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Exchange 2013

High Availability
and Site Resilience

High Availability and Site Resilience

Si vis pacem, para bellum is a Latin
adage translated as, "If you wish for
peace, prepare for war“

The best way to ensure availability is

through redundancy (disk, server, site)

A Review of Storage Architecture

• To truly understand how Exchange 2013 helps

eliminate the need for Disaster Recovery you have to
visualize the technology in place

• There is a database file (called an .edb file) and

transaction logs (which are 1 MB in size) that work
together to provide a consistent storage

Database (.edb)

Transaction Logs
Continuous Replication

• With continuous replication the database is initially

copied and then log files are shipped and replayed
constantly to keep the database up-to-date

System 1 System 2

Database Copy

Transaction Log
Shipping and Replay

Database Availability Groups (DAG)

• Uses continuous replication

• Allows for up to 16 Mailbox servers that hosts a

set of replicated databases

• You have an active database and if that fails an

automatic failover to a passive database is
possible thanks to an Active Manager (an
Exchange component running inside the Exchange
Replication service)

Visual DAG

Site 1

System 1 System 2 System 3

DB 1 DB 2 DB 3

Passive DB2 Passive DB1 Lagged DB1

Lagged DB3 Passive DB3 Lagged DB2

Create a Database Availability Group

• Establishing a Database Availability Group is a

three step process:

– Create a Database Availability Group (15 character name)

– Add Mailbox servers to the DAG (up to 16)

– Determine passive copies of your active database(s)

Create a Database Availability Group

DAG design depends on the number of servers and

sites you have to work with (you can use the EAC
or EMS)

Witness Server and Witness Directory

• The DAG witness server and directory are only

used for quorum (referee) purposes when you
have an even number of DAG members

• The witness server cannot be a member of the

DAG as well

• We’ve added a secondary Mailbox server to our

environment (POSEX2K13MB2) and it will serve as
the location for the passive copy of our active
database located on POSEX2K13

• We will create a database availability group (DAG),

assign two members and establish the passive

Scenario Diagram




Database 2 (Active) Database 2 (Passive)