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Creating 2nd Excange 2007 server

Posted on 2011-03-07
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Here is the situation. We have one mail server, let's call it MAIL1. We are moving to a co-location (data center) and do not want any issues to arise so we are taking a new server and loading Exchange 2007 on it. Our main issue is that we want exact duplicates of the mailboxes and contacts and calendars. We need to figure out a streamlined way to have both fully operational at the same time for continuity. This way, we can turn one off and take it over to the data center, turn it on, and have it jump right back in.

In short, has anyone attempted this, would the fail over setup be what we are looking at? Will we need to modify our MX records to have an email sent to both mailboxes on separate servers.

Thanks for your help....we just want to make sure we have all of our bases covered.
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Question by:sicbodysicmind
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by:Amit
ID: 35058831
You can implement CCR cluster. If you have Enterprise version of Exchange 2007
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by:RussPitcher
ID: 35058893
That's not likely to happen if you need complete dulplication.  The only realistic way would be to use Exchange 2010 and utilise DAGs, but I still think that would be problematic across datacentres unless your connectivity is excellent.  It would be (sort of) possible to do in 2007 if you're running Windows 2008 as you could have a CCR cluster on a streched subnet, but it's still pretty hairy and if you've already got a standalone mailbox server then you're looking at building up a CCR cluster and moving mailboxes over anyway before you start on the new datacentre.

Without wanting ot be judgemental, I think you need to work out exactly what you need, from a non-technical point of view, and then discuss it with an Exchange specialist, preferably someone who specialises in migrations.  You will probably find that there is a simpler solution that will give you what you need.
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by:sicbodysicmind
ID: 35059007
A cluster would be great, but after the move, we are going back to one server, to undo the cluster, would we have to rebuild  exchange?
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by:RussPitcher
ID: 35059036
If you were using Exchange 2007 then you would have to build a standalone server, migrate the mailboxes again and then decom the CCR cluster.  If you went the Exchange 2010 route you could 'simply' decom the unneeded server.
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Author Comment

by:sicbodysicmind
ID: 35059104
Without wanting ot be judgemental, I think you need to work out exactly what you need, from a non-technical point of view, and then discuss it with an Exchange specialist, preferably someone who specialises in migrations.  You will probably find that there is a simpler solution that will give you what you need.

Understood. Our original plan was to just build a second server, make the DNS record change to put mail on MAIL2, then run Mail1 to datacenter, loading it back from tape, and editing DNS once more to reroute mail to proper server.

The more we think the deeper we get and that is where we are confusing ourselves.
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by:Amit
ID: 35059115
If you are planning to go back to one server again. Use Outlook Anywhere for other site users. They can access the mailbox from other sites and you don't require to setup new server.
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Author Comment

by:sicbodysicmind
ID: 35059277
First you all are being very helpful.

Now, let me lay out our plan and get insights.

Mail2 is current mail server. We have a blank Server08 that we are planning on loading Exchange on. We are planning on building the server by restoring backups taken from mail2. One full backup and two incrementals.

Once we have the new MAIL1 ready to go, we were going to change the DNS record so that the IP for MAIL1 is resolved the MAIL2 (hence no changes on the client side). Once we were sure that it was working, we are going to physically move mail2 to the data center, restore via veritas the prior days' changes, switch back the DNS records and shutdown MAIL1.

Theoretically, this should work right?  
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RussPitcher earned 2000 total points
ID: 35059765
Sort of.  Maybe.  Unless your incoming internet traffic is handled so that the public IP address doesn't change then with DNS propogation taken into consideration you'll probalby be getting internet traffic sent to both servers at the same time.  It's worth asking how long it will take to fully back up, move the data to the new datacentre and restore the database(s).  If you can cope with that sort of downtime then it might be worth considering something along those lines.

I have to be honest, I think that there are far too many factors in a move such as this that prevent anyone here giving you a decent answer.  If I convinced you to go with one path with only the info I've gathered here I would be quite concerned about something going wrong.  A move of this magnitude requires a lot of planning I'm afraid and I feel I'd be doing you a disservice if I answered with any sort of authority.
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