Window 2012 & Exchange 2013 - install and config which training courses - 500pnts

Posted on 2014-01-10
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2014-01-13
Good Morning,

Ok so we currently have

53 users split over three site all using Windows 7 Pro
Three 2008 servers (Not R2) one at each site

Site one
Windows 2008 server (25 users)

Site Two
Windows 2008 server (25 users)

Site Three
Windows 2008 server (3 users, will increase)

I have been tasked with installing Exchange 2013 which really need to sit on 2012 server at site one, plus SQL will be installed. Then I have to use use Terminal server or more likely RDP remote application (I think that what it called) to publish applications out to users to site two and three and maybe site one as well unless although I might do local install.


1.) Should I upgrade all the servers to 2012
2.) Should I have separate server for SQL 2012 and Exchange 2013 or could I use Hyper-V
3.) Where should I have the terminal server installed
4.) How the hell do I back it all up are tape the only option
5.) I need to do some training in London to help me install 2012 and Exchange 2013 , any idea where to go and what course I should be looking at.

Question by:ise438
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LVL 63

Accepted Solution

Simon Butler (Sembee) earned 2000 total points
ID: 39770790
I really wouldn't bother with training to do the installation of Exchange 2013.
Get a consultant in to the job for you - it will be much quicker, will be done correctly and crucially the consultant will know things that are not always covered in the formal training courses (most trainers have never actually deployed the product - "Those that do, do, those that can't teach).
If you want to do training, do so in the maintenance, as that will be more beneficial. Otherwise you are training to do a one off job, which is just a waste of time.

Terminal Server should be as close to the resources it is accessing as possible, not the end users. Therefore if you are placing Exchange on site 1, then that is where TS should go.
For this number of users, you could start with the SQL server on the same server as Exchange. Then if there is growth, spin it out. Using HyperV isn't going to help unless you have additional spindles.

Windows 2012? If you have the budget then upgrade. Windows 2012 R2 isn't supported for Exchange 2013, will be after SP1 (later this year).

As for backup - you could backup to the cloud, or a NAS drive. Tape isn't that popular now.

Another option would be to replicate everything to another site - that can be done natively with most products. On Windows 2012 you can do it for Exchange using standard edition and a second Exchange licence.


Author Comment

ID: 39770885
Thanks Simon,

So ideally upgrade all the boxes to 2012? Is there an upgrade path do you know?

Is it worth going for R2 version of 2012 for our size firm?

New 2012 server with Exchange, SQL and terminal services installed on same box no need for Hyper V

Replicating to another site sounds good can you point me in the right direction?
LVL 63

Expert Comment

by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
ID: 39771178
I never upgrade servers.
So wipe and rebuild.

As for the R2 question, depends if you have bought the licences or not. If not, then buy the latest. If you have, then probably little to gain.

Replicating to another site - look for details on DFS/DFS-R for Windows files and Exchange DAG - both are documented on TechNet.

Do note that Exchange in a DAG needs to be the same version on both sides.
You also should not install Exchange on a domain controller.
Windows 2012 allows two virtual machines per physical host, therefore if the hardware is up to it then you could deploy a virtual DC and a virtual Exchange server at another site for the replication.

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Author Comment

ID: 39771218
Thank you

Author Comment

ID: 39771831
I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

Accepted answer: 0 points for ise438's comment #a39771218

for the following reason:

LVL 63

Expert Comment

by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
ID: 39771832
I think you may have made an error with the question closure process.

Expert Comment

ID: 39771833
I personally would not consider doing what you're doing.

SQL and Exchange should never reside on the same server and definitely not also run terminal services.

1. There has never been an upgrade path from Microsoft that didn't present more problems than it solved.  If you have the budget I agree with a previous poster - start with fresh and clean servers.

2. Exchange is designed to take every scrap of memory available, whether it can use it or not.  This can be mitigated with some registry hacks but it shold not be on a domain controller and it definitely should not be on the same server as SQL

3. Using Hyper-V to separate your servers will help some but not much.  The I/O load of each server is easier to manage but the fact of the matter is you still need the resources to service 3 resourse intensive functions - SQL, Exchange, and Terminal Services.  You better be running a good SAS RAID Array or SAN to deal with disk thrashing and max out your memory.  

I would look at the possibily of going VMware over Hyper-V.  It's more costly but it's also way better designed to get the most out of your hardware.

I would also look at putting all the servers at the same location.  Splitting them up across multiple sites doesn't really make a lot of sense if you're going to be using a terminal server.

If you have a decent budget I would also consider going with Horizon View Desktops vs Terminal Server.  

As for licensing - if you are going Volume Licensing (which again is more expensive but gives you the most options) then I would stay with Server 2008 R2 virtual servers.  

When you purchase Server 2012 from the VLC you get 2 virtual 2008 R2 Enterprise instances for each Server 2012 Standard license you purchase.  That doubles the number of servers you can run and you stil have the option of moving to Server 2012 in the future because you get license keys for both.  All Microsoft Volume licensing is considered 'upgrade' licensing.

Backups - VMware provides a number of options for redundancy so the offsite backup is the only real consideration.  Tape is a bad option - support for tape has all but dried up.  NAS is a viable option but you have to weigh just how much data you're going to be transporting.  Do you have dedicated connections between the three sites or are you using VPN?  What's your upstream speeds at each location?  ISP's give you good downstream but you have to pay a lot more for good upstream.

Lots of things to consider.  You really need to spend a lot of time getting to know your options so you build it right the first time.

Author Comment

ID: 39773151
Ok i've got more to questions to ask the experts - if we could leave the question open for the moment please and i'll come back to it on Monday.

Author Comment

ID: 39776024
So a server for Exchange, one for SQL and one for Terminal services? Or one for Exchange and one for SQL and tab TS onto one of them?

If I am using TS or Remote Desktop Applications do I need DC at the site two and three or can they log on via site one

So SAS RAID Array or SAN to store the Exchange infomation store?
LVL 63

Expert Comment

by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
ID: 39776369
For this number of users it doesn't really matter how the storage is configured.

You don't want terminal services on a server doing anything else. A terminal server should do terminal services only, nothing else.


Author Comment

ID: 39776718
Simon what can't of Spec would I need for a TS Server to look after 30 users?
LVL 63

Expert Comment

by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
ID: 39777062
No idea on the specification as I am not a terminal server guy unfortunately. You should ask that question fresh in the terminal server zone.


Author Closing Comment

ID: 39777092
Excellent - Thank You for your help

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