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want to build a 2 node exchange dag where do i start?

Posted on 2014-02-21
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Last Modified: 2014-03-12
i have an existing exchange server 2010 with around 6 mailbox databases on it
and a combined total og 600gig data
This server is virtual
i need to build in redundancy
so i was going to install another exchange server and build a dag
where do i start?
can i use my exsiting exchaneg server and build a dag or does it need to be built from scratch
do i need a load balancer etc
i would like some advice on what all i need to do
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Question by:dougdog
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by:Peter Hutchison
ID: 39876817
1. Yes, you can build an additional mailbox server. It needs to be an Enterprise editon preferably (Windows + Exchange). The second server will need its own 600GB disk storage
2. You should move roles such as Client Access and Hub TRansport to its own server.
3. Once the servers are built, you will need configure a cluster DAG IP address, and replication IP address on your network.
4. You can then create your DAG and add the mailbox servers to that DAG.
5. Once the DAG is created, you can create DAtabase copies to the second server for failover.

Check out this article:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd638121%28v=exchg.141%29.aspx
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Jamie McKillop earned 500 total points
ID: 39876953
Hello,

Couple of comments about the post above...

1. You do need Windows Server Enterprise but you do NOT need Exchange Enterprise. The only difference between Exchange 2010 standard and enterprise is the number of databases. If you don't need more then 5 database copies, you don't need enterprise. Note that a passive copies counts though, so you are really reduced to two active databases. Since you already have 6 databases, you are running Enterprise.
2. You should not split off your CAS and HT roles. Microsoft recommends combining all roles. Both DAG members should be MBX+HT+CAS. You will need a load balancer in front of the DAG members though, for the CAS role.

Here is a good ste-by-step buide to building a DAG - http://exchangeserverpro.com/exchange-server-2010-database-availability-group-installation-step-by-step/

-JJ
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by:dougdog
ID: 39877017
Does it need to be a hardware load balancer?
can i start of with just having the mailbox database redundancy
and then build in the cas redundancy at a later stage
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by:Jamie McKillop
ID: 39877043
You could move the CAS role to a dedicated server but that would require an additional Windows Server and Exchange Server license and you would have no redundancy, which seems to defeat the whole purpose of building the DAG.

-JJ
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Author Comment

by:dougdog
ID: 39877080
So what do I need then
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by:Jamie McKillop
ID: 39877090
Not sure what you are asking. Are you asking what you need for a load balancer?

-JJ
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by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
ID: 39877401
Personally I would build two new servers.
You can put them on Windows 2012 standard edition (if buying new licences).
Then move the mailboxes to the new server over a period of time. That will allow the DAG to build gradually. I have had no end of problems adding a DAG to an existing platform with getting the initial seed to complete successfully.

Remember that the DAG only protects the mailbox data, it does nothing for client access. Do you have an RPC CAS Array in place? If not, configure one right now.

Simon.
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by:dougdog
ID: 39877605
No all I have is a single server with all the roles installed.
Whats involved in the rpc cas array
Do I need a hardware load balancer
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by:Peter Hutchison
ID: 39879366
You can get away with NDS round robin host entries, or use Windows Network load balancing service if you do not have a h/w load balancer.

For a CAS array you need more than one server with the CAS server installed. Then you create a CAS array using a common DNS name:
e.g.
New-ClientAccessArray -Fqdn outlook.mycompany.com -Site "Default-First-Site" -Name "outlook.mycompany.com"
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Author Comment

by:dougdog
ID: 39879507
So can I have 2 servers with all roles installed
And use them for cas array and dag
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by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
ID: 39879557
You can indeed.
As long as you don't want to use Windows Network Load Balancing that is a perfectly acceptable solution. You will need a third server to act as the FSW - that can be anything running Windows 2008 or higher, preferably a member server.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:dougdog
ID: 39879688
So what would the steps needed be
Would it be better to build 2 new servers
And a fsw server
Then build dag and cas array
Then migrate mailboxes
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by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
ID: 39880502
You should put the CAS array in immediately, because clients will not pick that up automatically. Therefore the sooner you have it in place the better, because you need to start the proecss of repairing the Outlook profiles to get the users on to the CAS Array address.

An FSW can be any server, it doesn't have to be a new build.

Simon.
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by:dougdog
ID: 39880529
Should I build new servers for this
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by:Jamie McKillop
ID: 39882412
If your current server in running on Windows 2008 standard you should start from scratch and build two new servers.

-JJ
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by:dougdog
ID: 39883397
My current server is 2008 enterprise
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by:Peter Hutchison
ID: 39884984
Looks like you need 2 x CAS/HT servers and 2 x Mailbox servers for the DAG for better resiliance.
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Author Comment

by:dougdog
ID: 39885389
so whats the best thing to do with my existing mailbox server which is enterprise
make it part of the dag or build everything from fresh
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by:Peter Hutchison
ID: 39885401
I would make it part of the DAG, there is no need to start from fresh.
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by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
ID: 39887621
My preference is never to add an existing database to a DAG, as I have found the replication gets bogged down. You could add the server to the DAG and then create new databases on the server which are members of the DAG, then move the mailboxes that way. Depends if you have the capacity.

Simon.
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