We've following setup:

a) Physical server Hyper-V

  • Exchange 2010 CAS 1
  • Exchange 2010 MBX 1

b) Physical server Hyper-V

  • Exchange 2010 CAS 2
  • Exchange 2010 MBX 2

We do backups. But for the sake of being totally safe we want to transfer Hyper-V machines for an offsite backup. Since we have limited bandwidth sending over large amounts of data isn't the best idea so we thought about sending only half of the servers CAS 1 and MBX1 (or even only MBX 1) assuming that even it would take a while to re setup everything.

So the question is MBX 1 or MBX1/CAS 1 are enough to do recovery in case real disaster happens?

  • 1
    Define "real desaster". I mean, you count DESASTERS into that? Like flood, fire, someone breaking in and walking away with HIS new servers? – TomTom Jan 26 '13 at 10:07
  • Real disaster means that servers will be stolen from hosting or get damage so high there's nothing to have, so there's no backup (disk library gone), both servers are gone and the only copy would be 1/2 machines (MBX or/and CAS) in the main HQ as Hyper-V machines. – MadBoy Jan 26 '13 at 15:59
  • @TomTom did i write DESASTERS somewhere because I have no idea what you're referring to? If I did and it was fixed then sorry. Must have been a typo. – MadBoy Jan 26 '13 at 16:02

If all you want is an off-site copy of your mail databases, then why not just install Exchange on an off-site server and add it to your DAG?

If you're using something like DoubleTake or Veeam to keep an off-site copy, then the minimum you need is your mailbox server. In the event of a disaster, you'll need to install a CAS server somewhere to allow clients to access their mailboxes. But losing all of your CAS servers will not result in data loss. You just have to decide what you want to happen in a disaster: you have only a mailbox server and you need to stand up a new CAS server, or you have both a mailbox and a CAS server ready to go. The choice is yours.

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  • That's the question if you can recover from having only 1 DAG server (out of 2 or 3). We use DPM to make backups but we do it locally. In case servers get lost (I don't know how) we need to be able to recover from this. – MadBoy Jan 26 '13 at 15:59
  • 1
    A database only needs to exist in a minimum of one place for it to function. So if you lose all but one of your mailbox servers, then yes, you can recover you exchange environment. – longneck Jan 27 '13 at 13:19

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