Installing, Configuring and Testing an Exchange 2007 Cluster Continuous Replication (CCR) Based Mailbox Server (Part 2)
July 5, 2011 Leave a comment
In part one of this article series we went through the installation of the Windows 2003 cluster. In this second article we’ll install the Windows components required by Exchange Server 2007 as well as configure the Majority Node Set (MNS) Quorum with File Share Witness. Finally we’ll finish off by enabling and configuring the transport dumpster on the Hub Transport server in the Active Directory site.
Installing the necessary Windows Components
Before we move on and try to install the Exchange Server 2007 Beta 2 bits, we need to make sure the required Windows components have been installed. All types of Exchange Server 2007 installations (no matter what server role we’re talking about) needs the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 component installed.
If you have installed Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition with Service Pack 1 on the nodes, you need to download the Microsoft .NET Framework Version 2.0 Redistributable Package (x86), since it’s only a standard Windows component when speaking Windows Server 2003 R2.
Figure 27: Installing the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 Windows Component
Since we’re installing the Mailbox Server role in the cluster, we also need to install the below IIS 6.0 components:
- Enable network COM+ access
- Internet Information Services
- World Wide Web Service
Remember to install these components on both cluster nodes.
Configuring the Majority Node Set (MNS) Quorum with File Share Witness
I bet some of you are thinking: What the heck is a Majority Node Set (MNS) Quorum with File Share Witness? And I understand why as this is a completely new type of quorum model, which is made available by installing the update (MS KB article 921181) mentioned in the beginning of this article series. The update makes it possible to make use of a file share witness that is external to the cluster as an additional “vote” to determine the status of the cluster in a two-node MNS quorum cluster deployment, which is a requirement in order to make use of the cluster continuous replication (or CCR in short) functionality in Exchange Server 2007.
The file share for this file share witness can be located on any type of Windows Server in your environment, but best practice is to use an Exchange 2007 Hub Transport Server in the Active Directory server site containing the nodes in the respective cluster. We’ll also use a Hub Transport Server in this article series.
The first thing you need to do is to create the file share on the Hub Transport server. You can do this either via the CLI or by using the GUI. In this article we’ll do so using the GUI. So log on to the Hub Transport server with a domain admin account, then open Windows Explorer and create a new folder called MNS_FSQ_E2K7CLUSTER on the C: drive or wherever you want it to be created.
Figure 28: Majority Node Set File Share Quorum folder
Now take Properties for the newly created folder, and click Sharing.
Figure 29: Majority Node Set File Share Quorum Folder Share
Click Permissions and configure the share permissions so only the Administrator (or the Cluster Service Account if created) are allowed access to the share.
Figure 30: Share Permissions for Majority Node Set File Share Quorum folder
Click OK then select the Security tab.
Figure 31: Security permissions to the Majority Node Set File Share Quorum folder
Here you should give Full Control to the local administrator and the domain administrator account or cluster service account. Make sure you untick Allow inheritable permissions from the parent to propagate to this object and all child objects when doing so, then click OK twice and log off the server.
Back on E2K7Node1 you should set the Majority Node Set Private Property attribute to point to the file share we just created, we do so by opening a command prompt then issuing the following command:
Cluster res “Majority Node Set” /priv MNSFileShare=\\EDFS03\MNS_FSQ_E2K7CLUSTER
Make sure to replace server name so it matches the name of the Hub Transport Server in your environment.
You will get a warning that all properties were stored but not all changes will take effect until the next time the resource is brought online, just like it’s shown in Figure 32 below.
Figure 32: Configuring the Majority Node Set on E2K7Node1
In order to force all changes to take effect, we will move the cluster group from one node to the other (will take the cluster group offline and online again). Do this using the below command:
Cluster Group “Cluster Group” /Move
When you have done so you will see that the cluster group is now online on E2K7Node2, as is the case in Figure 33 below.
Figure 33: Moving the cluster group from one node to the other
Now let’s verify the 7Priv property is set correctly, this can be done by issuing the below command:
Cluster Res “Majority Node Set” /Priv
As you can see in Figure 34 below, this property has been set correctly for the purpose of this article series.
Figure 34: Verifying the property of /Priv is set correctly
Configuring the Transport Dumpster
When using a CCR in your environment you should consider to configure the transport dumpster on the Hub Transport Server. Microsoft recommends that you configure the MaxDumpsterSizePerStorageGroup parameter, which specifies the maximum size of the transport dumpster queue for each storage group, to a size that is 1.25 times the size of the maximum message that can be sent. For example, if the maximum size for messages is 10 megabytes (MB), you should configure the MaxDumpsterSizePerStorageGroup parameter with a value of 12.5 MB. In addition they recommend you configure the MaxDumpsterTime parameter, which specifies how long an e-mail message should remain in the transport dumpster queue, to a value of 07.00:00:00, which is 7 days. This amount of time is sufficient to allow for an extended outage to occur without loss of e-mail. When using the transport dumpster feature, additional disk space is needed on the Hub Transport server to host the transport dumpster queues. The amount of storage space required is roughly equal to the value of MaxDumpsterSizePerStorageGroup multiplied by the number of storage groups.
You use the Set-TransportConfig CMDlet to enable and configure the Transport Dumpster. So in order to, for example, configure the maximum size of the dumpster per storage group to 25 MB with a dumpster life of 10 days, you would need to run the following command:
Set-TransportConfig -MaxDumpsterSizePerStorageGroup 25MB -MaxDumpsterTime 10.00:00:00
In order to see the MaxDumpsterSizePerStorageGroup and MaxDumpsterTime configuration settings, you can type Get-TransportConfig as I did in the figure below.
Figure 35: Transport Configuration Settings
Alright we have reached the end of part two in this article series, but fear not you can look forward to seeing part three being published here on MSExchange.org in the very near future.