Exchange 2003 DR

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Exchange 2003
Microsoft Exchange
Outlook
Hi, I've been looking at the different DR documents for Exchange 2003 and none seem to do what I want. I have one main Exchange 2003 enterprise server and have exactly the same hardware for our other site, connected by a 1gbps link. All the docs I've seen say that I can't have the standby server connected to the domain and running as a spare exchange server to replicate public folders to, so, at least, something will be available should the main one crash completly. The documents say that I must have it on standby in a workgroup, ready to join it to the domain as the same name as the old server. Does anyone know if it is possible for me to have the standby server running exchange and available for public folder replication, or even better, mailbox replication?? Data replication over the WAN link is not a problem as it will not be used that much anyway. I plan to do incremental backups straight to the recovery server every hour. Thanks in advance for any help.
ASKED: December 13, 2004  6:54 AM
UPDATED: December 14, 2004  2:24 PM

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You probably should look at NSI’s “Double-Take”. They have an excellent product for disaster recovery and it is hardware inspecific. You get real-time data protection to reduce data loss and downtime, and enhances the performance of your existing backup apps. Double-Take monitors file changes as they occur on one (or many) of your source servers, replicating them in real-time to a target server over your existing network links. It even handles Exchange 55. through 2003. Find it here. http://sunbelt-software.com/product.cfm?id=111

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  • Rgoulding
    Thanks for that. Unfortunately, we don't want to spend any more on software. I had a look at XoSoft's product which is brilliant but they said no. Anyone else got an idea? Thanks.
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  • Petroleumman
    I'm assuming you are backing up your stores on a regular basis? If so, then as long as you have an identical box ready to go should the primary go down then all you'll need to do to recover is restore your mailbox and public stores from tape. If your stores aren't rediculously large this process should be fairly quick and pretty painless.
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  • Rgoulding
    Thanks. Unfortunately, we do have a big database and I want as little interuption as possible. Ideally I want this "standby server to sit in the organisation just replicating public folders and then if the main server fails, I just restore to the Private store to the standby server whilst people are still accessing the public folders. Looking at the articles, it appears no-one has done this or it is not possible? Maybe I ask to much?
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  • Petroleumman
    Well, I may be wrong but from my experience what you are asking to do is not possible with Exchange. Unlike domain controllers where you can have as many as you desire for redundant purposes, a second Exchange server on the network is going to be recognized as just that, a second Exchange server. The purpose of having an identical server configured in reserve (and off the network) is to retain the same name and network configs so that in the event your primary crashed you can easily restore from backup your stores to deploy the spare. Remember with Exchange a second server on the network requires unique IP addressing (machine IP, MX records, etc.) and so forth making it very difficult to swap cleanly thus prolonging the downtime. Hope this makes sense to you. Should you find a way to accomplish what your after, please publish the info on here so we can all share. Thanks
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