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Can you setup a secondary Exchange Server 2010 as a fail over without DAG

I know this seems like an odd request but I have some questions regarding Exchange 2010 HA.
We are using Exchange 2010 single server on 2008 r2.
1. Is it possible to set a fail-over solution with Exchange 2010 without using DAG? We do not have two data repository resources but want an Exchange fail-over solution
2. Is it possible to use DAG with both servers point at the same data resources (LUNS)? Like if the current is point to resource A can we add a second server and point it to the exact same resource?
3. If we can do that is there a guide for directing DAG servers to the same resource?
I thank you all in advance for any guidance or clarity you can provide.

Ry1972
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kryanC
Asked:
kryanC
1 Solution
 
Joseph O'LoughlinCommented:
1. Yes
2. no, not concurrently.  Only one server controlls a lun untill the next failover.

Get failover clustering working first, before installing exchange, then
https://www.simple-talk.com/sysadmin/exchange/exchange-2010-dag-creation-and-configuration,-part-2/
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kryanCAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the quick replies. So, HA is a must here. With that being said, for my own clarity, as I am not an expert but have been thrown into the Exchange pit, can you  review and recommend based on the following:
1. Already have a single Exchange server1 hosting all the roles point the Mailboxes Databases to a storage array.
2. Need to bring another Exchange server2 online, point it to a different storage array.
3. Replicate data from Server1 to Server2 data storage, and establish DAG.
4. Have Server2 in a stand-by (passive) state.
5. Test by killing Server1 and Server2 should automatically pick-up services.
6. Also, when replicating data the Mailbox being replicated will be unmounted?
Is this sound right. If so is there better documentation on the correct way to do this.
Again, any help is great.
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Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
Exchange isn't really designed to share the resources.
That was the traditional cluster, which proved to be unreliable, hence it being dropped for the DAG.
If you want failover then you should have two servers that are identical.

If you aren't using two separate storage locations then I fail to see the point in having two Exchange servers. The most common failover reason I see is storage issues, followed by OS issues and then finally Exchange itself. Therefore trying to share the storage isn't really a good idea.

Simon.
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Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
I knew I should have refreshed the page.

You should read the instructions on DAG configuration... for example you don't do this:

"Replicate data from Server1 to Server2 data storage, and establish DAG."

You establish the DAG and then the DAG replicates the data for you. During replication end user operation is unaffected.

Be aware though that failover is for mailbox data only, it is NOT for client access.
Therefore on Exchange 2010, if server 1 fails and the data goes to server 2, the clients WILL NOT FOLLOW.
For the clients to follow you need a CAS array and if you want it automatic, a load balancer.

Simon.
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kryanCAuthor Commented:
Thank you for the great response and the quick response. Read the DAG instructions and see that the Wizard will create the DAG, you then select Exchange Servers to be part of the DAG, and then Databases to replicate.
To clarify, because I am in a production environment, first the DAG. Second, identify the DB you wish to replicate to second Exchange and storage. Also, while replication occurs it will NOT impact users email. That is a big one for me. And finally, the Client access will not fail-over without explicitly setting a CAS array and Load Balancer, which I do have.
Finally, the Witness Server should have the Hub-Transport services installed. What if it doesn't can it be added to the DAG manually?
Again, thank you very much for all of this.

Ry1972
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Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
"Finally, the Witness Server should have the Hub-Transport services installed."

That isn't incorrect.
The witness server does not need to be an Exchange server at all. The only reason a hub transport is mentioned as that is often a good place to put it if you have them available.
Otherwise it can be any other server in the domain. A domain controller is not recommended, I often use an SQL server, application server or even something like a BES or backup server! All you have to do is make "Exchange Trusted Subsystem" an administrator of the server.

Simon.
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kryanCAuthor Commented:
Thank you very much for the help. I feel I am on the correct road thanks to your guidance.

Regards,

Ry1972
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