Exchange Server DAG mailbox server VMware network configuration

Hi All,

I'm about to deploy Exchange Server 2013 SP1 in a DAG configuration on VMware ESXi server DRS cluster.

As per my understanding, the requirement is 2x vNICs:

1x vNIC - RPC over HTTP (Outlook client connection)
1x vNIC - DAG replication between servers (separate VLAN or IP address class or non-routable)

So my question is that, do I need to use 2x vNIC like the above or can it be just one vNIC ?

If two vNICs is required, How do I configure the vSwitch on each of the ESXi servers in DRS cluster so that the secondary vNIC that is only used between DAG mailbox server can still be functioning in the event of vMotion or Fully automatic DRS rebalancing.

Thanks in advance
LVL 12
Senior IT System EngineerSenior Systems EngineerAsked:
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

SaberSupport Escalation EngineerCommented:
You no longer need a separate NIC for the DAG. Exchange 2013 uses Ipless DAG.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Senior IT System EngineerSenior Systems EngineerAuthor Commented:
OK, so if one vNIC is enough, then what's the consequence or caveats in using IP-less DAG ?

my backup software is Veeam and they support it.
SaberSupport Escalation EngineerCommented:
The Caveat is that Exchange will manage the DAG.

From the link above:

Simply put, if you run Exchange 2013 SP1 mailbox servers on Windows 2012 R2 servers, you can create a DAG that doesn’t need an IP address and doesn’t use a CNO or network name resource. In fact, Exchange goes a step further and doesn't require cluster information to be recorded in DNS. This is because Exchange takes responsibility for managing cluster information and uses the data held in its configuration container in Active Directory instead. The intention is to simplify the creation and management of DAGs by reducing some of the resource requirements and removing the need for Exchange to create computer objects in Active Directory.

This however is only for a NEW DAG, not an existing DAG where there is already an IP address. You'll need to use setup the second IP if you are adding this server into an existing DAG.
Ensure Business Longevity with As-A-Service

Using the as-a-service approach for your business model allows you to grow your revenue stream with new practice areas, without forcing you to part ways with existing clients just because they don’t fit the mold of your new service offerings.

Senior IT System EngineerSenior Systems EngineerAuthor Commented:
Hi Saber,

Based on this document: on page 18, it says that it requires two vNICs for DAG ?

Is it no longer mandatory for the new IP-less DAG deployment ?
I assume that with the IP less DAG there is no need to create MSCS or FailOver clustering from the OS level ?
SaberSupport Escalation EngineerCommented:
IP Less DAG wasn't introduced until Exchange 2013 SP1 (CU4).  I'm not sure which version of Exchange 2013 VMWares documentation is referencing. Pre-Exchange 2013 CU4, Yes IP for DAG separate NICs/IPs was required. Post Exchange 2013 CU4, no longer required for a separate NIC/IP as it introduced IP Less DAGs.

This walks you through step-by-step on how to setup an Exchange 2013 IP Less DAG.

You will be using the "Active Directory-detatched cluster" method
Senior IT System EngineerSenior Systems EngineerAuthor Commented:
Thanks !
Senior IT System EngineerSenior Systems EngineerAuthor Commented:
Hi Saber,

Does placing the Log files for Exchange DAG member really matters or not ?

I know that the mailbox DB must be on the same drive letter. But how about the log files ?
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.