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Configuring Exchange on a Storage Array

Posted on 2011-09-12
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I have just built a VM for exchange 2010, one CAS and HUB and one mailbox server.

I need to build a LUN on the server. This LUN is to replicate with a second SAN Array in another site.

For the database and logs, do I need to create a NTFS LUN on the array instead of VMKS? How does this work with DAG for replication and redundancy?
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Question by:Network_Padawan
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by:Jamie McKillop
ID: 36530093
Hello,

You should create a VMKS for the databases and logs. DAG works the same in a virtual environment as it does on physical hardware. Just ensure DAG targets don't have VMKS that are on the same physical LUN. You don't want a physical LUN failure to take out multiple DAG targets.

JJ
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by:Network_Padawan
ID: 36533585
Hi jj,

Thanks. I have been reading that databases and logs should be placed on an RDM (RAW-DEVICE MAPPING) because of DAG environment. Is this not the case?

If I install the db and logs on VMFS systems, will DAG work as per normal with that?

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by:Jamie McKillop
ID: 36535775
What is your source for this information? Microsoft's guidance is that virtual disks can be used as long as the following to criteria are met:

Virtual disks that dynamically expand aren't supported by Exchange.

Virtual disks that use differencing or delta mechanisms (such as Hyper-V's differencing VHDs or snapshots) aren't supported.

source: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/library/aa996719.aspx

JJ
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by:Network_Padawan
ID: 36540298
okay, so just so I get some clarity,

I create a mailbox server, a CAS and Hub server all as VMDK on VMFS volume. Then on the same LUN, I create another partition for database and logs, all IN VMFS, and present them to the host so the mailbox server can mount to.

On a seperate LUN, I do the same and make it the passive mailbox in the DAG. All of these LUNS are in VMFS.

Is that it?
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Jamie McKillop earned 250 total points
ID: 36540339
Yes, that would work. What you want to avoid is having any type of hardware failure take both DAG copies down. Ideally, each DAG copy would be on a separate host with separate storage. Even more idealy, you would have DAG copies in separate data centers. If you must host the disks for both DAG copies on the same storage system, they should at least be on separate LUNs so if a LUN fails you don't lose both copies.

JJ
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by:Network_Padawan
ID: 36540355
THanks JJ. HAve you actually set this up before? Any issues other than what you just hihglighted I should be aware of when installing and configuring?
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by:Jamie McKillop
ID: 36542312
Yes, I have set this up before. When you virtualize Exchange DAG, the only other thing to be aware of is that Microsoft doesn't support using HA. There is a heated debate between Microsoft and VMWare about this but the bottom line is that Microsoft may refuse to support your environment if you use HA.

JJ
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by:Network_Padawan
ID: 36558142
Thanks for the responses.
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