Microsoft Exchange 2010 DAG and Disaster recovery-does it work?
September 21, 2010 10:38 AM   Subscribe

Does Microsoft's Exchange 2010 streched DAG work as advertised for fail over in a disaster to a colo? How hard is it to fail over? Is it difficult to configure?

So I have a client with a virtual Exchange 2010 server, all services on one box (CAS, MB, hub transport-no edge server) I want to set up a streched DAG to a colo for disaster recovery. However, how good is this technology? Is the failover process difficult? (It sounds like you just change the DNS record for the exchange server.) What is required for the clients? Do they just fail over? Do they need office 2010 for this to work (most have office 2010, some have 2003 still.)

Most of my other clients use an application like Doubletake that requires 15 minutes to fail over exchange, but its $6000 to buy the software and support. So if this technology works, i'd rather use it.

I will test it first, of course. But should i even go down that road?
posted by aacheson to Technology (2 answers total)
I don't have experience with Exchange 2010, but if you can get the failover functionality and save your client $6000 then it certainly bears further investigation. I use Dell EMS as a failover, which requires no action on my part to failover once it was setup. There is simply a second MX record for the Dell site listed after our primary MX record for the local mailserver. I would presume that the Exchange 2010 DAG works the same way since in an emergency the IT staff may not be available to manually failover the DNS entries.

The TechNet forums seem to have a fair amount of support for customizing your Exchange 2010 implementation. If you already have everything you need and the time available for testing, I would say to check it out and see if it works as advertised.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:37 PM on September 21, 2010

I don't have experience with this specific setup, but I use a hosted service called MX Logic as an intermediary MX delivery to clear our viruses and spam before messages hit our local Exchange 2007 server. Additionally it has fail over features if the Exchange server is offline. You may need something more under your control but this hosted option was a good fit for our ~50 person group.
posted by dgran at 1:00 PM on September 21, 2010

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