First Exchange 2013 Deployment Design. Did I Miss Anything?

Seeing as this is my first design, I'm hoping to make sure I haven't missed any glaring issues before deployment.

Exchange design doccument
DonovanVAsked:
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StuartTechnical Architect - CloudCommented:
My only query is your disk setup - your diagram shows  DB1 Log LUN on svr1 and DB2 Log LUN on svr2.

Did you mean to have both DB Logs on both LUN's

Both servers in the DAG need identical disk setups and letters/mount points assigned.

Also when you build make sure you create a CAS array before the creation of any databases
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DonovanVAuthor Commented:
Whoops, I did mean to note that both sets of logs are present on each of the log LUNs.

As for the CAS array, how come that step is needed before any DB creation?

Thanks much,
D
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StuartTechnical Architect - CloudCommented:
Ah hold on your doing 2013 I mis-read CAS arrays are no longer :)

Stuart
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DonovanVAuthor Commented:
You freaked me out there for a second Stuart. :)
I started googling and was like "wait... what??"
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StuartTechnical Architect - CloudCommented:
:) Is this required urgently or can you hold out for 2016?

Stu
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DonovanVAuthor Commented:
The current setup is Exchange 2003 on Server 2003. Hazard a guess? Ha! Seriously though, the licenses are already purchased.
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StuartTechnical Architect - CloudCommented:
What migration tools do you plan to use or are you going 2010 first?

Stuart
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DonovanVAuthor Commented:
The reading I was doing on that subject indicated it wasn't worth the time and effort to make the multiple version jump. Its most likely going to end up being some sort of 3rd party archival solution.
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Amit KumarCommented:
Direct migration from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2013 is not supported. So either you will have migrate your Exchange 2003 infra on Exchange 2007 or 2010. Better if you go for 2010 as it has DAG feature which will most likely same with Exchange 2013. Once migration is complete on 2010 then decommission 2003 servers then move on 2013.
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StuartTechnical Architect - CloudCommented:
I agree, with the number of mailboxes you have to migrate it could be done over an weekend if you could get an outage approved from the business
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Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
As stated already you will have to do a double hop migration. 2003 -->2010-->2013. However once you get there, based on your diagram where is your CAS load balaner?

Also based on your storage configuration you have both active and passive copies of your databases on the same SAN storage. If you lose your SAN you lose all exchange.

That is where the flaw is in your design.

Will.
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DonovanVAuthor Commented:
True. But the SAN was vetted and decided upon as an acceptable risk for the business. Shared storage made the most sense for all the other business systems so that's what is available for me to design against. It really makes adhering to the DAG guidance from Microsoft difficult and confusing. Especially since this is my first design.

I've had other folks question even using a DAG. Though they were questions, and not suggestions not to.
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Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
DAG will be redundant for you based on server failure (so it does have a benefit), however if you lose your SAN your Exchange will be down.

What about your CAS load balancer?

Will.
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DonovanVAuthor Commented:
I had planned on doing a hybrid roll deployment for each server. The mail traffic is such that I never really considered a load balancer. The peak usage is 150 to 180 email messages a day. That's it.
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Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
The way I look at it is that if You are considering DAG then you should consider multiple CAS behind a load balancer.

CAS although does not have and data however it is as or more critical then the mailbox role.

So if you have a DAG for uptime I suggest using a load balancer for CAS as well.

Totally up to you but that's my two cents.

Will.
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DonovanVAuthor Commented:
I only have the two hosts to work with. Would there be any benefit to trying to run the load balancer on the same host as one of the exchange servers? I can't think of any but then I'm not experienced with that part at all.
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Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
The load balancer is a completely different appliance outside of Exchange. There is lots of info on load balancing Exchange. Exchange 2013 is also much easier to setup and configure as well for this.

Will.
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StuartTechnical Architect - CloudCommented:
I think Will is referring to a hardware load balancer.

Windows network load balancing can be used but not with a mailbox server that is in a DAG.

So your last option is DNS Round Robin load balancing or the hardware load balancer (f5, kemp etc)

DNS RR although the most primitive of load balancing available may be your best option if you have to cut resilience to save $$$$

Stuart
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DonovanVAuthor Commented:
In the end the MSA 2040 capabilities ended up defining how the raid needed to be setup. I had to spit the disks into two Raid 5 sets and spread the vDisks across the two controllers. It ended up making my original storage design almost totally wrong. I ended up using VMWare datastores to section off storage.
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DonovanVAuthor Commented:
When it came to implementation it was the capabilities of the SAN (MSA 2040) that defined how the storage would be setup, regardless of what I designed.
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