Need Help ASAP with Company Merger & Exchange Server 2010

thesingledad
thesingledad used Ask the Experts™
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Our company has a  physical 2010 standard exchange server with 5 stores that add up to over 900 GB and the server has almost 800GB free space available.  The other company has a physical standard exchange server with about 200 GB.


A consultant is in charge of the exchange servers...   In a meeting, the consultant explained that he is going to import the other companies email into our exchange server then create a new virtual secondary 2010 exchange server at the remote site and sync the exchange servers.


I was basically told to shut up when I asked how he would sync the 2 exchange servers.

 
My questions is:

Is it possible to import the other companies 200GB of email to our 900gb email server - sync all that email to the new virtual email server at the remote site (both sites hold the same email) knowing the free space on our mail server.

I would have created a DAG - left their email at the remote site - synced their 200gb to our server - and our 900gb to their server.


Please help me understand how he is going to do this.
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With a standard license you're limited to 5 max databases. So if he's going to import - he'll have to do it into one of the existing databases. Depending on how your volumes are setup, you might have issues mounting a recovery database - should the occasion arise.

If you're going to use DAG - you need the Windows OS (either 2008 or 2008 R2) to be Enterprise edition:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd638104

Exposing the network bandwidth requirements is a little trickier - but it's safe to say you're going to need very good bandwidth.

I don't know how much storage space is available at the remote server - that could be an issue.

If he's planning to do this all virtual, it's fully supported in Hyper-V, Xen, and VMware. Minimum versions and expected performance will vary.

Author

Commented:
Thank You, I didn't think about mounting the recovery database...  That was very helpful!


We should have 100mbs between the sites before the new exchange server is setup.  They only have 10mbs now.

We have a large storage solution going in the new office so the space there will be fine. Their plan is to import the new companies email into our physical exchange server which would leave us with -600GB of free space (not expandable) and about 1.1TB on the stores.

What options does he have to sync the new secondary server at the remote site with our current exchange server?  

Their plan is to create the new virtual exchange server on the esx server at our site - sync all the email to the new virtual exchange server somehow - Turn off the VM and copy it to a portable drive - then add it to the new site's esx server once it is setup.

The part I really don't understand is how he is going to sync both exchange servers......

Both exchange servers are to be active and running the same databases.
Again, assuming both Exchange servers are running on an "Enterprise" edition of "Windows Server", they can setup DAG. This will sync the Exchange databases. When the VM gets relocated to the remote location, and DAG is turned on again, sync will continue.

(Run the Exchange Best Practice Analyzer before and after the DAG relocation)

Good article on site resiliency:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg598215.aspx

I'm not sure about other tools to sync the Exchange databases, and I'm not sure why a person would want to use them if they exist. DAG is designed specifically for that purpose - it's industry standard, tons of docs on it, and Microsoft-endorsed (naturally).

Author

Commented:
Got it - An active\active Single DAG is the only option available the way they are going about it.

This sounds like a bad idea because if the link between sites goes down then there will be an outage!

Thanks for your help

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