Can Exchange Server 2010 Shares Database?

Posted on 2012-03-21
Last Modified: 2012-08-13
Hi, I am new to exchange. So I'm looking for the advice from you are the experts.
I know in Exchange 2010 has DAG for HA. but I don't what to use it.
All I want to do is simple.
I will have 2 Physical Server for installing exchange. I want to make this 2 servers to be the same. that mean everything on the server A, will be also the same on the server B.

I will create 2 VM in Server A, 1 for CAS, HUB and Mail Box , and another 1 is for Edge .
In server B will be the same ( Name, IP,... )

For the Mailbox Database I'll use NAS/SAN to store it.

So at a time only 1 physical server is running, If A run, B not run.  If A down, I will turn on the B so everything will be working on the B. and they will use the same Mailbox Databases on NAS/SAN .

So, my question: Is it possible to do that? can we duplicate 2 server to use the same database?

I have attached the sample drawing for you to have a look on what I mean.

Question by:Piseth2
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Expert Comment

ID: 37746065
I don't think it's possible, and personally speaking, from using SQL clusters with shared disks (a similar concept), way more complicated to set up than just using DAG

I'm not sure what you have against DAG, but to me it DAG is a lot simpler than what you're proposing!

Take a read here

Expert Comment

ID: 37746086
not possible. this is db and locked. no file sharing any access.

Author Comment

ID: 37746090
Hi Paul, I just want to do the manual switch. I know DAGs HA is good and easy, but what if the CAS, or HUB are down? So here I want to have the duplicate servers, so when one down, I'll turn on another one and will use the the same database on NAS/SAN, so it can continue the work.
I think it should work, because everything in Server A and B are the same.
What do you think?

Author Comment

ID: 37746112
Hi Gohorn,
Share here, mean It'll use the same database. but one at a time.
If server A down, I will stwich on the server B, and Serevr B will use the same database on NAS.

Expert Comment

ID: 37746134
You can "cluster" the CAS role using network load balancing option, so that if one CAS goes down, the other will still take care of everything.

If the Mailbox server goes down, it will fail over to the other DAG node

When you have multiple Hub Transport servers in your organization, Exchange automatically distributes the mail traffic among all the Hub Transport servers in your organization.

If you use a shared copy of the mailbox database, what happens if that goes down?  With DAG, at least you will have another copy on another site/SAN/NAS
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Author Comment

ID: 37746150
Hi Paul,
Hmm, I see. appreciate your explanation and solution. That's really helpful.

btw, for what I want to do, is it still possible? Don't compare with DAGs, I know my solution maybe stupid., but I just want to know, for technical perspective, does it work?
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Assisted Solution

by:Shaik M. Sajid
Shaik M. Sajid earned 333 total points
ID: 37746151
no as i beleave it will not work...

but what u can do is ...

u can create the first server ....

make copy of all vertual machines and paste to another server

this way u can do... if first server failure ..u can start other machine make call sismilar configuration it'll work fine...

even u can try SCVMM which will be a great support to u...

Author Comment

ID: 37746162
Hi  shaiksaj,
Thanks very much for your solution.
Okay, if I do so, and use the same database that store on NAS/SAN. will it work?

LVL 16

Assisted Solution

by:Shaik M. Sajid
Shaik M. Sajid earned 333 total points
ID: 37746193
yeah becouse san and nas what ever u'll use it'll be pointed to the Exchange server

and the storage works as a Drive....

if any thing happen to physical server u have the same copy on another physical machine just make it start thats it...

even u can utilise snap shot backup on the same physical machine...

best solution is create all data drives i.e for log, Data seperate drives on storage. and only Exchange application should be installed on the VM.

all the best

Author Comment

ID: 37746358
Thanks shaiksaj. ;)

How about other experts. What do you think about shaiksaj solution? Do you agree with that?

Accepted Solution

Ilya Rubinshteyn earned 167 total points
ID: 37752446
1) Cannot use NAS, has to be SAN (preferrably iSCSI)
2) if you have 2 nodes, set up a Hyper-V Failover Cluster. Create CSVs (Cluster Shared Volumes)  and use them to store your Exchange VM.
3) Create the Exchange VM, along with any other VMs you need. Create Separate VHD's for data and OS. You can either use SCVMM (Best) or Failover Cluster Manager to set up them up as HA VMs.
4) you are done. now, if one host fails, the other will pick up the load. One thing to be aware of: you need to have a separate virtual domain controller running on each of the 2 hosts OUTSIDE of the cluster, otherwise if both hosts go down, cluster does not come back up as it needs to authenticate against. Or use a physical DC (or 2).

here is a pretty good article on setting up HV clusters.

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