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Hyper-V with Windows Server 2012 Failover And Availability

Posted on 2013-12-18
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I have the following question:

We want to replace our current network.

Current situation:
A Windows SBS 2011 Server and a Windows 2008 Server (Premium Add On).
It works for us the last years but we had a (very unexpected) grow in the company, so we get more then 100 extra users next year. SBS 2011 is not an option anymore also for the availability of our network, we get also extra office(s) in other places next year.

We have a quote for a new server:
- Xeon Processor with 6 cores
- 128 GB RAM
- 2 * 146 GB SAS Disk (15k, 6Gbps)
- 6 * 600 GB SAS Disk (10k, 6Gbps)
- Windows 2012 R2 Standard Edition with Software Assurance (two licenses)
- Windows 2012 User cals with Software Assurance
- Exchange 2013 Standard with Software Assurance
- Exchange Standard cals with Software Assurance

The price of the server is not a problem, but I have the following question. What do we need (and to do) to get a availibility option for us. I understand we have to buy an extra server and we can place it in another office. At this moment there is no VPN between the 2 offices.

Do you have a recommendation for our situation. Do we need a cluster or is it not necessarily? When we get a high availibility between 2 servers do we need to buy the user cals twice?

I hope someone can give us a good advice. I know some thing are 'beginner' questions, but I am 'official' a programmer. I learnt a lot in the last years about the systems.

Our management want to keep al the Infrastructure 'in house' and they want to spend some money on it. We can hire an expert, but maybe someone here give us a good summary of things we can do.
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Question by:Program1981
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by:Mahesh
ID: 39726425
You don't require to purchase user CALs twice.
Once you have 2012 CALs, you can access all downgrade servers (2008\2003) without any issues
Per user/per device or "per seat" mode is the default mode, and the one used most frequently. In this mode, you need one CAL per user or device that will be accessing the server software, regardless of the number of servers being accessed.
Check below article
http://www.techsoup.org/support/articles-and-how-tos/introduction-to-microsoft-server-and-client-licensing

Hyper-V cluster is not required in your case, you can virtualize your AD and exchange completely.
All you need to do, buy one more physical server with 2012 \ 2012 R2 standard edition as a hyper-v host server and add exchange servers virtual instances on both physical servers
You can combine Mailbox+CAS roles.
You can have total two exchange virtual servers with MBX+CAS on each physical server.
Create DAG for MBX HA and use hardware load balancer for CAS HA\Load balancing
If you are using storage, You can have separate storage LUNs mapped to each hyper-v host

keep both Physical hyper-v servers in separate Racks (same Data center)
DAG Witness server should be kept on separate physical box and not in the Hyper-V host servers.

In case of remote locations, it depends upon network bandwidth and user count if existing infra needs to be extended.
If user count is less (around 25) and WAN link is 1Mbps, you can authenticate them over WAN with exchange mailbox unless you have any specific application requirement for GC in remote location.
Also if remote location have separate internet connectivity, then they can still access emails over internet through OWA \ Outlook Anywhere (RPC over HTTPs) in case of WAN link failure
if user count is more at remote locations and\OR you want to extend the DAG at remote location, it is possible and can be addressed later on if required.
You can then increase network bandwidth if required, place ADC and one MBX+CAS server at remote location and can extend DAG there if wanted to.

Hope that helps
Mahesh
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Author Comment

by:Program1981
ID: 39726504
Thank you for your answer! I really appreciate that.

We want to replace our SBS 2011 server, so we don't want to use it anymore. I understand we have to buy  (minimal 2) new servers. We use also SQL Server, so we need also SQL Server 2012 licenses (2 server and the user cals).

If we don't use a Hyper-V cluster is it possible to synchronize the files and the SQL Server without using an external storage unit? Or is it better to synchronize the Virtual Machines?

At this moment the bandwith of the 2 offices is 30/30 (head office) and 10/10 (second office). Our management want to place the servers in our offices.
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Mahesh earned 500 total points
ID: 39728476
Don't know how heavily loaded your SQL server..

Exchange do not require Windows Hyper-V cluster as it has DAG and redundancy \ HA part can be achieved without Hyper-V failover cluster

There are many ways SQL HA can be achieved for 2012 SQL
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms190202.aspx
http://www.koenig-solutions.com/sql-server-high-availability.aspx

Personally I do not recommend to mix SQL cluster VMs with AD + Exchange environment
You may add other infra servers \ app servers with AD\Exchange virtual infra.
Having SQL cluster with Exchange will increase setup complexity.
You can have SQL cluster on different boxes probably for simplicity and manageability

Mahesh
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Author Closing Comment

by:Program1981
ID: 40105644
Thank you all. We think about it.
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