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Setup DAG in Existing Exchange 2013 Environment

Hi,

We currently have Exchange 2013 CU7 running on a single server with Hub Transport, Client Access and Mailbox roles.

The server is running Windows 2012 R2 Standard.

This server has mailboxes on it.

I was wondering how easy it would be to introduce another Exchange 2013 server and setup a DAG?

Could I install Exchange 2013 CU7 on another server, setup Failover Clustering on the existing and new server and then create the DAG?

Can the existing mailboxes remain on the existing server whilst this happens or would I have to setup the new server, move the mailboxes to it and then reconfigure the old server to be part of the DAG?

Also can the Hub Transport and Client Access roles remain on the existing server we have?  Also can I move these?

Thanks
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Bolton09
Asked:
Bolton09
2 Solutions
 
BahloulCommented:
Hi,

see the blow links for DAG setup :-

http://goo.gl/y5kkv1
http://goo.gl/cYqfJw

you don't need to move theses boxes just add the new server and the replication will complete every thing.

Bahloul.
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VB ITSSpecialist ConsultantCommented:
I was wondering how easy it would be to introduce another Exchange 2013 server and setup a DAG?
Honestly, it's ridiculously easy as long as you've met all the requirements.

- DAG members must be running the same version of Windows (i.e. 2012 R2 in your case)
- Exchange 2013 SP1 is required if Exchange is installed on 2012 R2 servers (you have CU7 which is fine as SP1 is in effect from CU4)
- The path to the database and log files must be the same on both DAG members
- You will need to specify a separate server as your File Share Witness (FSW) for the DAG as you can't use a DAG member as the witness server. See this article to set up the FSW prerequisites on another server in your environment: http://exchangeserverpro.com/using-a-non-exchange-server-as-an-exchange-2013-dag-file-share-witness/

More information on DAG requirements can be found here: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd638104(v=exchg.150).aspx
Please ensure you take the time to read the entire article to avoid any potential issues.

Could I install Exchange 2013 CU7 on another server, setup Failover Clustering on the existing and new server and then create the DAG?
There's no need to install the Failover Clustering role, Exchange will do this for you when you create the DAG.

Can the existing mailboxes remain on the existing server whilst this happens or would I have to setup the new server, move the mailboxes to it and then reconfigure the old server to be part of the DAG?
Existing mailboxes remain on the current server, you don't need to move them. When you create the DAG, you then need to add a database copy to the second server so it can seed a copy of the database to the passive DAG member.

Also can the Hub Transport and Client Access roles remain on the existing server we have?  Also can I move these?
Exchange 2013 no longer has the Hub Transport role. Microsoft have instead consolidated it into both the Client Access Server and Mailbox roles.

With that being said, you don't need to move the CAS role to the new server. You can opt to install the CAS role on the second Exchange server if you want but you'll need to employ a VIP with round robin DNS or use a hardware load balancer (recommended method) for CAS redundancy. This is probably more suited for a separate question on EE though as there are numerous options out there to achieve this. For now your second Exchange server only needs the Mailbox role if your primary goal is to set up a DAG.

I highly recommend you have a read of Paul Cunningham's series of articles on exchangeserverpro.com to get a better understanding of the process to set up a DAG. I know it helped me out immensely when I first started out:
http://exchangeserverpro.com/exchange-server-2013-database-availability-groups/
http://exchangeserverpro.com/installing-an-exchange-server-2013-database-availability-group/
http://exchangeserverpro.com/exchange-2013-dag-database-copies/
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