Implementing Exchange 2010 or 2013 DAG across two locations

Dear All,

   Currently I have Exchange 2010 install in a single server ( Physical ) with all the Roles ( CAS, MBX and HUB), I'm planning to migrate the current server to Hyper-V server and make it High available and also keep one server in my Disaster Recovery site in case my primary site is unavailable.

I need advise as below.

- Which version is advised to go with 2010, 2013.
- number of servers( I plan for two CAS each in one location using NLB ) and two MBX each in one location also.
-  what will be the LUN configuration since I'm allocating 1 TB for the Exchange DBs for the DAG.

I need a stable and simple setup to keep my mail flow fine in case a single server failed.


Thanks
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ITMaster1979Asked:
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Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
I would drop the plan to use Windows Network Load Balancing, because it sucks.
Also drop the plan to have seperate CAS.
Put all of the roles on the same servers and use the money saved on the Exchange licences to buy a proper load balancer. This coudl be a virtual load balancer from the likes of Kemp etc.

However without use numbers it is impossible to say whether either design is good or not. Although it is now considered best practise to have all roles on all servers and just have lots of servers, even on the lrage implemetnations i do (10000+) I use that same model. I haven't split the roles out for over 18 months.

Simon.
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Mohammed KhawajaManager - Infrastructure:  Information TechnologyCommented:
What you need is one LUN for DBs and one LUN for logs.  I would recommend you going with Exchange 2013.  If you Exchange environment is small (i.e. 500 users or less), you could install all roles on a single server.
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ITMaster1979Author Commented:
Thanks for the answer, I have 1500 users, it is ok to add all of them in single exchange 2013 or 2010 server, how do I configure the disk for DAG, and what if I have DAG in my primary site and another DAG in my DR site

Please advise
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Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
1500 users on a single server is pushing it. Personally I would have a three server design, two active in the primary site and one server in the DR location. Then have the active databases spread over the two servers.

Servers can only belong to one DAG at a time, so you will be unable to have a second DAG in the other site.

As for disk configuration, Exchange doesn't care as long as it is identical. So if you have three drives (C OS, D logs, E databases) then that has to be the same across all servers in the DAG.

Simon.
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ITMaster1979Author Commented:
Hi Simon,

  what about the roles splitting for the two in the primary sites and one in DR site?

Thanks
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Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
I wouldn't split the roles at all.

Simon.
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ITMaster1979Author Commented:
Ok, so you mean Exchange 2013 with MBX,CAS , two in the primary and one in DR? what about the DAG, it can work with CAS role?
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Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
As long as you aren't intending to use WNLB, you can have all roles on the same server, which includes the DAG configuration.

Otherwise, yes, I mean three servers only.

Simon.
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Mohammed KhawajaManager - Infrastructure:  Information TechnologyCommented:
I would recommend two servers at the primary site and one at the DR site and then you could create two DAGs (the one at the DR will contain DBs from both servers at the primary site).
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ITMaster1979Author Commented:
do i need to have load balancer  or I will use the normal CAS?
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Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
A load balancer isn't a hard requirement, but if you have to failover then you will need to adjust the DNS records manually for the clients to connect to the second site.

Simon.
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ITMaster1979Author Commented:
Ok, its clear now,  I will install two Exchange 2013 servers with all the roles CAS,MBX  in my primary site, can you just tell me about the LUN, my plan to use 1 TB LUN for my exchange dbs, how I will configure the 1 TB LUN, do I need to use 500 GB two lUNS one for each exchange in primary site?


Thanks
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Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
You should probably have unique LUNs for each server. That will save complications for doing anything else.

Simon.
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ITMaster1979Author Commented:
Hi Simon,
 Means if Im planning in allocating 1 TB space for my full exchange DBs as a total size I will require now 2 TB? if im doing DAG, currently I have 1 TB in single box, is that right or im getting it wrong.


Thanks
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Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
You cannot share databases in the DAG.
Therefore if you have 1tb of databases then you will need 2tb of space, because each server has a copy of the complete database.

Simon.
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ITMaster1979Author Commented:
Ok, I think I will not have enough space, can I have one in the primary and one in the secondary with all the roles for 1500 users, is that ok
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