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Can I replay out of sequence transaction logs to Exchange 2003

Posted on 2016-09-27
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Last Modified: 2016-10-25
Hi,

We use the Neverfail solution to provide redundancy for our Exchange 2003 environment, which is basically one primary server and one secondary server: One server is always active and one passive with the active one constantly replicating changes to the Exchange database to the passive server; the passive server is hidden from the network until it is needed and made active.

We had a situation yesterday where both servers were wrongly made active, called split brain syndrome, when both servers were being connected to by Users, meaning both Exchange databases were different. This situation isn't usually a major deal and can be rectified by taking the secondary server offline, which has wrongly become active and using exmerge to export any changes during this period to PST and then import back into the primary active server.

However, there was a mistake made with the replication being started before this process had been done, meaning the secondary server database was overwritten with the primary server database, meaning the email in this 3 hour period on the secondary server being lost.

There is only a daily backup of the secondary server, no frequent snapshots, so we cannot recover the secondary server to a point before the replication was started. The only thing I have to hold onto are the transaction logs from the secondary server during the period it was active and wanted to know if there was anyway of replaying them?

I have read several articles explain that transaction log files can be replayed during an Online Exchange backup restore but the transaction log files I have would not be in sequence with those restored - is this still possible or would it just flat out not work?

Any help or suggestion would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Gavin
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Question by:Gavin75
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Scott C earned 2000 total points (awarded by participants)
ID: 41817933
It's not going to work.  The transaction log files MUST be played back I sequence.

The reason is the messages played back will span the log files and if it were possible, you would lose data.
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by:Scott C
ID: 41817937
You also need to plan a migration off of Exchange 2003, either to the cloud or another on-prem server.

I would suggest  2003  ---> 2010 ---> 2016.
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Author Comment

by:Gavin75
ID: 41817968
Yes, that's what I thought and was just hoping there was some way of cheating the database - we are in the process of planning Exchange Cloud migration.

Thanks
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Author Comment

by:Gavin75
ID: 41817972
It is frustrating because we are only interested in the data in the transaction logs, nothing else - even if we could replay them into a blank database?
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Expert Comment

by:Scott C
ID: 41818032
No, again, the logs will know they are out of sequence and not replay.
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Expert Comment

by:Scott C
ID: 41858231
Question answered.  What OP is asking for cannot be done.
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