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Exchange 2010 Disaster Recovery

I am wanting to add a 3rd 2010 Exchange server to my already existing environment, but I want to place this new server at a remote site as a DR system incase the primary site goes offline.

Currently, my remote offices are all connected to the Texas data center via VPN tunnels.  I have EX-01 and EX-02 at the primary site, each have the client, hub, and mailbox roles installed.

The Mailbox DBs are DAG'd together, EX-01 as the active server & EX-02 as the passive.  I do not have the CAS array load balanced at this time but would like to add this capability in the future.

Here is my Plan:

I'll add a secondary site in North Carolina and connect the primary site (Texas) to the secondary using VPN tunnels.

I'll stand up EX-02 at this site and add this server to the existing DAG and CAS array.

This server will hold passive copies of the Mailbox DB from EX-01

After this server is fully configured, I'd like to hardware load balance (HLB) the CAS array.  

My current scenario:

A natural disaster hits the Texas data center knocking it offline.  My users will be without email access (meaning I have no DR).

Scenario with EX-03.

A Natural disaster hits the Texas data center knocking it offline.  I'd update the external mx record to point to EX-03 at the data center in North Carolina.  I'd also update the CAS array internal DNS entry to point to EX-03 for remote offices.

Does this plan make sense?  Am I missing anything?

Can I include EX-03 in the HLB over VPN tunnels?  I'm not sure if this is possible as I have no experience doing this.
Exchange-DR-Online.vsd
Exchange-DR-Offline.vsd
ExchangeDisaster RecoveryHardware Firewalls

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tnims

8/22/2022 - Mon
SOLUTION
TazDevil1674

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ASKER
tnims

So what you are suggesting is that I would need to stand a domain controller at the DR data center in North Carolina separate from the site in Texas.

Texas Site = txd.test.com

NC Site = ncd.test.com
SOLUTION
Simon Butler (Sembee)

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ASKER
tnims

OK so this is what I am understanding:

Primary site (Texas)

Domain Controller (txd.test.com)
EX-01  (Hub, CAS, Mailbox Role)
EX-02  (Hub, CAS, Mailbox Role)
DAG = enable DAC mode -> Includes EX-01, EX-02, EX-03
CAS Array = will only contain members of EX-01 & EX-02

DR Site (NC)

Domain Controller (ncd.test.com)
EX-03 (Hub, CAS, Mailbox Role)
DAG = enable DAC mode -> Includes EX-01, EX-02, EX-03
CAS array = will only contain EX-03 and is separate from the Primary site

If the primary site goes offline DR site will take over.  I'll need to point my remote office clients to EX-03 by updating the fqdn of the primary CAS array to EX-03.

By enabling DAC on the DAG, once the primary site comes back online, the mailbox DB on that site will not mount because of DAC.

That correct?
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ASKER
tnims

Thank you all for your help.  I was able to test this in a test environment.  One thing I ran into while I was testing is that if I have the DAG set to DAC mode and if I lose my primary site completely, the DR site will not mount as it cannot contact the primary site to determine if a server is online.  To resolve this, I disabled DAC mode and on the DB copy in the DR site, I made it so that the copy must be manually mounted/activated in case of an emergency.
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