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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Stress testing Exchange in a virtual environment..

    I've been asked a couple of times about stress testing an Exchange server sitting on a hardware virtualisation platform. What would you have to do differently? Well to be honest I haven't ever done it and a quick trawl of the Internet and internal Microsoft alias' shows that there still isn't much experience...
  • 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: Need to clarify something about log roll and continuous replication

    I blogged recently about log roll and CCR – ‘ New log created every 90 seconds... ’ and I need to qualify something…  To quote the relevant bit; “In effect log roll will occur every 90 seconds when insufficient transactions occur to fill the current log.  This means that for a completely idle...
  • 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: Continuous Replication, Site Resilience & decision making processes...

    The ability to continue to provide a full service to your user community in the unlikely event of the loss of a datacentre is an increasingly common requirement. The use of Continuous Replication (CCR and SCR) with Exchange 2007 Service Pack 1 is an obvious choice in providing data availability and site...
  • Blog Post: Virtually a solution...

    Surely it's time to consider virtualising at least some of your new Exchange 2007 deployment?  Microsoft , VMWare and others now have some great solutions that on the face of it seem perfect for increasing the efficiency, scalability and uptime of your Exchange solution.  In my opinion yes...
  • Blog Post: Some more thoughts on SAN v DAS. Is it actually time to consider DAS?

    Ok so here's my thoughts on the whole SAN ( Storage Area Network ) versus DAS ( Direct Attached Storage ) argument... No-one's surprised to learn that storage is still one of the main topics of conversation when architecting an Exchange infrastructure ..but the discussions are definitely now a bit different...
  • Blog Post: SAN v DAS

    This is a great white paper for anyone evaluating what storage solution to deploy for Exchange 2007...  There has been a lot of discussions about storage and Exchange 2007 and how the debate has changed from when we were architecting Exchange 2003 deployments.  I am in the middle of a blog...
  • Blog Post: Site resilience with both DPM secondary's AND SCR targets...?

    Let's say I have two data centres and a requirement that in the event of the loss of the primary data centre I can restore the messaging service with minimal downtime and minimal data loss.  The decision is made to use SCR.  I have also however deployed DPM for short term protection of the...
  • Blog Post: Providers, Requestors, Writers? Some VSS Basics...

    Have been researching some basics of VSS and thought I would put together a quick diagram to show how the different bits fit together.. This is largely based on the generic VSS information I found at MSDN here: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa381504(VS.85).aspx Hope this makes things a bit...
  • Blog Post: My DPM article on 'You Had Me At EHLO' generated a number of comments...

    I recently posted an article to the Exchange Team site here - ' Protecting Exchange data with Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) ' and received a number of comments. I thought I would discuss some of the issues here on my blog rather than with such a wide audience on 'You Had Me At...
  • Blog Post: Two connectors; same cost; same number of hops to destination; message delivery will be load balanced across the two connectors?

    No . If you test this scenario then you'll find that Exchange 2007 will select one of the routes and will always deliver messages across that route whenever it can.  The connector is chosen based on the connector name - whichever comes first alphanumerically will be used.  i.e. AA_Connector...
  • Blog Post: Protecting Exchange data with DPM

    Microsoft System Centre Data Protection Manager (DPM) is one of the suite of System Centre products to be released last year. DPM offers a new approach to backing up our Exchange data and introduces a number of new alternatives to traditional approaches to backup, particularly when used alongside Exchange...
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