Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft Exchange’

Moving Exchange Data

Thursday, April 6th, 2006

Lets assume you have a method of point-in-time copy of Microsoft Exchange DB and logs, while the system is running, to an alternate server. Let’s assume, if we’re at that, that this point-in-time is consistent, and that you can mount this store (depending on using the similar directory structure, etc.), on an alternate server, and that it works correctly, aka, mounts without a problem. Scenario can be like this:

Server A: Microsoft Exchange, Storage group containing few mailbox stores, each on a different drive letter (E:, F:, G:, in our example), and the Storage Group’s logs are on a seperated drive, L:.

On Server B, we create a similar setup – Few mailbox stores, similar names, on E:, F:, G:, and we create (or move) the logs to reside on L:. We make sure this server’s patch level (or updates and versions) are similar to Server A.

We dismount the whole storage group, mark it to be overwritten by a restore, and replace the currently existing stores with our point-in-time from Server A. Great. Mounting the store, and, on a wider point of view, mounting the whole storage group’s components would be easy and painless. Our point-in-time is consistant, so it’s just like bringing up a storage group after unexpected shutdown.

Lets assume we were able to do so, we’re not finished yet. Each user’s attributes contain information pointing to the location of his/her mailbox, including the name of the store, and the name of the server. We need to change an AD attributes, per-user, for this point-in-time replication/DRP to work.

A friend of mine, Guy, has created such a script, just to solve this specific issue. It has some minor issues yet, but if you are aware of them, you can handle them quite easily. They are:

1. To run the script, make sure it is accessible via the same path on each computer running ADU&C (required only on the computers which run it). You can put it on a share, and I think it will work (haven’t tested it), or you can put it on a local directory, but make sure other computers from which you would want to run this option, have this script in the same directory (same path).

2. The script / GUI does not understand the option "Cancel", although it’s there. If you pick "Cancel", you get to actually select "0". Be aware of it.

3. The script requires resolution per OU. It means that it’s easier to move the users sharing the same mailbox store into the same OU, at least for the purpose of running the script. You could create an OU under an existing OU, and move only the users sharing the same mailbox store into it, obtaining the GPO and settings propagated to it from above.

4. There is no "uninstall" option. Don’t want it? Don’t use it. Can’t remove it unless you know what you’re doing.

I tend to believe these flaws/bugs/issues will be dealt with someday, but for the minor usage I had, it was enough, and even better.

By the way – so far, this trick cannot be used for Public Folders, as their information is hidden well too deep. Maybe someday.