(Yes, I know Exchange 2007 does replication but migrating is pretty expensive.)
I'm looking to set up a backup Exchange 2003 server in my VM farm to help increase recoverability. Our email needs are modest ("normal business hours") so back when Exchange was setup a few years back it was placed on a beefy (way overkill) Dell with 4-hour response time to parts and left alone. We're doing nightly backups but that still would leave a big gap should the exchange box fail at 5PM.
To that end, I'd like to set up a VM for Exchange 2003/Windows Server 2003 R2. I have the appropriate licenses but am not sure if I can reasonably set this up.
I don't expect my users to actually connect to this VM to send/receive email (unless it's easy to do) but I would like it to, in near realtime as possible, be a mirror of the Exchange data store. That way, if the primary box fails or the data store gets corrupted we have the ability to at least ensure that emails sent/received from the point of the last full backup are as up to date as possible once the primary is restored. A nice side benefit would be able to use it to send/receive emails but if not, no big deal.
As an analogy, in SQL Server I have a DB mirror set up w/HA. Should primary fail, I have an up-to-the-second copy of the data. Prior to SQL Server 2005, I'd have done this via log shipping or some other form of replication. I want to set this up with Exchange 2003 as well. If I can't do that, some sort of near term transaction logging (aka dump tran) would be fine, too.
I'd like to keep costs to as near 0 as possible. As costs start to go up, 2007 licensing becomes more reasonable (and then we'd just use 2007 rep) or spring for hosted Exchange with someone else. Thanks!!!