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How to put Exchange 2010 (CAS Array + DAG) in Maintenance Mode?

Posted on 2012-04-05
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Last Modified: 2012-04-06
Hello,

I'm planning to upgrade memory (RAM) on Exchange Server 2010 running on two ESX hosts. I'm looking for directions to put some part of servers in maintenance mode while the second host handle traffic.

Here is the existing setup:

VMware ESX Hosts: ESX1 and ESX2

ESX1 hosts:
Client Access Server 1 (CA1) - Client Access Server Array (CAS Array)
Client Access Server 3 (CA3)
Hub Transport Server 1 (HT1)
Mailbox Server 1 (MB1) - Database Availability Group (DAG)
Forefront UAG Server 1 (UAG1)

ESX2 hosts:
Client Access Server 2 (CA2)
Client Access Server 4 (CA4)
Hub Transport Server 2 (HT2)
Mailbox Server 2 (MB2)
Forefront UAG Server 2 (UAG2)

Scenario: I need to put the ESX1 server down to upgrade RAM. Since both hosts contains two sets of server roles, I need to put servers in ESX1 host in maintenance mode, so that it won't interrupt the e-mail access.

Question: Since ESX1 running CAS Array and Mailbox DAG, how can I put both in maintenance mode, while another set of servers running on ESX2 handle the traffic in the mean time?

What's on my mind:

1. Remove (un-check from Windows Network Load Balancer - WNLB) the Client Access Servers (CA1 & CA3) from CAS Array.

2. Shutdown both CA1 and CA2 servers.

3. Then Shutdown Hub Transport Server 1.

4. Run the maintenance script (from Exchange Scripts folder) to put the Mailbox server (MB1) in maintenance mode.

5. Shutdown the server.

6. Upgrade RAM on ESX host. Restart all servers.

7. Re-add the Client Access Servers (CA1 and CA3) to CAS Array.

8. Run the maintenance script again to put the Mailbox server (MB1) into live mode.


I would appreciate if anyone can share your experience and thoughts along with Answer! :)

Thanks!
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Question by:SrinathS
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Marc Dekeyser earned 500 total points
ID: 37815671
Follow the following for the CAS (well up to the part they start updating the server :))
http://exchangeserverpro.com/how-to-install-updates-on-exchange-server-2010-cas-arrays

and this for the DAG maintenance: http://blogs.technet.com/b/timmcmic/archive/2011/09/26/exchange-2010-sp1-startdagservermaintenance-ps1-fails-on-databases-that-have-only-two-database-copies.aspx

So except for step 1 your plan seems sound
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Author Comment

by:SrinathS
ID: 37815751
Geminon,

Our Exchange 2010 is running on SP1. According to that TechNet article followed by Microsoft KB (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2585649), the maintenance start script will fail if it contain two databas copies. As I said earlier, both of our DAG members  hosts 4 or more databases.

Is this known issue still affects our environment? The first article link is an excellent guide to put the Client Access Server Array in maintenance mode.
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Expert Comment

by:Marc Dekeyser
ID: 37815752
You'll be fine. I merely referenced to that article as it explains the process :) (and I was to lazy to look up a better one to be honest...)
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Author Comment

by:SrinathS
ID: 37815848
I also found another article on the same website to put the DAG in maintenance mode. Here it is: http://exchangeserverpro.com/how-to-install-updates-on-exchange-server-2010-database-availability-groups
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Author Comment

by:SrinathS
ID: 37815916
Last part of the question:

Since ForeFront Security is running on all Exchange server roles, I will stip the service with the fscutility /disable command. Do I need to stop any additional services or any other steps necessary to put (just shutdown) Hub Transport (HT) and ForeFront Unified Access Gateway (UAG)?

Thanks for your guidance!
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Expert Comment

by:Marc Dekeyser
ID: 37816148
Not that I can think of.
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Author Comment

by:SrinathS
ID: 37816390
Finally,

To upgrade RAM on one of Mailbox servers (2 mailbox member servers in one DAG group), I need to shutdown the server.

Do I need to run the Maintenance script to put one mailbox server in mantenance mode or just switchover the active databases to second server followed by server restart?

Thank you again! Just one step ahead to close the tread and assign points! :)
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Assisted Solution

by:Marc Dekeyser
Marc Dekeyser earned 500 total points
ID: 37816399
Use the maintenance script to perform the switchover. It will do everything for you and set that the databases cannot be mounted on the server you are upgrading until you take it out of maintenance mode.

Theoretically you could just move the primary to another server but the script is the nice way of doing things.
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