Configuring Exchange 2010 Database Availability Groups

Exchange 2010 RTM has been released a few weeks back. Exchange 2010 came with some cool new features compared to previous versions and also some major differences in the field of High Availability. All High availability scenarios which came with previous Exchange server versions have been removed in this version.

Exchange server 2010 doesn’t have LCR, CCR or SCR high availability options, instead it has DAG (Database Availability Group) . You can achieve your high availability goal with DAG adding minimum 2 database copies and up to 16 database copies. DAG uses Continues replication technology that was first introduced with Exchange 2007 and DAG is essentially a combination of CCR and SCR that was available in Exchange 2007. You can find more information of DAG here.

Best practices of Database Availability Group

  1. Need to run two network adaptors on DAG nodes to support Windows Clustering.
  2. Be aware of choosing server hardware for DAG nodes. Because exchange DAG node should have the ability to manage load of replica of other master copies.
  3. Should be plan proper IP address schema for current and future requirements.
  4. Running NLB and DAG on same node isn’t support by Microsoft.
  5. Must disable Power Management setting on both BIOS and windows configurations.
  6. Test failover and failback before migrating users to DAG databases.
  7. Need to monitor DAG health periodically.
  8. Make Sure Database names are unique.
  9. Periodically move the master database among other DAG nodes to verify DAG is working properly.

In this article I’ll show you how to configure DAG using Exchange management Shell. Here I’ll use two DAG member servers, one  Hub transport, client access server and one domain controller.

Step 1 – Creating  new DAG

Create new database availability group using Exchange management shell. Run CMDlet  given below in the exchange management shell. This Cmdlet contains file share witness server name, DAG IP address for MAPI network and DAG name. (See figure 1)

New-DatabaseAvailabilityGroup -Name E14-DAG -WitnessServer EX10-CAHT -WitnessDirectory “c:\FSW” -DatabaseAvailabilityGroupIPAddresses 200.200.201.100 –Verbose

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Figure 1 – Creating new DAG

Step 2 – Add first node to the DAG

At this point  DAG has been created, but DAG has no DAG members yet. So we should run cmdlet given below to add EX10-MB01 server to DAG. (See figure 2).

Add-DatabaseAvailabilityGroupServer -Identity E14-DAG -MailboxServer EX10-MB01 -Verbose

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Figure 2 – Adding first node to the DAG.

Step 3 – Add second node to the DAG.

Add-DatabaseAvailabilityGroupServer -Identity E14-DAG -MailboxServer EX10-MB02 -Verbose

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Figure 3 – Adding second node to the DAG.

Step 4 – Verify DAG through the Exchange Management Shell

Now we have finished creating DAG and adding members to that . Now we can see some new information via EMS made by the DAG.

Use Get-DatabaseAvailabilityGroup Cmdlet to verify DAG installation. Run this CMDlet in EMS. (See figure 4).

Get-DatabaseAvailabilityGroup -Identity E14-DAG –Status

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Figure 4: Display operational Servers  

We can see E14-DAG has been added to the Exchange and EX10-MB01 and EX10-MB01 have been added to the DAG as members.

Run Get-DatabaseAvailabilityGroupNetwork Cmdlet to see available Network settings for the DAG. Run the CMdlet given below  in EMS. (See figure 5).

Get-DatabaseAvailabilityGroupNetwork -Identity E14-DAG

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Figure 5: Display available Network Settings for the DAG.

At this point we have created the DAG.  Now we should add the Database copies to the DAG. Run CMDlet given below to replicate MB01 with EX10-MB02 and replicate MB02 with EX10-MB01 servers. See figure 6.

Add-MailboxDatabaseCopy -Identity MB01 -MailboxServer EX10-MB02

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Figure 6: Adding MB01 database to EX10-MB02

Add-MailboxDatabaseCopy -Identity MB02 -MailboxServer EX10-MB01

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Figure 7 : Adding MB02 database to EX10-MB01

At this point we have configured the DAG successfully. Now we should verify if whether  the DAG is configured or not . 

Run Get-MailboxDatabaseCopyStatus to monitor the overall health check of database copies. (See figure 8).

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Figure 8: Check overall health status of the DAG

We can see information of database copies by running the below CMDLets. Run below CMDlet to see MB01’s Database copy information. See highlighted area. (See figure 9).

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Figure 9: See MB01 database copy information.

Run Test-ReplicationHealth CMDlet to check replication status of DAG. (See figure 10).

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Figure 10 : Test replication health of DAG.

In this article I have guided you in deploying Database Availability Group, Which is the coolest feature out of many in the new Exchange 2010. I’ll show you how to test failover scenarios in a future article.

Exchange Server 2010 RTM has been released to public availability

Exchange-2010-Logo-748516 Today at the Microsoft TechED 2009 conference in Germany , Microsoft Business Division President Stephen Elop announced that Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 is now available worldwide to help businesses reduce costs, protect communications and delight e-mail users.

According to a commissioned study of technology early adopters conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Microsoft Corp., a customer can see a payback period of less than six months when upgrading to either Exchange Server 2010* or Windows Server 2008 R2. Here Microsoft PressPass story.

Here is some of the new top features

  • Reduced deployment cost
  • Simplified high availability and disaster recovery
  • Greater mobility and flexible access
  • Easier administration and decreased dependence on the help desk
  • Decreased inbox overload and increased productivity
  • Transformed voice mail
  • Safeguards for sensitive information
  • Simplified compliance
  • Reduced risk of malware and spam

Download from here: Microsoft Exchange Server 2010

More information at http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/2010/en/us/default.aspx and http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/exchange/2010/default.aspx.

New version of Exchange Remote Connectivity Analyzer has been released

logo Microsoft has updated new version of Remote connectivity analyzer. Exchange administrators can simulate several clients logon and mail flow scenarios using Remote connectivity analyzer. They added few new features and updates with this update. Here are some.

  • New user interface
  • New CAPTCHA add-on
  • Beta label has removed
  • Exchange Web Services test added
  • Outbound SMTP  test added
  • Outlook anywhere test compatible with Exchange 2010
  • added the TechNet forum link
  • Added Password confirmation text box

See below Screenshots

1

Figure 1 – New added things on interface

2

Figure 2- password confirmation text box.

To see full story, Click here.

Exchange 2010 E-mail Moderation

ninjastar1 Microsoft have introduced new feature called Email-Moderation with exchange server 2010  immigration additionally delivery restriction came with exchange 2007.

Using Moderated Transport feature in Exchange 2010 administrator have capability to push emails for moderated approval process if the destination moderated user. You would be able to configure email moderation for any type of recipient type.

Components of Moderated Transport

  • Categorizer – Categorizer is responsible to initiate approval process.
  • Store Driver – The store driver process the email messages that categorizer  marks for approval process.
  • Information Assistant – The information Assistant monitors the Arbitration mailbox and its resubmit if any messages approved or delete any rejected messages.
  • Arbitration Mailbox – The Arbitration Mailbox store all email messages for approval process.

Configure a Moderated Recipient

Using Exchange Management Console

Required permission to configuration Moderated Recipient.

  • Organization Management
  • Recipient Management
  • My Distribution Groups 

    Scenario

    Administrator wants to enable Moderation for “Company Users” distribution group and nominate Mike and Vonod as Moderators, then notify only internal senders if users messages were rejected, not for the external recipients.

    1. In the EMC console tree, click Recipient Configuration then click distribution group. See figure 1

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    Figure 1

    2. Click the Company Users distribution group in the result pane and select properties .Then select Mail Flow Settings tab. See figure 2

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    Figure 2

    3. Select Message Moderation and click properties. See figure 3

    3

    Figure 3

    4. Select the Messages sent to this group have to be approved by a moderator check box.then click add to add Moderated Recipients and select Mike and Vinod.then click ok. See figure 4

    4

    Figure 4

    5.Click the Notify senders in your organization only when their message is not approved option.Then click OK twice. See figure 5.

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    Figure 5

    Test E-mail moderation.

    OK E-mail moderation configuration part is done. Now we want to test email Moderation is working or not.

    Send email to Company Users distribution group. Immediately appeared mail tip and it was mentioned Company Users distribution group is Moderated and it might reject or delayed. See figure 6.

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    Figure 6

    Check Mikes mailbox to see whether email has come for approval. See figure 7

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    Figure 7

    If moderator rejected the email, Users will receive delivery failure notification as shown below. See figure 8

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    Figure 8

  • Upcoming Exchange 2010 Developer Webcasts

     

    ninjastar1 Microsoft Exchange team will do the six developer web casts to give what exchange 2010 mean for them. They have released channel9 video to give you an introduction regarding Exchange 2010 web services.

     

    · 10/13/2009 – Exchange Server 2010 Development (Part 1 of 6): Migrating Applications to Exchange Web Services

    · 10/14/2009 – Exchange Server 2010 Development (Part 2 of 6): A Deep Dive into Using Autodiscover Service in Exchange Web Services

    · 10/15/2009 – Exchange Server 2010 Development (Part 3 of 6): A Deep Dive into Impersonation and Delegation in Exchange Web Services

    · 10/20/2009 – Exchange Server 2010 Development (Part 4 of 6): A Deep Dive into Exchange Web Services Notifications (Push/Pull)

    · 10/21/2009 – Exchange Server 2010 Development (Part 5 of 6): A Deep Dive into the Exchange Web Services Managed API

    10/22/2009 – Exchange Server 2010 Development (Part 6 of 6): Best Practices for Building Scalable Exchange Server Applications

    Windows Mobile 6.1 / 6.5 for Exchange Server 2010

    HI folks,

    I noticed Microsoft has been released Update for the Windows Mobile 6.1 to enhance compatibility with Exchange server 2010.this update already include in the Windows Mobile 6.5.What is saw most interesting new features is conversation view that allow you to see preview of message, message from, new rules etc…and integrated Unified messaging playback its allow you to play voice messages in Windows Media Player without downloading them .see below videos from TechNet Edge.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_nKpsFMquE]

     

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXAQ2yEN1Z8]

    Exchange Server 2010 Databases no longer belong to the Server object

    Microsoft has been made change the information store manageability from server to Organization level of Exchange 2010. In exchange 2010 Database no longer connected to Server object and its now belong to Organization configuration node in the Exchange management console. Also you can see the Database information location has been changed under CN=Databases in the ADSI (Active directory Services interface). See below Screenshots.

    See figure 1.Please see under the InformationStore and notice there is listed databases of Exchange 2007.

    Configuration\CN=Configuration,DC=msglab,DC=local\CN=Services \CN=Microsoft Exchange\CN=First Organization\CN=Administrative Groups\CN=Exchange Administrative Group\CN=Servers\CN=Ex2007\CN=Information Store\CN=First Storage Group

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    Figure1 Exchange 2007 Database information appears under server object.

    See figure 2, please see under the information store object and note there is no Exchange 2010 database information in the detail pane.

    Configuration\CN=Configuration,DC= msglab,DC=local\CN=Services\CN=Microsoft Exchange\CN=FirstOrganization\CN=AdministrativeGroups\CN=ExchangeAdministrative Group\CN=Servers\CN=Ex2010\CN=Information Store

    12

    Figure 2.

    See figure 3.Please see under the databases object and notice there is listed Database information of exchange 2010.

    Configuration\CN=Configuration,DC=msglab,DC=local\Services\CN=Microsoft Exchange\CN=First Organization\CN=Administrative Groups\CN=Exchange Administrative Group\CN=Databases

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    Figure 3

    Also look at below Exchange management Console and note the Database configuration listed under the organization configuration.

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    Resources

    New Exchange Core Store Functionality

    Windows Server and clients support the matrix of Exchange 2007 and 2010

     

    Exchange Server 2007

    • This moment writing this post Exchange 2007 can install only on Windows 2003 SP2 and Windows 2008 SP1.
    • Exchange Management Console or Management Shell can’t install on windows 7 unless on Windows XP mode in windows 7.
    • Exchange administration via Exchange management console and Exchange management shell can install only on Windows XP SP2 and Windows Vista SP2.
    • Even Exchange 2007 SP, cannot install on Windows 2008 R2.
    • Windows 2008 R2 allow you to use as Domain controller roller.

    ExchangeSvr2010_h_rgb

    • Exchange server 2010 doesn’t support on Windows 2003.
    • Exchange 2010 Can install on Windows 2008 with minimum SP2 and Windows server 2008 R2.
    • Exchange management shell and management console can be install on Windows vista SP2, Windows 7, Windows server 2008 R2, Windows server 2008 SP2

     

    Version

    Exchange Server 2007

    Exchange 2010

    Windows XP SP2

    Yes(Exchange management tools)

    No
    Windows Vista Yes Management tool can install with only SP2
    Windows 7 No but can install on windows XP mode Yes
    Windows 2003 SP2 Yes No
    Windows 2008 Sp1 No Yes
    Windows 2008 Sp2 Yes Yes
    Windows 2008 R2 No Yes

    Resources

    Exchange 2010 System Requirements

    Exchange 2007 System Requirements

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