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Synchronizing Primary and Secondary Exchange 2010 Servers

Posted on 2011-09-30
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Our current setup is a Laptop as our primary DC running Server 2008, and all other servers are virtual on the DC using virtualization software.  These virtual machines are stored on NETAPPS servers, which allows for larger storage and greater resources for the virtual machines.  The goal behind this setup is for Domain access before and after all the physical servers are setup/taken down.  

Now to my question, I would like to utilize this concept even further by installing a secondary exchange server locally on the Laptop, and having all mailboxes migrated/synchronized to the secondary.  I'm not sure if that "migration/synchronization" is possible, which is the first part of my question, and of course the "how" is the second part.  It wouldn't have to be a long-term solution, just temporary as the physical servers are moved/setup/taken down.  

Thanks in advance!
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Question by:one800devildog
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by:Neil Russell
ID: 36895745
Your going to need a hell of a laptop! You are asking to run ALL of the exchange server roles on the laptop in a virtual environment as well as the os and AD. You have a 16gb+ laptop and a hell of a hard disk?
You would need to set up a DAG in exchange and have the database replicated etc....

LOTS and lots to do on a laptop.
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by:Deepu Chowdary
ID: 36895796
So.., if your laptop is down for any reason then...
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by:Akhater
ID: 36895959
Irrespectively if you are going to put the other exchange server on a laptop or on a dedicated server you will need to create a DAG (database availability group) now my questions to you in order to know if this will work for you in the current setup or not are

1) Is your current exchange server installed on a domain controller ?
2) Is your current exchange server running on windows 2008 STANDARD edition ?


if the answer to any of the above questions is "yes" then you cannot do it in your setup and you will probably need to redo the whole thing over again
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Author Comment

by:one800devildog
ID: 36897451
@ Akhater: Our current Exchange server is not on Standard 2008, and not on a DC.  The Primary DC is the laptop, and all other servers to include the secondary DC are virtual.

@Neilsr:  Good point about the resources, I was more focused on compatibility and synchronization... The laptop has 8GB RAM and a 500GB HDD... My only comment is that this would only be supporting 20-30 users with currently empty mailboxes for about three days... Do you think resources are still going to be an issue?

@ Exchange9:  If the laptop goes down then the Domain is down, but again... this is only for three days and minimal users.  The idea behind the Laptop being the primary DC is for instant domain access until the main servers (which house the virtual secondary DC and exchange) get setup.  It's a mobile network so to speak.

Thanks again to you all, please let me know what you think!
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Akhater earned 500 total points
ID: 36898146
so I understand you are running windows 2008 Enterprise edition on the exchange server well that's good news, you will need to install another exchange 2010 mailbox role with 2008 Enterprise and create a DAG

this should help you
http://exchangeserverpro.com/exchange-server-2010-database-availability-group-installation-step-by-step


and 8gb should be ok for 20 users
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by:Deepu Chowdary
ID: 36898479
Yes for temporary purpose you can do it .
Also install one more 2010 mailbox role with DAG.
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Author Closing Comment

by:one800devildog
ID: 37089108
Didn't end up using DAG in the end, but learned a lot for the future, thanks guys!
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