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  • Blog Post: Support for Virtualising Exchange Server 2010 SP1 has changed..?

    The support stance for virtualising Exchange Server 2010 SP1 has changed significantly over the last few days and seems pretty unambiguous. However you need to be a bit careful about what actually is and isn’t supported. The statement from Kevin Allinson on the Exchange Team blog yesterday reads: “Combining...
  • Blog Post: 3 into 4 can go…

    Once you’ve determined the number of Exchange Server 2010 mailbox database copies you’re going to use it makes sense to deploy a complimentary number of mailbox servers in the DAG .  If you decide to go with an odd number of database copies go with an odd number of nodes; if you use an even number...
  • Blog Post: 1 AD Site, 1 DAG = no DAC

    So as the TechNet article ( Understanding Datacenter Activation Coordination Mode ) explains you can’t enable DAC mode in Exchange Server 2010 for a DAG where all members are in the same AD site…  So what happens if you lose your primary data centre where your Witness Server is located and you do...
  • Blog Post: CCR or SCC?

    Have had this discussion on many occasions and this 3Sharp whitepaper by Missy Koslosky would have proved very useful as an external reference point… High Availability Choices for Exchange Server 2007: Continuous Cluster Replication or Single Copy Clustering In conclusion…  (this isn’t the only...
  • Blog Post: Deploying Exchange 2007 on VMWare?

    VMWare Podcasts – VMWAre Infrastructure 3 Podcast: Disaster Recovery (DR) for Exchange using VMWare @ http://www.vmware.com/resources/podcasts/server_consolidation.html by Scott Salyer, VMware Technical Solutions Architect Using VMWare infrastructure we can help increase the flexibility of your high...
  • Blog Post: IronMountain CloudRecovery webcast…

    Following on from the recent announcement on CloudRecovery for DPM from IronMountain ( Backup your DPM data into the cloud…? ) the DPM blog has just announced a webcast on the subject… ( here! ) “ Iron Mountain has recently announced the availability of CloudRecovery for Microsoft DPM. This new service...
  • Blog Post: 3 Data Centres and a File Share Witness

    What’s the guidance if you’ve got 3 data centres, you're stretching Exchange 2007 mailbox CCR nodes between two of them and the link speed and latencies are similar between all 3.  Should you put the File Share Witness (FSW) in the 3rd data centre? In my opinion yes I would recommend putting the...
  • Blog Post: Archive v Big Mailboxes

    Ok so this may not be a straight choice for most and an archive solution can complement Exchange for many environments, but there are some who have not yet deployed an archive solution and who can look at it as a straight choice – small mailboxes and an archive solution or big mailboxes and no archive...
  • Blog Post: Crossover cables and CCR…

    So can you just use a crossover cable for private cluster communications between CCR (& SCC) nodes.  Well the answer, not very surprisingly, is yes; but there are a couple of caveats… Be careful and test the cable, especially if it’s a DIY job; And make sure you get speed and duplex settings...
  • Blog Post: Getting your Exchange 2007 project approved…

    So this is the last of these blogs for the moment.  This is the list of blogs that I wrote on the subject: Part 1 (Fewer Servers supporting More Mailboxes) Part 2 (Make your backups more cost effective…) Part 3 (Storage) Part 4 (Big Mailboxes) Part 5 (the Edge) Part 6 (A few last ideas…) Let me...
  • Blog Post: Getting your Exchange 2007 project approved – Part 6 (A few last ideas…)

    OK so I just wanted to add a few more ideas that are worth exploring.. Data Centre Consolidation The idea of saving money by deploying Exchange Servers in fewer locations is not a new one and something which many companies have explored; but Exchange Server 2007 does change things slightly and so this...
  • Blog Post: Getting your Exchange 2007 project approved – Part 5 (the Edge)

    OK so I work for Microsoft but hey it’s worth a try …consider the Edge Transport role server as a replacement to other services in the perimeter. You should only need deploy a very small number of Edge Transport servers in your environment and you may have the opportunity to replace a number of other...
  • Blog Post: Getting your Exchange 2007 project approved – Part 4 (Big Mailboxes)

    OK so the idea of big mailboxes has become a viable option for a lot of organisations since Exchange Server 2007 was released and now that we are seeing real examples of deployments of mailboxes of multiple GBs there is more information around to make it more of a comfortable decision to deploy large...
  • Blog Post: Getting your Exchange 2007 project approved – Part 3 (Storage)

    Ah yes that old chestnut…  SAN versus DAS – switch to DAS and save a load of money.  It’s obvious right?  Well I’m not sure. This is still a hot topic but the bottom line is that Exchange 2007 now gives us a lot more options about which storage we choose to support our Exchange data. ...
  • Blog Post: Getting your Exchange 2007 project approved – Part 2 (Make your backups more cost effective…)

    The boss is tightening the purse strings and you're having trouble justifying an Exchange 2007 upgrade?  One area it’s worth focusing on is backups.  ..but I wouldn’t tackle backups on their own – I would tackle them in conjunction with your overall plans for compliance and availability. ...
  • Blog Post: Backup your DPM data into the cloud…?

    This is a smart idea…  The DPM UI can be used in conjunction with Iron Mountain CloudRecovery to backup your data into the cloud.  For protecting Exchange Server this means that you could use short term protection of your databases to disk via DPM as you might normally do, but instead of longer...
  • Blog Post: Getting your Exchange 2007 project approved– Part 1 (Fewer Servers supporting More Mailboxes)

    Let’s start with one of the obvious ones - Fewer Servers supporting More Mailboxes …  OK so it’s one thing being able to say that you can support more for less but it’s another proving it.  So how do you prove that you actually save money by requiring fewer servers to support the same or more...
  • Blog Post: Infrastructure Planning and Design Guides

    To quote Technet: “The Infrastructure Planning and Design (IPD) guides are the next version of Windows Server System Reference Architecture. The guides in this series help clarify and streamline design processes for Microsoft infrastructure technologies, with each guide addressing a unique infrastructure...
  • Blog Post: Recovery Scenarios for E2K7…..III

    This is the last of a few blogs about designing for availability and resilience… The first two are here: Recovery Scenarios for E2K7…..I & Recovery Scenarios for E2K7…..II So after understanding what the types of failures we might encounter, and the cost associated with deploying protection against...
  • Blog Post: Asynchronous or Synchronous Replication..?

    One of the fundamental decisions that you might make in the early stages of an Exchange Server 2007 design is whether you favour the use of asynchronous or synchronous replication of Exchange Server data, particularly if you require data centre resilience. Understanding the pro’s and con’s of each might...
  • Blog Post: Recovery Scenarios for E2K7…..II

    This is the second of a few blogs about designing for availability and resilience… The first one is here . So after understanding what might happen we now need to understand the pro and cons of each component of the proposed solution, the cost associated with each particular component, and the value...
  • Blog Post: Why not stretch CCR nodes across 2 Data Centres..?

    Have had a number of conversations with customers concerning the merits of achieving both data centre resilience and cost cutting by stretching CCR and avoiding deploying both CCR and SCR.   i.e. 3 for the price of 2. Firstly I wouldn’t consider stretching CCR if you are not confident of either...
  • Blog Post: NLB and the CAS\HUB role

    I’ve heard a couple of queries recently concerning Windows NLB and the CAS\HUB combined role.  The point is that you should use NLB to load balance network traffic and you can therefore effectively de-couple HUB from CAS.  For the Hub Transport server role (since Exchange 2007 SP1) the following...
  • Blog Post: Recovery Scenarios for E2K7…..I

    This is the first of a few blogs about designing for availability and resilience…  WHAT FAILURES MIGHT OCCUR AND HOW DO WE CHOOSE THE RIGHT DESIGN TO PROTECT US? In the very early stages of a messaging design, and in particular at the point at which discussions surface concerning availability and...
  • Blog Post: E2K7 on NAS storage..?

    The support policy for Exchange 2003 running on a NAS ( Network-Attached Storage ) device is pretty clear – we don’t support it.  A NAS device relies on file-sharing protocols such as SMB to attach to databases and logs and doesn’t scale very well for I\O.  The story doesn’t change with Exchange...
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