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Old 08-18-2009, 11:51 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Arrow Upgrading to BES 5 - have spare SRP: opinions please

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Hello,

I currently have approximately 140 users spread over 6 Exchange servers across Canada and one in the UK.

Running BES 4.1.6 with MSDE database (approx 300Mb).

I'm virtualizing my BES, upgrading it to version 5, and would like to configure the HA feature.

I have a spare SRP, which is eligible for BES 5. My plan is to (ideally) introduce some kind of HA over the WAN in case our internet connection is down or we need to perform maintenance.

The Toronto and Montreal offices have the largest user base and similar hardware. BladeCenter H and VMWare 4.0 hosts.

I'm thinking about configuring a (virtual) BES 5 server in Montreal with my spare SRP and moving to a SQL database. The same would be performed in Toronto.

Toronto and Montreal have identical 20Mb, 100Mb burstable (e100) internet connections.

Your thoughts, opinions or suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Goals: HA, BCP/DR

Notes:
We do not have hardware load balancers
We do have CA XOsoft for SQL replication on our ERP
Active Directory is Server 2003, with about 4 new Server 2008 DCs being introduced this weekend.

Cheers!
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Steve A (Sys/BES Admin - Toronto)
BES Xpress + BES 5.03 on 6 Exchange 2007 servers across Canada,UK and NYC
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Old 08-20-2009, 06:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
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So HA and BCP/DR are two totally different things. BCP / DR you can do with a good backup plan, but for HA you need to make sure all of the components that BES relies on are also configured in an HA scenario.

Network, DNS, DCs, GCs, SQL, Exchange Servers, etc ... assuming you have this all in place 100%, you don't need a 2nd SRP to use the HA functionality of BES 5.0.

If you wanted to use the 2nd SRP, you could add an additional BES and share the configuration database on a remote SQL server.

I think your first steps are to get all of the other components configured with some HA, and then look at BES.

Come up with some tangible / specific goals in mind ... which you've already done some of, such as:

1) Availability during a server maintenance window
2) Availability during a local network maintenance window
3) Availability during an Internet maintenance window
4) Availability in the event of a data center failure

Putting these specific requirements down allows you to then figure out what options you have. Define your requirements precisely, and then look at using the technology to meet them ... heck, you may find out that you don't need HA at all.
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