My Tech Ed 2007 Session – Top 10 Microsoft Windows Server Codename "Longhorn" Failover Clustering Enhancements over Windows Server 2003 Clustering, Based on Best Practices

I was chosen again this year to speak at Tech Ed 2007 – http://www.microsoft.com/events/teched2007/default.mspx Here is the abstract: Be the very first to learn about Windows Server codename “Longhorn” Failover Clustering. Are you using Windows Server 2003 Clustering? Are you following best practices? In this session we explore Windows Server codename “Longhorn” Failover Clustering by comparing it to Windows Server 2003 Clustering based on current best practices. The session begins with hardware configuration issues, concerns, and best practices—then and now. Next, we explore operating system configuration issues, concerns, and best practices. Then, we move on to the cluster service, and finally … Continue reading My Tech Ed 2007 Session – Top 10 Microsoft Windows Server Codename "Longhorn" Failover Clustering Enhancements over Windows Server 2003 Clustering, Based on Best Practices

How to install Exchange Server 2007 Schema Extensions within a 32-bit Active Directory environment

As you might know Exchange 2007 only works on 64-bit for Production systems. This might require you to purchase new hardware, but what about before you deploy, like when you want to prepare Active Directory for Exchange 2007? In this post I will explain what we had to go through to get it working.   We have 64-bit machines in our environment, but none loaded for Exchange. All DC’s were 32-bit.   First download or order the eval 32-bit Exchange Server 2007 DVD – http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/eval/exchange/default.mspx, don’t worry it’s free. Or download it directly at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=444C259E-605F-4A82-96D5-A2F448C9D4FF&displaylang=en   Exchange Server 2007 Schema … Continue reading How to install Exchange Server 2007 Schema Extensions within a 32-bit Active Directory environment

Majority Node Set (MNS) with only 2 nodes?

A new quick fix is available from Microsoft for Windows Server 2003 or the R2 Edition – http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=ee26bcf1-42ac-4b33-b3d8-863ac089a1ab&DisplayLang=en Majority Node Set clusters need just that, a majority to function. If you have a 2 node and one goes down, you no longer have a majority. Here are the steps to use the fix and make a 2 node function: 1.      Install Enterprise Edition of the OS (I recommend R2). 2.      Install on the quick fix on each node and reboot. 3.      Create a cluster making sure you use Majoriy Node Set. When you get to the Cluster Configuration Review screen – … Continue reading Majority Node Set (MNS) with only 2 nodes?

Surviving the Windows Server 2003 Cluster Bomb, Part II

I can’t believe it. Just when you think it’s safe to go back to reading the web… Part II  of the worst clustering article of all time is out. Back in July (http://msmvps.com/blogs/clustering/archive/2005/07/21/58509.aspx) I wrote how bad Part I was. Several months later Part II came out and I missed it. A former ClusterHelp.com student asked what Russ and I thought of Part II. Russ, summed it up nicely (http://msmvps.com/blogs/clusterhelp/archive/2006/06/23/102671.aspx) and I won’t restate what I wrote about Part I – even though it still fits. Let’s just say I hope there is not going to be a Part III.

Exchange 2003 Standby Cluster – Disaster Recovery

Here are a few of the resources you will want to read up on: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/guides/DROpsGuide/b740dd10-01de-41a7-a186-94ec158976cc.mspx?mfr=truehttp://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/2003/library/disrecopgde.mspxhttp://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/guides/DROpsGuide/d2492381-e9d5-4827-b7ff-7ac614ccc36d.mspx?mfr=truehttp://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/2003/bpfha.mspxhttp://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/guides/DROpsGuide/f110fed4-76e0-43d2-a94c-99e43acca91c.mspx?mfr=truehttp://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/guides/DROpsGuide/2493c2d6-618c-4c49-9cb1-fff556926707.mspx?mfr=true

Should Clustered services be set to ‘manual’ or ‘automatic’?

The question goes something like this: My cluster is installed and running SQL/Exchange nicely but I noticed that all the services for SQL/Exchange are set to start manaully. Should I set the services to automatic instead? Answer: Cluster controlled services should always be set to manual, so that the cluster can control the startup and shutdown. Remember with Microsoft clustering only one server can control a resource at any given time. Leaving the services set to manual will help the cluster service do it’s job and ensure an error free service 🙂

Contest Winner – Wins

Just a few months ago Ben H. won a free exam voucher by reading this blog and being the first to email me (that contest is over, look for another very soon). It seems Ben is pretty good at Exchange and recently used the voucher to pass 70-285 – http://www.microsoft.com/learning/exams/70-285.asp. That is not an easy exam! Congrats Ben! Great job! Ben is working on his own site as we speak –  www.ExchangeIS.com.  

Small Business Server (SBS) Clustering

I get this question from time to time: “Does Windows 2003 Small Business Server support clustering and if not would you suggest a 3rd party clustering solution.  The only catch I see is the SBS feature of not letting any other SBS servers in the same domain.” Let me answer these questions with the facts: 1) You can add servers to an SBS domain. You can’t not add another SBS Domain Controller (though a standard DC can be added), but a server running Exchange or SQL is allowed and works nicely. 2) You can’t have another SBS server into the … Continue reading Small Business Server (SBS) Clustering

Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 SP2 Community Technology Preview

It’s out!! The Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 SP2 Community Technology Preview is here! Great, late on a Friday. Thanks Microsoft, what are you trying to do waste my entire weekend? You can download it here – http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=db3813c5-b0fa-4230-813b-902aca775ada&displaylang=en Should be fun! Only 112 MB 🙂 It is of course unsupported and not to be used on a production network.

Microsoft Clustering and Firewalls

When we installed our first Exchange 2003 Cluster at work our firewall group was very mad, they called screaming about how we had set it up. They did not like the fact that ingress (inbound) traffic was to the Virtual IP (VIP) and egress (outbound) traffic was via which ever node was controlling the Exchange Virtual Server (EVS) at the time. “This will simply not do”, they said. “We want you to use the same IP for inbound and outbound traffic”. “You are making our firewall rules very difficult to maintain and manage!”   Hmm, I see the point our … Continue reading Microsoft Clustering and Firewalls