Distaster Recovery for Exchange Scenario

Posted on 2010-01-01
Last Modified: 2012-05-08
I really have a hypothetical question.  Here is my scenario at our office:

SBS 2008 Premium

I had to reboot the server due to updates that rolled out last night, so I logged on early this am and restarted it.  Turns out, one of the security updates blocked OWA to all my blackberry users.  I started getting bombarded with text messages that we were down...etc.  After 20 minutes trying to figure out the issue, I rolled back the updates and everything was fixed.  I will figure out what the security issue was on monday.....but, my question for you all is this:

How can I set up my infrastrucure so that if Exchange EVER goes down...a second server kicks in??  I don't have any large corp experience in this field..and I am new to exchange.  What do huge corporations do when they have to reboot their exchange servers?  Does the entire company go down??  What kicks in at that point?  Is it a clone server, always running?  Does this make sense?  I am looking for a good solution for a medium sized business which is 100% up on exchange all the time.....they NEVER EVER want to be down.  

How can I accomplish this?  thanks everyone!
Question by:joeypolice
    LVL 32

    Accepted Solution

    Yes this has been a common question and scenario for people who cannot afford High Availability due to various reasons. Ideally HA is the solution with additional hardware. But in case you have only one, here are couple of articles already available:
    Test these out in a test environment so that you are comfortable. Let me know
    Nitin Gupta (gupnit)
    LVL 27

    Assisted Solution

    by:Jason Watkins
    100% up-time is a perpetual myth, and can be very expensive to meet.  SBS is not meant for that type of solution.  MS Exchange 2007/2010 Enterprise Editions are meant to work with redundancy to give 99.9% up-time to folks that can't live without their email.

    I would set a firm schedule for updates to be applied to the server and schedule advanced notifications to users, a couple of weeks in advance.  At that, I would only apply security updates to the server and research the other types of updates against installed products for potential issues.

    Expert Comment

    I gave up running a BES on my SBS box and switched users to Windows mobile devices synced to Exchange. BES frequently broke after updates so the change really improved my up time.

    You could try emergency mail (just one example).

    LVL 6

    Author Closing Comment

    This is what I needed to know, from both experts.  I have researched, and a HA solution just isn't in our budget...but what Firebar has recommended was a perfect solution.

    Thanks guys!

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