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Exchange DAG and vMotion

Posted on 2016-09-19
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Last Modified: 2016-11-04
Experts out there, Does vMotion supported on Exchange VMs whether it is planned or automated?
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Question by:sara2000
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LVL 14

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by:Schnell Solutions
Schnell Solutions earned 664 total points
ID: 41805725
This is supported and it will bring you HA.

However, the preferred method is to use the Exchange DAG as far as with the DAG Exchange is aware of the DBs consistency and takes care of it. With VMotion the Hypervisor will be pending just of the VM OS, but not the applications running on it.

Additionally that it is supported, it can work both planned or automated.
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by:Adam Brown
Adam Brown earned 664 total points
ID: 41805729
It is supported on the following VMWare Versions: https://www.windowsservercatalog.com/results.aspx?&bCatID=1521&cpID=11779&avc=0&ava=0&avt=0&avq=0&OR=1&PGS=25

As long as the requirements in this article are met: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj619301(v=exchg.150).aspx
Pay specific attention to the statements regarding VM Migration, clustering, and HA.

Note, MS will note support versions of Exchange prior to 2013 on VMs. If you want to know about Exchange 2010 and vMotion, basically, it's not supported. On 2013 and 2016 it *might* be supported, as long as the configuration is correct.

If you're using a DAG with 2013 and later, don't bother with vMotion, though. Use a Load Balancer to balance your VMs or do manual DNS record changes for failover. I say this because vMotion is a Hardware level failover solution, while Exchange's native DAG HA capabilities are Software level HA, which will provide HA capabilities for a much larger variety of issues. Don't mix vMotion and Exchange native HA capabilities. It may be possible to do so, but it is superfluous.
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by:sara2000
ID: 41805792
Thank you for the quick reply.
We need to patch the Esxi hosts from time to time. In this case, we have to perform vmotion(Enter into maintenance mode). I wonder whether DAG will failover during the vMotion?
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Todd Nelson earned 672 total points
ID: 41806652
Assuming one (but not all) of the Exchange DAG members resides on the ESXi host you will be perfoming maintenance, you do have an option to put specific DAG members into maintenance mode as well if you are concerned about an unexpected failover.  Personally, I would recommend it.

http://mikepfeiffer.net/2010/08/performing-maintenance-on-dag-members-in-exchange-2010-sp1/
http://exchangeserverpro.com/bother-running-dag-server-maintenance-mode-scripts/
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Expert Comment

by:Todd Nelson
ID: 41828642
sara2000,

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