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exchange server mailbox replacement

Posted on 2012-04-12
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Last Modified: 2012-04-13
we currently have one cas/hub server and one mailbox server.  both are virtualized.  I need to swap out the existing mailbox server with a new one, but utilize the same database.  is there a way to connect two mailbox servers to the same database then decommision the old one?  our mailbox server is a vmware server and is provisioned with 1.7 TB which is obviously way to large.  we only use 60 gb and I want to provision it for 100gb to allow some growth.  need a fast solution with little risk.

thanks
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Question by:dannyboy266
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by:sconstable
ID: 37839668
If all you really want to do is to "shrink" the disk - just create a new disk, present it to the exchange server, and "move" the database (you can do this from the GUI).  You will have a small amount of downtime while the database copies over, but you are only looking at 60GB so it will be minimal.  The other opeiont you are eluding to are much more involved and in my opinion have significant risk involved for what you are doing.
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by:dannyboy266
ID: 37839709
If it were just the mailbox database that would work, but it is the server itself I am trying to replace and resize.  I was thinking I could add a server (essentially having two -non dag.) move the mailbox server role to the new smaller one and remove the old one.
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by:sconstable
ID: 37839736
You have a coupple of options since you are on a VM, if you have vmware tools installed you can use Vmware tools to Resize the disk (even to make it smaller).  You can also "Clone" the server (since Its exchange I would recomend shuting it down) and duing the "Clone" you will have the options to resize the disks.
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by:asher-is-me
ID: 37841078
The URL file association registry entry is probably damaged.  I'd recommend restoring it to defaults by following this guide.  Scroll down to "URL" and run the registry script to fix.  Restart your computer to lock in the changes.
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millardjk earned 500 total points
ID: 37842130
How is the 1.7TB provisioned? Which hypervisor, and which licensing level?

If you had a physical server you needed to replace, you'd stand up the new box, make it a mailbox role, CREATE A DAG FOR EACH DB.

Once the DAG is replicated cleanly and is stable, move the master for each DB to the new server, leaving the old server hosting standby copies in the DAG. Because the CAS takes care of brokering the client connections, this is non-disruptive.

Break the DAG, deleting the standby copies.

Once the old mailbox server holds no DBs, you can easily decommission it.

This process can be repeated in a virtual environment, and is just as non-disruptive.
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by:dannyboy266
ID: 37842651
thank you for your help!
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by:dannyboy266
ID: 37844727
what if you dont want to purchase the windows enterrpise license.... those are pretty expensive.
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by:millardjk
ID: 37844808
Same solution, but instead of a DAG and zero-downtime migration, you create a new DB on the new host and manually migrate mailboxes from the old server DB to the new server DB. There will be a brief disconnect a the client when the move is completed while OLK rediscovers the correct mailbox server and connects. Migrating public folders is done by creating a new PF DB and enabling replication. Once everything is on the new MBX host, delete DBs and decommission once that's successfully completed. DO NOT presume that public folder replication has copied all data--including system folders used for OLK2003 compatibility--until Exchange permits you to delete the PF DB.
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by:dannyboy266
ID: 37844827
perfect!
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by:millardjk
ID: 37844834
You should, however, be able to create a DAG even with Standard. The main limitation of Standard is the live DB count (5 for Standard, 100 for Enterprise)
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by:dannyboy266
ID: 37844856
when I was looking into the licensning, I think the exchange license is ok.  I was thinking the windows license would have to be enterprise.
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by:millardjk
ID: 37844877
Windows license doesn't have to be Enterprise unless you NEED an Enterprise feature like Clustering (no), higher core/CPU support (no) or RAM (no).

With a VM, you should be fine. Whatever is supporting your current MBX role should be your choice for the new MBX role. After all, you're decommissioning the old MBX host, so you should be thinking of this as a license transfer rather than a new purchase.
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by:dannyboy266
ID: 37844920
I thought I ready somewhere that the dags used the windows clustering service.  have you heard anything to that affect?
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by:millardjk
ID: 37844950
No. DAG is it's own "mailbox availability" system that is completely independent & distinct from clustering. You don't even need clustering to get resilient CAS or HT roles, either. Anyone who tells you that DAGs require clustering doesn't understand DAGs.
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by:dannyboy266
ID: 37844957
that is good to know.  glad it is easier than I thought.
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