Exchange 2010 Standard need High Availability

Our Exchange Server crashed last week.  We were without email for a day or so.  How would I go about making a second Exchange Server to take over when the first one crashes?  Can this be done with Server 2008 Standard and a second copy of Exchange 2010 Standard?

We are in a stripped down Esxi environment right now and need to act quickly.   We are in the planning stages of upgrading to VMware Standard but not for a month or two.

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Beyond Next SolutionsSolutions ArchitectCommented:
You can create a DAG with 2 servers running Exchange 2010 Standard, but it does require the clustering components found in the Windows Server OS, so you need Win 2008 or 2008R2 Enterprise to enable that functionality. 2 or more servers with the Hub role installed provide built in redundancy. As for the CAS, you would need 2 or more servers with the CAS role, and utilize some form of load balancing like a hardware load balancer, or NLB.

Now, with only 2 Exchange 2010 servers (Exchange Standard installed on Windows Server Enterprise) you can install all 3 roles (MBX, HT, CAS) on each. Then, create the DAG and ensure replication is working properly between the 2.

How to create a DAG:

Then, ideally you would deploy a hardware load balancer to provide a VIP (virtual IP) that would balance across both CAS roles. You would create a CAS array with a third hostname (like that points to the VIP. You cannot use Microsoft NLB on cluster nodes, so that is out of the question.

So, without a hardware load balancer, you could potentially use DNS and manually update host records as failures occur. Example: points to the IP of one of your 2 CAS servers (the one you plan to host the active copy of the database). Then, if one server fails, you can change the DNS record to point to the other CAS IP address. I would also set the TTL of the DNS record to something very low so clients will "switch over" quickly.

How to create a CAS array:

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