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Exchange Mixed Infrastructure

Hello,

I am responsible for maintaining my companies Exchange infrastructure. We were previously strictly an Exchange 2003 shop. We were having some performance problems so to temporarily alleviate these problems I introduced an Exchange 2007 server and then migrated tier 1 users. This was a temporary solution as we were in the process of purchasing new server hardware, a san, and vmware software. Now that I have my vmware infrastructure in place, I'd like to move away from a mixed infrastructure and run Exchange 2007 strictly within my vmware environment. I'm looking for some insight as to the most efficient way to accomplish this. My current Exchange infrastructure consists of:

- exchange 2003 server running on a physical server
- exchange 2007 server (mailbox role only) running on a physical server
- exchange 2007 server (cas role only) running on an older vmware esx host
- exchange 2007 server (hub role only) running on an older vmware esx host

Thanks in advance and please let me know if you have any further questions.
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chaz21
Asked:
chaz21
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5 Solutions
 
shauncroucherCommented:
It depends what you are after and what your budget is?

For example, do you want to provide High Availability by clustering the mailbox role, and comissioning a second CAS server and Hub server.

If not, then do you want to put all you roles on one physical server, or have a couple of VM's for the roles?

Shaun
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shauncroucherCommented:
Note that with Exchange 2007 you can replicate the mailbox store so that you have two copies, which is in contrast to Exchange 2003 where you can only ever have 1 copy of a database unless you use third party software, so maybe a SAN is not what you need, unless it is storage capacity you are after rather than redundancy. How many mailboxes, sizes, remotely accessed a lot etc?  

Shaun
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Manpreet SIngh KhatraSolutions Architect, Project LeadCommented:
What exactly do you want to do ??
How is your new VMWare uinfrastructure be like ??
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gupnitCommented:
Hi,
You have taken care of the difficult part, now I am not sure what you want us to help on. Your env is running cool in the transition phase. All you need to do is ensure PFs etc replicate, mailboxes are moved, MX/DNS records are updated. - Assuming that new virtual env has connectivity and capacity.
If you are looking for definite article, then refer: http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Transitioning-Exchange-2000-2003-Exchange-Server-2007-Part1.html and http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb288905(EXCHG.80).aspx
Let me know
Thanks
Nitin Gupta (gupnit)
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gupnitCommented:
Now, while oyu are on it, you should be looking at High Availability so CCR for Mailbox Roles. For CAS/HUB - Network Load Balancing should be enough.How about receiving mails, will HUB receive directly or there will be a smart host. Keep a provision for it. Security - well CAS keep it in LAN, so obviously you require a firewall or router with security module
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chaz21Author Commented:
wow really appreciate all the input.

@ shauncroucher: what i'd ultimately like to do is eliminate the physical ex03 / ex07 mailbox servers and also migrate the cas / hub virtual machines from my old vmware environment to the new vmware environement.  so basically i'd like to have 3 vms in the new environment :
1 vm for mailbox role
1 vm for cas role
1 vm for hub role

im not sure how to make that transition. can i just create 3 new virtual machines, install the appropriate exchange roles, migrate my users, other services, etc and then take down the old ones ? also, do i have to make the decision regarding the CCR cluster now or can i configure that at a later time ? i know that vmware HA will provide a degree of fault tolerance, however, i wouldn't be protected against the mailbox server failing only the actual vmware server failing.

@Rancy: my vmware infrastructure consists of 5 hp dl380 g6 esx hosts, a 10gb juniper network, and 2 hp p4500 san appliances

@gupnit: in terms of incoming email we use Postini (now Google) for spam / security so HUB will not be receiving email directly. email is handed down from Postini servers.
 



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Manpreet SIngh KhatraSolutions Architect, Project LeadCommented:
I would suggest a CCR and a single VM hold HUB and CAS .....
CCR has to be made now only and a migration as simple and fine .....
Mailbox Migration
Public Folder replication
Roles (Connectores moved, OAB rehome and others)
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shauncroucherCommented:
OK,

You need to decide on clustering now, as that will require Enterprise licensing and two dedicated servers if you use CCR.

This is a good guide to the transition: http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Transitioning-Exchange-2000-2003-Exchange-Server-2007-Part1.html

and I have written an article that clarifies some points and focuses on command based transition:

http://exchangeshell.wordpress.com/2010/01/06/exchange-2003-to-exchange-2007-transition-migration-using-exchange-management-shell-cmdlet-commands/

As for load balancing CAS and having a second Hub server, this will provide tolerance against mail flow and access issues if you only had one of these server roles deployed.

Shaun

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Manpreet SIngh KhatraSolutions Architect, Project LeadCommented:
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gupnitCommented:
Great, like I already said
  • Hub/CAS - 2 servers with NLB (this is primarily for CAS), the moment u have 2 hubs ur have HUB High availability
  • CCR for Mailbox
  • Since u have Postini - then there is nothing else
  • DC - Ensure thatu have 2 DCs
  • I am not too keen on SAN, as it becomes single point of failure, if both Mailbox Server 1 and Server 1 (prt of CCR) are going to point to different LUNs on same SAN, but ultimately they are on same SAN, and if SAN goes down CCR is affected. So depending upon number of Mailboxes, u can decide for DAS or well SAN if u have enough HA there
Cheers
Nitin
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Handy HolderSaggar makers bottom knockerCommented:
I really can't see the need to cluster under Windows or Exchange CCR if you've got VMware HA and a couple of LeftHand storage appliances which are presumably setup for network RAID1 so as redundant as can be.
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chaz21Author Commented:
thanks everyone for the great insight.  my transition is complete. cheers.
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