Saturday, July 11, 2009

Standby Continuous Replication - On Standalone Mailbox Servers - Part 3

In Part 2, we discussed about the Preperation of the SCR Target server, in this Part 3, we will talk about SCR Activation for the Database Portability scenarios and in the end, we will discuss about SCR Activation using the Recover Server switch.

Database Portability is a new feature of Exchange 2007 and it allows us to mount the exchange database on any of the exchange servers in same organization. So in case of a database corruption say in SG1, we can manually perform the activation of the SCR target database.

Here are detailed steps for SCR Activation for the database portabilty scenarios:

1. Dismount the SCR Source database.

2. Now we need to disable the SCR and need to make the target database available for mounting.

This is done by the following command:

Restore-StorageGroupCopy SourceServerName\SG1 -StandbyMachine TargetServerName

Note: If the SCR source is not available, the Force parameter should be used with the Restore-StorageGroupCopy command.

3. After this has completed, we need to verify whether the database is in a Clean Shutdown state. If the database is in a Dirty Shutdown state, we can bring the database to a Clean Shutdown state by running Eseutil recovery mode (Eseutil /r) against the database.

4. Now after the database is in the Clean Shutdown state, we need to update the Active Directory with the new locations of the Storage Group and database files.

Here are the commands to change the paths for SG1Target and DBTarget from the temp paths to the paths for the SCR target's storage group and database files:

Move-StorageGroupPath TargetServerName\SG1Target -SystemFolderPath Path -LogFolderPath Path -ConfigurationOnly

Move-DatabasePath TargetServerName\SG1Target\DBTarget -EdbFilePath Path -ConfigurationOnly

5. Now we need to make the database to allow itslef to be overwritten during a restore operation. We can do this from its properties from the EMC.

6. Next, we can mount this database.

7. Ok now, the database is mounted, but we need to rehome the mailboxes to point to SCR Target Server. Please note that Microsoft Exchange System Attendant and System mailboxes should not be included in this.

Here is the command to do this:

Get-Mailbox -Database SourceServerName\SG1\DB I where {$_.ObjectClass -NotMatch '(SystemAttendantMailboxExOleDbSystemMailbox)'} I Move-Mailbox -ConfigurationOnly -TargetDatabase TargetServerName\SG1Target\DBTarget

So now this information has been replicated across the Active Directory, users can access the mailboxes now.

Please note if the Source server is not accessible, for clients running Outlook 2003 and earlier versions, we need to change their outlook profile to point to new target server.

Now, there might be scenarios where the whole source server is completely down and is not accessible pertaining to any hardware failure or something else, in these cases we can use Recover Server to activate the SCR target.

Here are the detailed steps for SCR Acttivation using Recover Server:

1. Disable the SCR and make the target databases available for mounting.
This is done by the following command:

Restore-StorageGroupCopy SourceServerName\SG1 -StandbyMachine TargetServerName -Force

2. Uninstall exchange server from the target server.

3. Rename the target server as the name of the source server if you have Outlook 2003 clients and want them to rehome automatically.

4. Run Setup /recoverserver. This should be run from the location where exchange binaries are located.

5. If the databases are in Dirty Shutdown state, use Eseutil to recover the databases.

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