Mirroring a Windows Server 2003 with Exchange Server 2003

Posted on 2014-08-12
Last Modified: 2016-10-27
I have a customer running a 2003 Standard Server with Exchange Server 2003. He has just made the request to mirror the entire server for failover.

Do not want to use Microsoft clustering. I have seen a few online. TGMN, DoubleTake, etc. Has anyone ever used such and animal? Suggestions?
Question by:LockDown32
    LVL 95

    Accepted Solution

    You need to provide more information - Are these OSs pre-installed versions (OEM).  If so you need to consult your license agreement and geography as you may not be able to use DoubleTake - at least in the USA, DoubleTake cannot be used with OEM licenses and they say so.  Doubletake itself is EXPENSIVE.  You also need to ensure you have extra C: space on the target system.  And restoring the system is a huge potential pain - if you/ your client is looking for a "quick switch" this is NOT the product you want.  TEST AND TRY FIRST and NOT using the production server.

    Virtualize in Hyper-V and then use Hyper-V Replica.  A Virtual system using Replica is similar to DoubleTake but the failover is much easier and can be done fairly fast - AND the "restore" to the original server is also fairly easy and fairly fast (unlike Doubletake).

    The above said, they need to be getting away from 2003 as support is ending in less than a year.  If you want to implement this, use this as an opportunity to upgrade.  If you don't want to move to Exchange 2013/ Server 2012, fine, but buy the VOLUME LICENSES and then you can use downgrade rights to get to Exchange 2010 and Server 2008 R2. (I'd go to 2013/2012 myself).  And you'll get GUI based virtualization management with Hyper-v

    Bottom line - this process is not going to be quick and easy or inexpensive, regardless of what route you take - going with anything that keeps 2003 in place is going to be more expensive in the long run because the change will need to be made eventually... even the change to virtual because newer hardware won't support Windows 2003 but a VM likely will for years to come... so even if you want to preserve the 2003 license, moving to a virtual system is going to have to happen sooner or later and using one (Hyper-V) that supports replica might as well be your DR process.
    LVL 15

    Author Comment

    For what it is worth it is VLA. I told this dude that it isn't really worth looking at just because of the cost. They only have 20 workstations on this LAN. In my opinion their best bet would be to migrate to Office 365 and go with a new Essentials 2012 Server but I told him I would ask.

       Right now they are making nightly images with Acronis and can bare metal restore in an hour. He simply wanted real-time protection with failover. Thanks for the heads-up on DoubleTake.
    LVL 95

    Expert Comment

    by:Lee W, MVP
    The only thing with true real time protection is going to be a cluster.

    Featured Post

    Why You Should Analyze Threat Actor TTPs

    After years of analyzing threat actor behavior, it’s become clear that at any given time there are specific tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) that are particularly prevalent. By analyzing and understanding these TTPs, you can dramatically enhance your security program.

    Join & Write a Comment

    Case Summary: In this Article we introduce the new method to configure the default user profile using Automated profile copy with sysprep rather than the old ways such as the manual copy of a configured profile to default user profile Old meth…
    Welcome to my series of short tips on migrations. Whilst based on Microsoft migrations the same principles can be applied to any type of migration. My first tip is around source server preparation. No migration is an easy migration, there is a…
    Get a first impression of how PRTG looks and learn how it works.   This video is a short introduction to PRTG, as an initial overview or as a quick start for new PRTG users.
    Access reports are powerful and flexible. Learn how to create a query and then a grouped report using the wizard. Modify the report design after the wizard is done to make it look better. There will be another video to explain how to put the final p…

    745 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    18 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now