Ms Tech Ed Best Practices For Exchange Server Cluster Deployments June 2003


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Why Cluster?
What is a Cluster?
What’s New?
Administrative / Operational Practices.

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Ms Tech Ed Best Practices For Exchange Server Cluster Deployments June 2003

  1. 1. MSG348 Best Practices For Exchange Server Cluster Deployments Karl Robinson Senior Systems Engineer ISS Solutions Engineering Hewlett-Packard Corporation
  2. 2. Agenda Why Cluster What is a Cluster What’s New Planning Administrative / Operational Practices
  3. 3. Why Cluster High Availability What is it? Availability versus Reliability Benefits Reduce single points of failure Maintenance and upgrade Doesn’t protect against Shared storage failures Network failures Operational or procedural failures
  4. 4. What Is A Cluster? Collection of physical servers that can act as a single logical server Requirements Shared Storage Same IP subnet
  5. 5. What Is A Cluster? Collection of Resources Physical Disk IP Address Network Name Exchange Specific Resources System Attendant Information Store Search HTTP, IMAP4, POP3, SMTP Virtual Servers Routing Service MTA Instance
  6. 6. Cluster Resources Cluster Support for Exchange 2000 Resources Exchange 2000 Component Cluster Functionality Comments System Attendant Active/Active Each Exchange Virtual Server is created by the SA resource is configured Information Store Active/Active Each cluster node is limited to 4 storage groups Message Transfer Agent Active/Passive The MTA will be in only one cluster group. One MTA instance per cluster POP3, IMAP, SMTP, HTTP Active/Active Multiple virtual servers per node DAV, NNTP Connectors: MSMail, CC Active/Passive Not Supported in a Cluster Mail, Profs, etc Site Replication Service Active/Passive Not Supported in a Cluster MS Search Server Active/Active One instance per virtual server Key Management, Video, Active/Passive Not Supported in a Cluster Chat, Conference, ADC
  7. 7. What Is A Cluster?
  8. 8. What’s New ? Eight Node Support Windows Server 2003 Enterprise and Datacenter Editions Active/Active only supported with 2 nodes N Active Servers with Y passive Servers (N+1, etc.) Better economics 1+1 – 50% Standby 3+1 – 25% Standby 7+1 – 12.5% Standby 6+2 – 25% Standby
  9. 9. What’s New ? Cluster Service Installation Cluster Administrator installed by default in Admin Tools No need to install additional components from disk for cluster service New Server Cluster Wizard Simplifies cluster installation Analyses environment to determine cluster feasibility
  10. 10. demo New Server Cluster Wizard
  11. 11. What’s New Security No longer need to make the cluster service account an Exchange full admin Support for Kerberos Support for IPSEC (FE -> BE clustered Exchange server) Secure by default (POP and IMAP resources will not longer be created by default)
  12. 12. What’s New? Faster Failover Flattened dependency tree Exchange 2000 Exchange 2003
  13. 13. What’s New? Faster failover Anti-affinity API Strong anti-affinity means that groups will be kept apart if possible Find available nodes faster than in Windows 2000 Quorum types Local Majority Node Set Disk Resource (traditional)
  14. 14. What’s New? File System Mount Points Relief from drive letter limitation
  15. 15. What’s New? Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) support Windows Server 2003 Supported snap/clone of Exchange Databases Supported by storage vendors
  16. 16. Active/Active and N+I Active / Active All nodes can have an active virtual server A single node can have multiple active virtual servers at the same time Supported up to 2 nodes only A single node cluster is considered A/A N+I At least 1 free node at any time No more than 1 active virtual server per node (enforced with 3 or more nodes)
  17. 17. demo Exchange Server 2003 Virtual Server Creation
  18. 18. Planning Clusters Cluster Hardware Storage Planning Windows 2003 infrastructure Naming Conventions Service Account
  19. 19. Cluster Hardware Ensure HCL compliance Servers, Storage, HBAs, Drivers Other high availability components Redundant power supplies, flash ROM, hot plug fans Hot Plug PCI Redundant HBAs, NICs, SCSI controllers Advanced memory protection Hot add RAM Advanced ECC Online Spare Memory
  20. 20. Cluster Hardware Choose standard configurations Keep cluster nodes at same patch level Service Packs Hot Fixes Security Updates Driver versions
  21. 21. Redundancy, Redundancy Redundancy at all levels Power Network Hardware AD – Multiple GCs/DCs DNS – Multiple DNS servers Bridgehead servers
  22. 22. Storage Planning Estimate storage requirements #users? #quota required? Use HP Storage Planning Calculator Not to be taken lightly, especially in a cluster Use consistent naming for folders and databases
  23. 23. Storage Planning Component Folder Name Exchange Binaries D:exchsrvrbin Message Transfer Agent R:exchsrvrMTADATA MTA Work Directory R:exchsrvrMTADATA SMTP Mailroot R:exchsrvrmailroot SG1 Transaction Logs S:exchsrvrSG1_TransLogs Database folder T:exchsrvrSG1_MBDData SG1 Mailstore1 T:exchsrvrSG1_MBDDataSG1Mailstore1.edb T:exchsrvrSG1_MBDDataSG1Mailstore1.stm SG1 Mailstore2 T:exchsrvrSG1_MBDDataSG1Mailstore2.edb T:exchsrvrSG1_MBDDataSG1Mailstore2.stm
  24. 24. Storage Planning Distribute components! Use Q for quorum drive Do not use Drive M: (hidden in Ex2003) Use RAID 0+1 for databases Use RAID 1 for transaction logs Use RAID 1 for SMTP drop area, Tracking Logs, and MTA
  25. 25. Storage Planning Make sure the System Attendant is dependent on all disk resources for that virtual server.
  26. 26. Windows Infrastructure Infrastructure must understand existence of Virtual Servers Critical to success of any cluster Redundancy, Redundancy Implement multiple DC’s/GCs in same site as cluster Implement multiple DNS servers
  27. 27. Node Configuration Deploy latest SP on each node Correct network configuration on cluster NIC’s 2 NICs One set for Private, one set for Public and Private Name your network connections Do not configure a default gateway, DNS or WINS on private NICs Use Static IP addresses Remove “Client for Microsoft Networks” and “File and Printer Sharing” from private NICs
  28. 28. Node Configuration NIC autodetect KB 174812 Do not use Autodetect. Set media type, duplex, speed & flow control manually. Set/Verify binding order on NICs
  29. 29. Node Configuration Set staggered boot delays on each node /3gb modification /3gb /USERVA = 3030 for Windows Server 2003 IP addresses 2 for each node – Public & Private NICs 1 for the cluster network name 1 for each Exchange Virtual Server
  30. 30. Naming Conventions
  31. 31. Service Account Used by Windows Cluster Service Do not logon with this account unnecessarily Use one service account per cluster Use a consistent naming scheme Delegate permissions to the cluster account prior to installation (Exchange 2000)
  32. 32. Other Practices Test, Test, Test Document Train Monitor Third Party Products – ensure cluster compatibility Disaster Recovery
  33. 33. Summary Clusters are not for everyone, but with new versions of Windows and Exchange, you may want to re-evaluate their use in your organization. The additional complexity must be understood Provide flexibility in administration Contribute to HA if operated properly rise/highavailability/index.html
  34. 34. Exchange Community Resources Exchange Community Web Page Exchange Newsgroups Attend A Free Chat Or Webcast Some recent Exchange webcasts still available for viewing Exchange 2003 Overview: ondemand/1589.asp Decide between Exchange 2000 & Exchange 2003:,290959, sid1_gci875523,00.html Locate A Local User Group
  35. 35. Suggested Reading And Resources The tools you need to put technology to work! TITLE Available Price Microsoft® Exchange Server 2003 Administrator's Companion: 0- 7356-1979-4 9/24/03 $59.99 Active Directory® for Microsoft® Windows® Server Today $49.99 2003 Technical Reference: 0- 7356-1577-2 Microsoft Press books are 20% off at the TechEd Bookstore and also at the Ask the Experts area in the Expo Hall Visit today to receive 40% off selected titles
  36. 36. © 2003 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. This presentation is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.