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Exchange2010 High Availability Configuration

Posted on 2011-09-06
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Hi Experts,

Quick Site Summary for the Exchange Infrastructure:
2x Sites
2x Win2008 Enterprise Edition Servers
2x Exchange2010 Enterprise Licenses
1x Witness Server

Currently configured roles:
Site1-Ex1 - CAS, HUB & Mailbox (DAG Member)
Site2-Ex2 - Mailbox (DAG Member)

Site1 was the primary Exchange server (having migrated from Exch2003), and we've recently brought Ex2 online in a DAG configuration.
Site1 currently services all internal & external requests (Outlook, IMAP, OWA, Outlook Anywhere)

Question:
We would like to implement high-availability for network users, but have run into some challenges.
My research has identified that DAG members can't run NLB, so pointing clients within the network to the secondary CAS server looks impossible unless we implement a HLB device, which we don't have the budget for!

Any suggestions how this can be accomplished/implemented?
Would I be able to pre-install & configure CAS & Hub roles on Ex2 and manually cut-over in a worst-case scenario?
 
Mail is currently routed through a smart-host (which also spools in the event of a colossal outage) so delivering to a secondary exchange server is possible without updating MX Records.

Any advice would be appreciated!
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Question by:GTMike
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Accepted Solution

by:
Akhater earned 500 total points
ID: 36492378
yes windows NLB and DAG doesn't work together your solutions ??

1. Hardware load balancer (already you said no)
2. DNS round robin where you create 2 records for your cas array name in your dns each pointing to one exchange server. drawback one one server fails you will need to manually delete its A record from the DNS to avoid user pointing to it


This being said and since you have 2 sites the whole concept of CAS high availabiity is wrong. CAS HA (cas array) work just in one single site
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Author Comment

by:GTMike
ID: 36492403
Akhater: Thank you for the reply!

If two sites won't work with CAS HA, the question is then how do I re-direct users to Site2 CAS Server if Site1 CAS is offline?
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Expert Comment

by:Akhater
ID: 36492420
that's a totally different concept called "datacenter switchover"

in short for outlook 2007/2010 you can rely on the autodiscover feature to do that but you will need to change the RPC Client Access for the databases.

another approach that would work in all cases is to

1. create a cas array in site one say array1.domain.local
2. create a cas array in site two say array2.domain.local
3. set the rpc client access for the dbs to be array1.domain.local
4. in the dns have a record called array1.domain.local pointing to the server in site1
5. when you have a failure edit the record in point 4 to point to the server in site 2
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