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Multi-site data replication support for Exchange Server
Article ID: 895847 - View products that this article applies to.
You can use replication technology to help provide high availability for data in Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, in Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, in Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, or in Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server. Exchange Server replication solutions are provided by third-party software vendors and storage hardware vendors. This article describes our support policies for Exchange when Exchange is used together with a third-party replication mechanism.
For more information about the best practices to use when you implement Exchange data replication, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb124066.aspxNote The data replication information that is covered in this article, and that is referenced in the previous white paper refers to live data only. This means that this article only refers to data that is currently accessed by the Exchange program.
Kinds of replication mechanismEach kind of replication mechanism can be classified according to the following:
Synchronous replicationIn a synchronous replication mechanism, a host only receives a write-completed response from the storage system when the I/O write operation is completed in both the local storage location and in the remote storage location.
Asynchronous replicationIn an asynchronous replication mechanism, a host receives a write-completed response from the storage system when the write operation is committed to the local storage device. In this scenario, the storage system does not wait for an acknowledgement from the remote storage device.
Host-based replicationHost-based replication typically uses a filter driver to manage replication. A filter driver is host-based software that interrupts the I/O stream to manage the replication operation.
Storage-based replicationStorage-based replication does not operate on the host computer. This kind of replication occurs at the storage device level. This kind of replication is also known as storage-level replication.
Support policies for the different kinds of replication mechanism
Asynchronous replicationAny data that has been replicated asynchronously is supported only by the storage vendor. When you replicate Exchange data by using asynchronous replication, the vendor who provides your replication mechanism must support the Exchange data at the replication destination. We make no claims as to the reliability of or the performance of Exchange solutions that use asynchronous replication. We use the following criteria to support Exchange-related issues that you may experience in an environment where you use asynchronous replication:
Synchronous storage-based replicationThe following two categories of synchronous storage-based replication mechanism exist:
Deployments that use geographically dispersed clustering solutionsIn this synchronous storage-based replication category, the nodes that belong to a particular cluster are located in different sites. Exchange servers are generally hosted by the nodes at the primary site. The replication mechanism provides synchronous replication of the Exchange data to the remote site or sites. In a scenario where a problem occurs at the primary site, the Exchange virtual servers fail over to the passive cluster nodes at the remote site. The Exchange virtual server comes online at that remote site and uses the Exchange data that was replicated.
To support Exchange when Exchange is used together with this kind of replication mechanism, the storage system must be listed on the Microsoft Windows Server Catalog Web site under Geographically Dispersed Cluster Solution. For more information, follow these steps:
We fully support Exchange and Exchange-related data in deployments that use a geographically dispersed clustering solution. These deployments are WHQL qualified and use synchronous replication for the Exchange data.
However, your replication mechanism vendor must provide support for the storage solution, the replication component, and the third-party software that your geographically dispersed cluster solution uses.
Please note that there are WHQL qualified geographically dispersed clustering solution that use MNS configuration and that use asynchronous replication for Exchange data. Our support policy for such solutions falls under the same category as the asynchronous replication solutions.
Deployments that do not use geographically dispersed clustering solutionsThis section covers all other kinds of synchronous storage-based replication where a geographically dispersed clustering solution is not used. These replication mechanisms rely on other methods to access the replicated Exchange data at the remote site if a failure occurs at the primary site. For example, these mechanisms might use a standby server together with replication and the Exchange Disaster Recovery process.
We fully support Exchange and Exchange-related data in synchronous replication deployments where a geographically dispersed clustering solution is not used. However, your storage vendor must provide support for the storage solution. Additionally, your replication mechanism vendor must provide support for your replication mechanism.
For Windows Server 2003, we recommend that your replication mechanism use the same storage hardware that is listed on the Windows Server Catalog Web site under Geographically Dispersed Cluster Solution. For more information, follow these steps:
Host-based synchronous replicationIf your host-based synchronous replication mechanism is listed as a geographically dispersed clustering solution that is WHCL qualified, we support that solution under the same support policy that we use for a geographically dispersed clustering solution.
If your host-based synchronous replication mechanism is not listed as a geographically dispersed clustering solution that is WHQL qualified, we consider the solution to be in the same category as third-party software. We use the following criteria to support Exchange-related issues that you might experience in an environment where you use third-party software for host-based synchronous replication:
http://support.microsoft.comFor information about your hardware manufacturer, visit the following Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com/gp/vendors/en-usMicrosoft provides third-party contact information to help you find technical support. This contact information may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this third-party contact information.
Article ID: 895847 - Last Review: April 30, 2012 - Revision: 7.0