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Exchange 2007: Recover CCR Passive Node from Database?

Posted on 2010-09-14
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We are currently upgrading from a standalone Exchange 2003 server to an Exchange 2007 CCR environment. There is one server with the CAS/HUB role and two servers playing the active and passive nodes of the clustered mailbox server role.

At the moment, we only have enough free space to host mailbox and public folder databases on one of the nodes. The database paths on the passive node will be set up after the migration has been completed and the free space recovered and reused from the Exchange 2003 server.

The issue with this scenario is that a large chunk of transaction logs are building up on the active node because it cannot replicate the transactions to the passive node. Even though we are performing nightly backups, the logs are not being removed because of the fact that they have not been committed to the database on the passive node (which obviously doesn’t exist).

To be on the safe side, the logs are backed up in case they have to be replayed on the passive node after the storage has been provisioned. However, I am hoping there is a better solution. Once the migration has been completed, we will have approximately two ~200GB databases on the active node. Rather than restoring the logs from backup and replaying them on the passive node, is it possible to take the databases down, copy the physical .edb files from the active node to the passive node, then bring them back up? Can I be 100% sure that the copy status of the databases after this operation will be fully synchronized?
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Question by:limeleap
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richy92 earned 500 total points
ID: 33673597
You should be able to use the update-storagegroupcopy command to create a new copy of the database on the passive node, we have used this in the past when we had problems with the copy status on our CCR cluster.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb124706(EXCHG.80).aspx
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by:limeleap
ID: 33673689
Thanks. On that page, it says the following:

Manually copying the offline database: This process dismounts the database and copies the database file to the same location on the passive node. If you use this method, there will be an interruption in service because the procedure requires you to dismount the database.

Can you estimate how long an outage we might experience, given two DBs of 200 GB? We are in an ESX environment with gigabit NICs.
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by:richy92
richy92 earned 500 total points
ID: 33673771
I wouldnt like to take a guess, so many different things can affect it, I think that if you use the update-storagegroupcopy command it will rebuild the passive without any downtime,. yes performance will be affected, but the system should stay up whilst the new database is created - I think this would be better for you than doing the offline copy.

The downtime is because you have to take the active database offline before you copy it, I think it can go back online after you have completed the copy, so i guess it takes about as long as it would to copy a 200gb file between the servers :)
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by:limeleap
ID: 33674921
Okay, I will first try creating an empty DB on the passive node and forcing a SG copy from the active node while the DBs are up. If it doesn't work, we will have to take it down and manually copy the files over. If we schedule it to run during the night over a weekend, it should not be a major disturbance.
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