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Configuring DAG Mailboxes Exchange 2010 with a Remote Site for Disaster Recovery

Posted on 2014-12-03
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Last Modified: 2014-12-04
I am planning an Exchange 2010 DAG setup for Mailbox Databases with a Disaster Recovery ability.

We have 2 locations that are connected via a 100Mb Fibre VLAN provided by our ISP.

Site 1 Main Office all users,     Site 2    Warehouse no local users

Plan is to have (2) Exchange 2010 servers in Site 1 both with CAS, HUB and Mailbox roles (EX1, EX2) and 1 Exchange 2010 server in Site 2 with CAS, HUB and Mailbox Roles (EX3).

EX 1 will have a Mailbox database with DAG to EX2 and 3rd priority to EX3.
EX 2 will have a Mailbox database with DAG to EX1 and 3rd priority to EX3.

Exchange 2010 CAS Array including EX1, EX2 and EX3.

Outlook will point to a Network Load balancer (kemp or Baracuda).

Any thoughts or suggestions on this configuration would be appreciated.

Thanks

Harold
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Question by:hpeet
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Adam Farage earned 500 total points
ID: 40479100
Exchange 2010 CAS Array including EX1, EX2 and EX3.

So I will touch on this first. There is no reason to load balance geographically unless you are doing active / active, and the business really wants it. To actually manage this can be a bit of a nightmare, and I would recommend against it.

Furthermore, you cannot have a CAS Array object that is spanning two sites. Read this for further on this, and I can fill in the gaps if you have any questions: http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/archive/2012/03/23/demystifying-the-cas-array-object-part-1.aspx

Otherwise you seem to have your ducks in a row, except you a missing one thing.. DAC. You should have DAC (Datacenter Activation Coordinator) along with an Alternative File Share Witness configured within the DAG. The reason for this is that if your primary site fails, database will not mount as they will not have quorum. You would have to go through an abundance of steps to actually get this online without DAC. With DAC enabled (its literally as easy as 1,2,3 to configure) your life is a lot simpler.

For more about datacenter switchovers check out my blog, its the first article on top: exchangelaboratory.com
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Author Comment

by:hpeet
ID: 40479212
Thanks Adam

I will go through the advise material and adjust the plan accordingly. I will get your thoughts on the revised plan if you don't mind?
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Expert Comment

by:Adam Farage
ID: 40479216
Sure, works for me.
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Author Comment

by:hpeet
ID: 40479566
Update the plan to look like this?

We have 2 locations that are connected via a 100Mb Fibre VLAN provided by our ISP.

Site 1 Main Office all users,     Site 2    Warehouse no local users

Purpose of equipment in Site 2 is strictly to recover quickly from a disaster at Site 1.

Plan is to have (2) Exchange 2010 servers in Site 1 both with CAS, HUB and Mailbox roles (EX1, EX2) and 1 Exchange 2010 server in Site 2 with CAS, HUB and Mailbox Roles (EX3).

 EX 1 will have a Mailbox database with DAG to EX2 and 3rd priority to EX3.
 EX 2 will have a Mailbox database with DAG to EX1 and 3rd priority to EX3.

Enable DAC on the DAG
Configure Alternate File Share Witness on Secondary DC in Site 2

 Exchange 2010 CAS Array including EX1, EX2   cas.domain.local

cas.domain.local points to VIP on Load Balance Appliance.

Thanks

Harold
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Author Closing Comment

by:hpeet
ID: 40480747
Thanks Adam
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