Deploying an Exchange 2007 SP1 CCR Cluster on a Windows Server 2008 Failover Cluster – Part 3: Installing Exchange 2007 SP1 and Verifying CMS Functionality
July 6, 2011 Leave a comment
In this part 3 of this 3 part article series revolving around how to deploy an Exchange 2007 SP1 CCR based cluster on Windows Server 2008, we’ll continue where we left of in part 2. That is we will install both the Exchange 2007 SP1 Active as well as the Passive clustered Mailbox server (CMS). We will also look at Transport Dumpster settings and the CMS settings through the new property pages and wizards included in the Exchange 2007 SP1 Exchange Management Console.
Installing the Active Clustered Mailbox Role on CCRNODE1
Okay the moment we have all been waiting for! It’s finally time to install the Exchange 2007 SP1 binaries on the first failover cluster node. Can we start an article better than that?
By now we should already have installed the Exchange 2007 SP1 prerequisites, so on CCRNODE1, we can simply insert the DVD media containing the Exchange 2007 SP1 binaries or open the local folder or network share that holds them, then launch Setup.exe. After a few seconds you’ll be taken to the Exchange 2007 SP1 Start page, splash screen, can opener, bootstrap or whatever you like to call it. Click Install Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 SP1 (Figure 1). If the setup.exe file is launched from a network share all the Exchange 2007 SP1 binaries will now be copied from the source to a temporary location locally on the server (C:\Temp\ExchangeServerSetup). If you launch Setup.exe from a DVD media or a local folder, this step will be skipped meaning the Exchange 2007 SP1 setup wizard will start faster.
Figure 1: Exchange 2007 SP1 Start page
When the Exchange 2007 SP1 Setup Introduction page appears, click Next (Figure 2).
Figure 2: Exchange 2007 SP1 Setup Introduction page
Accept the License Agreement and click Next, then chose whether you want to enable Error Reporting or not and then click Next once again. On the Installation Type page, select Custom Exchange Server Installation and click Next.
Figure 3: Exchange 2007 SP1 Installation Type page
Now tick Active Clustered Mailbox Server role and click Next (Figure 4). If you’re installing an Exchange 2007 SP1 CCR cluster on a server in a production environment, this is also the place where you specify where the Exchange 2007 SP1 binaries should be installed. Large enterprise organizations with plenty of LUNs available for the Exchange server often chooses to install these binaries on a partition separate from the System partition.
Figure 4: Selecting Active Clustered Mailbox Role
On the Exchange 2007 SP1 Setup Cluster Settings page, select Cluster Continuous Replication, then enter the name you want to give to the CMS (this is the name your Outlook clients will use to connect to the CMS). When ready, click Next.
Figure 5: Exchange 2007 SP1 Cluster Settings
Now we need to pay extra attention as this page is new. This is where you specify what type of IP network you want to use as well as whether the IP address(es) should be assigned dynamically using DHCP. For the purpose of this article series we’ll choose a single static IPv4 address as shown in Figure 6 below. When ready, click Next.
As mentioned in Part 1 of this series, a combination of Exchange 2007 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 let us deploy the active and passive clustered mailbox servers on different subnets. With Exchange 2007 RTM and Windows Server 2003 we had to stretch a single subnet between locations in order to deploy the cluster nodes in geographically dispersed locations.
Figure 6: Configuring the Cluster IP Address(es)
Since this is the first Mailbox server we install in our Exchange 2007 SP1 organization, we now need to specify whether we use Outlook 2003 and earlier or Entourage clients in the organization. If we do select Yes if not, leave the defaults and click Next.
Figure 7: Specify whether Outlook 2003 and earlier or Entourage clients are used in the organization
Let the readiness check complete. Hopefully you shouldn’t see other issues than the ones in Figure 8. If the readiness check completed without series warnings or errors, click Install in order to begin the installation of the Active Clustered Mailbox server.
Although this article is based on a lab environment, I must stress that the 32-bit of Exchange Server 2007 is not supported for use in a production environment, unless it is for management of servers, user mailboxes, etc.
Figure 8: Readiness Check completed without serious issues
The installation process will take several minutes. When it has completed, click Finish (Figure 9) and reboot the server for all changes to take effect.
Figure 9: Installation completed successfully
We now have a fully working CCR clustered Exchange 2007 SP1 Mailbox server, although only with one node.
Installing the Passive Clustered Mailbox Role on E2K7Node2
In order to make our clustered mailbox server redundant, we of course need to install the passive clustered mailbox role as well. So let’s log on to our second failover cluster node (CCRNODE2) and launch the Exchange 2007 SP1 Setup.exe file. We’ll be taken through the Exchange 2007 SP1 setup wizard once again (you know what to select now). When you get to the Server Role Selection page, tick Passive Clustered Mailbox Role as shown in Figure 10 then click Next.
Figure 10: Selecting the Passive Clustered Mailbox Role option
The Readiness check will run once again. This should take a few seconds since only the Mailbox role prerequisites are checked this time. When it has completed, click Install (Figure 11).
Figure 11: Readiness Check on the second failover cluster node
When Exchange 2007 SP1 setup has finished installing and configuring the passive clustered mailbox server, click Finish in order to exit the Setup wizard, and then reboot the passive CMS in order for all changes to take effect.
Configuring the Transport Dumpster
In my article series that goes through how you deploy an Exchange 2007 RTM CCR cluster on Windows Server 2003, I went through how you configured the Transport Dumpster settings using the Exchange Management Shell (using the Set-TransportConfig cmdlet), since there was no way of doing so via the GUI in Exchange 2007 RTM. Now that we are playing with Exchange 2007 SP1, let me instead show you how this is accomplished using the Exchange Management Console.
Before we move on, I want to let you know that the Transport Dumpster is enabled by default and it is completely optional to customize it. By default it is configured with a maximum size of 18 MBs for storage groups and a maximum retention time of 7 days. Microsoft recommends we configure the maximum size per storage group to a size that is 1.5 times the size of the maximum messages that can be sent through the messaging system. This means that if we have a message size limit of 10MB, the maximum transport dumpster size for storage groups should be 15MB. In addition, Microsoft recommends the retention time is set to 7 days, which as mentioned is the default setting.
For further details on how to configure the transport dumpster settings, see this Exchange 2007 documentation on TechNet.
The Transport Dumpster settings can be configured via the GUI by opening the Exchange Management Console, and under Organizations Settings select Hub Transport. Here you need to click on the Global Settings tab and then open the property page for Transport Settings. This will bring you to the property page shown in Figure 12 shown below.
Figure 12: Transport Settings
Examining CMS settings using the Exchange Management Console
It’s time to examine our CMS using the Exchange Management Console. Those of you who had the pleasure of working with a CMS based on Exchange 2007 RTM knows that you had to use cmdlets to get statistics and other details for the CMS as well as stop and start the CMS and moving it between the failover cluster nodes. Well, with Exchange 2007 SP1 we can see details for a CMS directly from within the Exchange Management Console. This is done by opening the property page of the CMS. We do so by selecting Server Configuration in the navigation tree and then right-clicking on the CMS in the result pane.
Figure 13: Opening the property page for the CMS
Now select the Clustered Mailbox Server tab. As can be seen in Figure 14, we can see things such as the name of the cluster nodes, storage type used (which in a CCR is non-shared) as well as whether the CMS is online, and if it is which node is the current quorum owner. Moreover, this is the place we configure the auto database mount dial. You can read more about this functionality here.
Figure 14: CMS details
We also have the option of seeing statistics for log file copy and replay between storage groups on the active and passive node. This is done by opening the property page for a Storage Group and then selecting the Cluster Continuous Replication tab as shown in Figure 15.
Figure 15: Log file copy and replay statistics
To Move, Stop or Start a CMS, we use the new Manage Clustered Mailbox Server wizard introduced in Exchange 2007 SP1 (Figure 16). This wizard can be executed from the Action pane when the CMS is selected under the Server Configuration work center node.
Figure 16: Manage Clustered Mailbox Server wizard
Lastly we can also suspend, resume, update, and restore storage group copies directly from within the Exchange Management Console as shown in Figure 17.
Figure 17: Managing Storage Group copies from the EMC
Since I already covered how you managed a CMS using the Exchange 2007 SP1 EMC in a previous article of mine, I won’t go into details on how this is done in this article. Instead I recommend you take a look at that article here so you can play with your new CMS.
Alright this concludes this article series revolving around how to deploy an Exchange 2007 SP1 CCR based cluster on Windows Server 2008. I hope you enjoyed it!