As a part of DR testing, I went through a scenario where I wanted to bring my Exchange 2007 back ASAP so users can start sending and receiving emails. Only when the mail flow is restored, I can start restoring emails.
It's a one server deployment, so the only option is reinstallation with setup.com /m:recoverserver
I would like to get your opinions on it, maybe there is a better method of doing it. For me, the configuration stage took an hour which is acceptable in my environment.
Here is what I did:
1. restored my DCs (of course in real life situation, my DCs are still here)
2. reset my server's account
3. join a new server into domain (same network config)
4. reinstall exchange with /m:recoverserver
5. disable all users in Receipient Configuration / Mailbox
6. remove all database objects in Server Configuration / Mailbox, except for public folder
7. create a new DB
8. create a new mailbox for existing user.
Thats it. I was able to log in using OWA and send email.
What was surprising for me is that Public Folder database recreated itself on the same drive and path as on the old installation without me doing anything. I guess it would fail if I didnt recreate the same partition layout as on the old server.
Of course, there would be still a lot to do, like restoring emails, installing certificate, making sure public folder stuff is there, but to me, it looks promising.
Can you guys tell me if that would be a workable solution ? I know it's far from perfect, and there are much more clever ways of doing it but I really dont want to do any clustering with 2007 and when I will eventually move to 2013, I will probably use DAG.