready for a restore of the SG/DBs; just make sure they are named identically to the primary server.

    There are two options that I do recommend in situations like this.
    1. Use DoubleTake, complete database failover protection.
    2. Upgrade to Exchange 2010 and use the Database Availability Group (SCR like) to put a copy of your database in the second site.

    Also, you did not mention this but I want to put it in for completeness.  You have a DC in the second locaiton but if you are looking for a complete failover solution make sure you have all of the features of a mail system there: a suitable Internet connection, firewall, AV/SPAM protection, etc. just like the primary site.

    Author Closing Comment

    Hi Ob1, that is the exact information that I was looking for. Thanks

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