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Exchange Dial Tone recovery

Posted on 2014-07-28
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Last Modified: 2014-07-29
I would like to know if Dial tone recovery is used In exchange server 2010/2013 environment, if DAG is used.
OR
it used only if Exchange servers are not member of the DAG, and one of them crashes ?

Thanks
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Question by:jskfan
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by:Mohammed Khawaja
Mohammed Khawaja earned 50 total points
ID: 40226147
Dial tone recovery is used in Exchange regardless of DAGs.  This is true because not all Exchange environments may have DAGs, DAGs maybe delay copies or a point and time recovery is required due to system failure
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by:Amit
Amit earned 225 total points
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You can use dial tone option in following cases:

1) Mailbox database corrupt
2) Server is down
3) Your Entire Exchange site is down

Dial tone is a temporary solution, so you can bring user back to production and at same time admin can work on getting old data restored.

It can be used on server part of DAG or stand alone as well. However, If you have DAG, I can hardly think of scenario where you really need to use Dail tone. Example your entire site is down.
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by:jskfan
ID: 40226835
That's what I thought too.

DAG replicates active copy to  passive copy, and they are both in different servers.

So if the server holding Active copy is down , the server holding the passive copy will become the active automatically...

The only time I can think of using Dial tone in a DAG is if the Active copy gets corrupt and it will replicate the corrupt data to the passive copy.
In this case , I believe we can use Dial Tone, while fixing both corrupt databases with ESEUtil. That's my guess
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by:Amit
ID: 40226886
DAG won't replicate corruption, if Active DB is corrupt, it won't replicate anything, DB might get dismounted and Passive will take over. Normally, If DB is corrupt, i prefer to delete it and reseed a fresh db from health db.
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Adam Farage earned 225 total points
ID: 40227036
DAG won't replicate corruption,

Not true, DAG typically will not replicate corruption but in some cases of logical corruption I have seen co-workers have to deal with a corrupt DAG copy along with a corrupt active copy. This was back in Exchange 2010 SP1, so I am unsure if they added some additional safeguards. Basically the way it occurs is if the packet looks healthy and passes the integrity check when replicated, it is replayed in but has the possibility of being corrupt.

In the situation of where the active goes offline for whatever reason, the passive should pick it up as long as there is a quarum (in the situation here, I take it you have a two node DAG - as long as the FSW is online you should be fine). From there you have two options:

- Try to save the copy that was active, and then reseed / resync the logs
- Blow away the old active copy, create a new "passive" copy on the active server and then reseed.

I say go with blowing away the old active database if you are in a dirty shutdown ONLY after you figured out what caused it (e.g: AV, hardware failure, ect).

The dailtone database would be used in a situation where everything is lost.. meaning both copies. What occurs is you do a mailbox move for all users on that database you wish to mount as a dial tone as *configuration only*, which recreates a mailbox for each user (without there data). This allows mail to flow to these users, and down to there reconfigured outlook profile while you restore the old data and bring the old mailboxes online. Once that is done, you would then merge the dial tone database into the newly restored one, and then blow away the dial tone.

I think dial tone databases are a pain, and try not to deal with them unless absolutely needed.
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by:Amit
ID: 40227063
Adam, I was referring to Physical corruption.
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by:Adam Farage
ID: 40227085

Adam, I was referring to Physical corruption.

Ah ok, that does make more sense. Physical corruption is not possible, but logical is.
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Author Closing Comment

by:jskfan
ID: 40228229
Thank you Guys!
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