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Old 09-12-2007, 07:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Exchange hardware change - BES implications

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Hi there,
I'm in a position where I need to replace my Exchange server hardware imminently.

After speaking with Microsoft, the best way for our organisation to to this is to give the new hardware the same name as our existing server and initiate an Exchange recovery (and import our mailstore as-is) rather than build a new server, with a new name from scratch (4000 Outlook clients configured with email caching configured over slow WAN links an issue if we start from scratch).

My question is this: if I create a new Exchange server, with the same name and using the same AD computer account (though probably with a different AD computer account SID), what problems am I likely to face from the BES perspective?

Will this require a complete BES re-installation? or are there other options?

If if does require a BES re-installation - can I import my users to the new installation (no changes planned on our BES server) without requiring them to be activated again?

BES version is 4.1.2.25 & Exchange 2003 Enterprise with SP1.

Thanks
Andrew

Last edited by andrewog : 09-12-2007 at 07:30 AM.
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Old 09-12-2007, 08:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Are you importing your mailboxes, restoring them from backup, or are you simply mounting stores / databases? It all depends on the state of the databases ...

If you mount the stores BES will simply act as if Exchange was offline for an extended period of time. If you're doing a restore from tape, depending on how you backup your databases and how you're restoring the data it'll be the same as mounting it ... or it'll act as if you're doing a PST import ... which could generate message duplicateion

Also is your BES SQL database ok?

If you don't mind me asking; what happened? Also, if you have ANY doubts at all, please call RIM. It'd be worth the call much like your call to MSFT.

Just for reference:

Which version & sp of Exchange
Which version & sp of BES
# of BES Users
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Old 09-12-2007, 09:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
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We are going to restore the full mailstore and mount it in Exchange as a complete store rather than create a recovery mailstore and rebuild the mailboxes individuallly from tape / backup.

So new Exchange server hardware, with the same server name, same mailstore, same Exchange configuration and a restart of my BES services should result in no problems with BES seeing Exchange and users receiving emails on BB?

We're unable to take online mailstore backups, Microsoft has exhausted every option to resolve this and is suggesting rebuild Exchange configuration from scratch - we're wanting to take advantage of the opportunity to upgrade the server hardware while we do it (will need doing in less than 12 months anyway).

Exchange SP1
BES 4.1 SP2
100 BB users
5000 Exchange mailboxes

BES SQL database is fine.

Thanks

Last edited by andrewog : 09-12-2007 at 09:11 AM.
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Old 09-12-2007, 09:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Just make sure the AD / Exchange Permissions are set properly after the build.

I'm not sure why you wouldn't just bring up the new server as an additional server in your Exchange org and then perform mailbox moves on all of the users to the new server ...
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Old 09-12-2007, 09:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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We have 2500 users with locally cached copies of their email at the end of 100 x 2mbit/sec WAN links - re-synching their offline mail cache would cripple our WAN links.

This limits our options somewhat.
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Old 09-12-2007, 10:16 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Why would their OST have to resync? Are these users using Outlook 2003? When you use move mailbox wizard and stay in the same Exchange org, the OST should be reusable and not require a full sync.
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Old 09-12-2007, 11:26 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hdawg View Post
Why would their OST have to resync? Are these users using Outlook 2003? When you use move mailbox wizard and stay in the same Exchange org, the OST should be reusable and not require a full sync.
That's what I was thinking too.

Exchange is not the most recovery-friendly software out there.

If I were you, I'd start by using the new hardware to bring up a new server in the same org. Set up your mailbox for offline cache and move it. See if it does a complete re-sync. Worst case scenario, you move your mailbox back and remove the new server from the environment and do what Microsoft tells you.

BTW, if you are doing a full recovery of that size server, you may want to look into a dial-tone recovery. It will minimize down time.
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