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Exchange Server - High Availability

My goal is to have uninterupted email capability in the event of server hardware failure.  I currently have two Exchange 2003 Enteprise servers.  The second server currently is only an information store.  I have two main questions.

- is it reasonable to assume that if my 1st Exchange server would crash, I could redirect incoming and outgoing email to the 2nd server, assuming I make DNS changes as necessary?  Or am I missing something vital?

- If someone's mailbox was located on an information store that resided on the server that is down, can a temporary mailbox be created on the 2nd server Information Store?  I've tried this in the past and even though the Information Store is down, it says that user already exists.  This makes sense, but is there any way around this?  For instance, if my CEO's mailbox was on an information store that crashed, how can I get SMTP email to/from him until that store is brought back online?

Thank you
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Thank you very much for the clarity.  This is exactly what I was looking for.  Not necessarily the answer I wanted but pretty much what I expected.  I appreciate your expertise.

I just thought I ought to clarify a small point regarding my answer to your second question.

If the original server hosting the CEO's mailbox was still online, but the database was corrupted, you CAN give them a temporary mailbox using the so-called "dial tone" method on that same server. This involves dropping the existing mailbox database files from disk (or putting in a new, blank disk, if the RAID array holding the original database fell over). Blank mailboxes are created as the users log in, and they then have basic email functionality while you recover their data.


I still can't see that working across the two servers, since the attributes on the user account would need to be changed to reference the other server as holding the mailbox, and as I said, that would get messy. However, I didn't mention this before but thought I should, because it's a possibility in some scenarios, depending on what failed. :)