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Upgrade of DAG Witness Server to 2012 R2 - Exchange 2013 question

Posted on 2014-07-22
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Last Modified: 2014-07-23
Hey there guys.

We have two servers running Exchange 2013 CU1 on a Windows Server 2012. Those two servers are soon going to be upgraded to Exchange 2013 CU5. As in-place upgrade is not supported, the Windows Server 2012 will stay as it is.

The server that is currently serving as the Witness Server is also running Windows Server 2012. My question is:

Is Windows Server 2012 R2 supported as a Witness server? And so is its in-place upgrade?

This TechNet article states "The witness server must be running Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003 R2, or Windows Server 2003." but that article applies to "Exchange Server 2013", not Exchange 2013 SP1 or higher.
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd638104.aspx#GR

Also, can you confirm that while the Witness Server is getting upgraded from 2012 to 2012 R2, the DAG will still work fine as long as both Exchange Servers are up?

Thanks,

Rod
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Gareth Gudger earned 2000 total points
ID: 40213486
Also, can you confirm that while the Witness Server is getting upgraded from 2012 to 2012 R2, the DAG will still work fine as long as both Exchange Servers are up?

Yes. The witness is only required when quorum comes into question. As long as none of the DAG members go down at the same time you are fine.

Is Windows Server 2012 R2 supported as a Witness server?

Yes. I have a DAG with an FSW on 2012 R2 right now. The FSW is just a glorified File Share with a few lock files in it. Nothing special.
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by:Rodrigo Costa dos Prazeres
ID: 40213500
Thanks Gareth, that's what I thought. My only concern was that, with the new Features in Server 2012 R2, it would not be cross-platform compatible (as Exchange will stay on Windows Server 2012 while Witness will then run 2012 R2). But by the looks of it, it will be ok.
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Expert Comment

by:Gareth Gudger
ID: 40213932
Yea I don't see any problems with the DAG members on 2012 and the FSW on 2012 R2. Like I said. Its just a file share. :)
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Author Closing Comment

by:Rodrigo Costa dos Prazeres
ID: 40213940
Thank you.
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