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Exchange Name Space

Posted on 2016-07-14
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Last Modified: 2016-07-14
If we have Exchange running in 2 different sites:
A production site where all users connect, and a DR failover site where users connect only when failover ocurrs.
Do we want to have different name space for both sites. so prod will have its own name space and the DR site will
have its own name space. Example:
prod:
prodcasarray.domain.com
prodmail.domain.com

DR:
drcasarray.domain.com
drmail.domain.com

Is this the correct logic for this setup?
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Question by:timgreen7077
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Adam Brown earned 500 total points
ID: 41711234
You won't want to do that unless you intend to make your users reconfigure Outlook when everything fails or reconfigure the DR server when things fail.

Basically, Exchange server access follows this pattern:
Client Accesses CAS server in some way
CAS Server either Proxies the connection to the Mailbox Database or Reads data from the closest MBX server (Depending on Exchange version. 2013 and later Proxies, prior versions read from the MBX servers)

The Client will always communicate with the Mailbox Server using the Domain's DNS information, so it doesn't matter what you "name" the Mailbox servers. What matters is that there is a DNS entry that points users to a valid CAS server for reading their mailbox.

If you want to make your failover process less painful, make sure that the Virtual Directory Internal and External URLs are all the same on every server in the environment. That means OWA, ECP, EWS, etc should all be configured to use, for example, mail.domain.com. Your CAS Array should *also* be set to use mail.domain.com. The reasoning for this is due to the fact that the Internal and External URLs are all designed as ways for Exchange to forward clients to other servers if needed, and to allow Autodiscover to function. Only Exchange uses those URLs. Your users can use whatever they want to access Exchange as long as it reaches a CAS server.

In a Failover scenario like you have, setting the URLs the same will cut a lot of the work out of the failover process because when you fail over, you will need to change your DNS settings to make mail.domain.com point to the DR server instead of the primary server. When you do that, users will go to that server automatically as long as they are using Autodiscover.

Let me know if you need some clarification. I feel like this whole response may be a little confusing.
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Author Comment

by:timgreen7077
ID: 41711260
So with this scenario:
1 DAG located at primary site. Mailbox servers from primary site and DR site are member servers of the DAG. DB replication between DAG members primary servers and DR servers.

Site1 subnet 192.168.1.0/24
mail.domain.com (cas array, and other virtual directories name space)

Site2 subnet 192.168.5.0/24
mail.domain.com (cas array, and other virtual directories name space) this is the same as site1

Is this the setup you are suggesting with the name space being the same for both sites?
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Assisted Solution

by:Adam Brown
Adam Brown earned 500 total points
ID: 41711266
Yes. With this setup, your DR server would receive replication of the DB, but no users would ever access it for anything. In the event that the Primary Exchange server(s) fail, you would modify your DNS entry for mail.domain.com (And autodiscover.domain.com) so it points to the IP of the DR server. Users would then only access the DR server until you switch DNS records back to the primary.
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Author Comment

by:timgreen7077
ID: 41711270
hmmm, can this be setup in a way where DNS changes are not needed?
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Expert Comment

by:Adam Brown
ID: 41711271
Yes. But it requires a Load Balancer. And if both servers are in different Physical locations, you would have to utilize a much more expensive load balancer that supports multi-site deployments.
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Author Closing Comment

by:timgreen7077
ID: 41711273
thanks
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