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I've been given the task to come up with an exchange solution that will support 200 users total throughout 4 states. 1GB per user. It needs to have a failover solution,The failover must reside in another location. There is an mpls that connects the locations. I am hoping to get recomendations on hardware, software setups. I recently worked with some big name reps and they steered me in the wrong direction and now I'm a few days away from my proposal date with bogus quotes and scrambling for a solution. I used to manage a standalone 2003 exchange server for years and am at a loss now with figuring out a clustering/failover...Any help would be greatly appreciated.

thank you

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What version of Exchange ??

In Exchange 2007 they had SCR (Standby Continuous Replication) that would allow you to replicate the information stores to a remote location - it is basically shipping and replaying the transaction logs.

In Exchange 2010 they now have DAGs (Database Availability Groups) this gives you multiple copies of each mailbox database (one in each location in your case) which are all online (one active others are all passive) - the switchover in event of a failure is circa 30 secs.

If you are are doing it for DR and only have 2 copies of each mailbox database you WILL still need RAID 5 storage but lower cost SAS / SATA disks will do given the IO improvements in 2010. (if you have 4 copies of the mailbox databases in a DAG then you could just use JBOD (no need for RAID)

Exchange 2003 you'll want a cluster or maybe something like Neverfail / Doubletake...

Hope this helps...

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thank you so much for the reply. It seems 2010 appears the best choice. Version needs to be chosen. If i go with 2010, I would need to choose enterprise version for "high availability" or DAG to work correct? As far as hardware, I do have a budget so I hope to deploy 2 servers, one at each location, raid 1/5 with replication of the DB to be between themselves, while maintaining a back up of that DB to yet another network share at each location. So server and one local DB backup at each location. The licences for microsoft, its per user, so only 200 cals for 2008 and 200 for exchnage is OK? : ) – Dan Apr 29 '10 at 9:01

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