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Exchange 2007 SP1 SCC using Server 2008 StarWind iSCSI – Part 4

Welcome to Part 4 of this article series. In Part 1, we started off by discussing the goal of this lab. That goal is to showcase Server 2008′s built in iSCSI Initiator software to connect to an iSCSI Target and deploy a Single Copy Cluster (SCC) for Exchange 2007 SP1 Failover Clustering. We first discussed what the lab setup is going to be using VMware Workstation, and then proceeded to the configuration of RocketDivision’s StarWind iSCSI Target software. We then went into Exchange 2007 and did the initial iSCSI Initiator connection to our iSCSI Target.

In Part 2, we prepared our Cluster Nodes by installing any prerequisites needed prior to the cluster formation and Exchange 2007 SP1 installation. When that was complete, we continued with our iSCSI configuration by adding our LUNs to the Cluster Nodes, partitioned these LUNs, formatted these LUNs, and ensuring that shared disk storage was working as intended.

In Part 3, we formed our cluster beginning with Node A followed by Node B. Once our cluster was formed, we will proceed with configuring the cluster to ensure optimal operating for our Exchange server. This consisted of cluster network configuration, quorum configuration, etc. Once configuration was completed, we validated cluster operations. This included testing failover.

In this final Part, we will install Exchange into our Cluster. The first step will be to install the Active Clustered Mailbox Role followed by our Passive Clustered Mailbox Role. We will then proceed with how to manage our new Exchange Cluster.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Active Node Exchange 2007 Cluster Installation (NodeA)

Final Preparation

We have finally reached the point where we will install Exchange 2007. Don’t forget that one of the prerequisites is to already have a Client Access Server and Hub Transport Server deployed. If you have not done this yet, I suggest you go do this before proceeding.

Insert your Exchange 2007 SP1 media (SP1 media required) and insert it into our Active Node. In the case of this lab, we are using VMware, so I will be mounting an ISO image to our Active Node (NodeA).

Please ensure that NodeA is currently the Active Node before proceeding. Go to Start > Administrative Tools > Failover Cluster Management > Expand our Cluster > Nodes. Once here, we can view both Nodes and see what disks they currently own.

If NodeA does not currently have ownership of our Database and Disk Quorum disk, run the following commands:

Cluster group “Available Storage” /move:<ActiveNodeName>

Cluster group “Cluster Group” /move:<ActiveNodeName>

Note: There are two Cluster Groups. The first is Available Storage which contains our Database Disk. The second is the Cluster Group which contains our Quorum Disk. It is only essential that NodeA owns the Database disk for installation. For safe measures, I still like to make sure the node we are working on owns both the Database and Quorum Disk.

Installation

Run Setup.exe and choose to Install Exchange Server 2007 SP1. This will bring you to several Pages in which you should review, accept, and continue. These pages include the Introduction Page, License Agreement, and Error Reporting, . Review this information and click Next to Continue.

Once you have reached the Installation Type page, select Custom Exchange Server Installation. We will want to use this option because the Typical Exchange Server Installation installs the Hub Transport Server Role, Client Access Server Role, and Mailbox Server Role. Because we are installing the Mailbox Server Role on a Cluster, we are limited to installing only the Mailbox Server Role. This is the reason why we have installed a Hub Transport Server and Client Access Server on another server prior to installing the Mailbox Server Roles on our Cluster Nodes. Click Next to Continue.

At the Server Role Selection page, choose Active Clustered Mailbox Role. As you can see, all other options have been greyed out and you are forced to install the Management Tools. Click Next to Continue.

At the Cluster Settings page, choose Single Copy Cluster. Then specify the name of the Clustered Mailbox Server Name. This is the name your users will see when specifying what server their mailbox is housed on. Finally, choose the path your database files will be installed. You cannot choose the root path and will be forced to create a subfolder. Click Next to Continue.

Select the IP Address that the Cluster Mailbox Server (CMS) EXServer01 will listen on. In the case of this lab, NodeA uses 192.168.119.160, NodeB uses 192.168.119.161, so we will use 192.168.119.162. We do not need to specify a Second Subnet as we are not deploying our Cluster across multiple subnets. Click Next to Continue.

Choose your Client Settings. If you have computers running Outlook 2003 or earlier or Entourage, choose Yes. Otherwise, choose No. If the wrong option is chosen, don’t worry, you can always add public folders once Exchange is installed. Click Next to Continue.

You will begin to see Readiness Checks being run for both the Mailbox Role as well as the Clustered Mailbox Server. Once this is completes successfully, click Install to Continue. If you have any failures, those failures will need to be remedied prior to continuing with the cluster installation.

Installation will commence. Upon a sucessful instatllation completeion, you will see status of all installation steps shown as Completed. If cluster installation has been unsuccessful, troubleshooting will need to ensue to ensure you can get Exchange installed on the cluster successfully. Clear the check box, “Finalize installation using the Exchange Management Console.” Click Finish to continue.

You will be prompted to reboot, but do not reboot. There is one step you will want to do prior to a reboot. Open the Exchange Management Shell (Start > All Programs > Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 > Exchange Management Shell).

We will now stop the CMS by running the following command:

Stop-ClusteredMailboxServer <CMSName> -StopReason Setup -Confirm:$false

You may now proceed to reboot NodeA. One thing to note, is that when you reboot NodeA, the disks will be moved over to NodeB which does not have Exchange installed. Because of this, once NodeA is back up, you will want to move the CMS group, Available Storage group, and Cluster Group group back to NodeA.

To get a list of the existing Cluster Groups that are installed, type the following command in the Command Prompt:

Cluster Group

As we can see, the Cluster Groups successfully moved over to NodeB. The reason why we wanted to turn off the CMS prior to shutting down, is because NodeB does not have Exchange installed and we don’t want the CMS try attempt to come online.

Run the following three commands to move all three groups back over to NodeA:

Cluster group “Available Storage” /move:NodeA

Cluster group “EXServer01″ /move:NodeA

Cluster group “Cluster Group” /move:NodeA

We will now want to move the storage that is currently in the Available Storage group over to the CMS group, EXServer01. The Database disk, named database, is the only disk currently in the Available Storage group. To do this, we will run the following command:

Cluster res “Database” /move:”EXServer01″

Continue by making the Database disk a dependency of our Exchange Database. To find out how you will want to format the Database name for the dependency, open up the Failover Cluster Management MMC. Expand our Cluster > Services and Applications > CMS (EXServer01).

Take a look at the highlighted text. That is the name of our Database we will use in our Cluster dependency command. We will now want to make the Database disk a dependency of our Mailbox Database by running the following command:

Cluster EXCCLUS01 res “First Storage Group/Mailbox Database (EXServer01)” /AddDep:”Database”

The final configuration of NodeA is to configure the physical disk resource policies so that a failure of a disk resource does not cause failover of the CMS to another node by running the following command:

Cluster EXCCLUS01 res “Database” /prop RestartAction=1

Passive Node Exchange 2007 Cluster Installation (NodeB)

Final Preparation

Insert your Exchange 2007 SP1 media (SP1 media required) and insert it into our Passive Node. In the case of this lab, we are using VMware, so I will be mounting an ISO image to our Passive Node (NodeB).

Please ensure that NodeA is currently the Active Node before proceeding. Open a Command Prompt and type the following command:

Cluster group

We should see NodeA as the owner of all three Cluster Groups. If NodeA does not currently have ownership of all the Cluster Groups, run the following commands:

Cluster group “Available Storage” /move:NodeA

Cluster group “EXServer01″ /move:NodeA

Cluster group “Cluster Group” /move:NodeA

Installation

Run Setup.exe and choose to Install Exchange Server 2007 SP1. This will bring you to several Pages in which you should review, accept, and continue. These pages include the Introduction Page, License Agreement, and Error Reporting, . Review this information and click Next to Continue.

Once you have reached the Installation Type page, select Custom Exchange Server Installation. We will want to use this option because the Typical Exchange Server Installation installs the Hub Transport Server Role, Client Access Server Role, and Mailbox Server Role. Because we are installing the Mailbox Server Role on a Cluster, we are limited to installing only the Mailbox Server Role. This is the reason why we have installed a Hub Transport Server and Client Access Server on another server prior to installing the Mailbox Server Roles on our Cluster Nodes. Click Next to Continue.

At the Server Role Selection page, choose Passive Clustered Mailbox Role. As you can see, all other options have been greyed out and you are forced to install the Management Tools. Click Next to Continue.

You will begin to see Readiness Checks being run for both the Mailbox Role as well as the Clustered Mailbox Server. Once this is completes successfully, click Install to Continue. If you have any failures, those failures will need to be remedied prior to continuing with the cluster installation.

Installation will commence. Upon a sucessful instatllation completeion, you will see status of all installation steps shown as Completed. If cluster installation has been unsuccessful, troubleshooting will need to ensue to ensure you can get Exchange installed on the cluster successfully. Clear the check box, “Finalize installation using the Exchange Management Console.” Click Finish to continue.

Once you have reached this step, congratulations, your Exchange Cluster has finally been fully deployed. You will be prompted to reboot. Go ahead and do so.

All there is really now is to start the CMS back up, and you’re done; besides general configuration. To start the Exchange CMS, open the Exchange Management Shell (Start > All Programs > Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 > Exchange Management Shell).

We will now start the CMS by going on NodeA and running following command:

Start-ClusteredMailboxServer <CMSName> -Confirm:$false

Just to ensure that all Cluster Groups are online, run the following command:

Cluster Group

Post Installation

Generally, now would be the time to go do your general configuration. This includes licensing, configuring the Autodiscover Service, set Quotas, etc…

Before we do any of that, let’s make sure that the CMS will fail over to to NodeB. You can use the Cluster Group /move command, but it is best practice to use the Exchange Management Shell (EMS) command, Move-ClusteredMailboxServer. This is required in CCR Clusters due to the Cluster command not being Microsoft Cluster Service Aware which can ultimately break the log shipping mechanism.  You can read more about using Cluster Group /move vs Move-ClusteredMailboxServer here.

Let’s move our CMS over to NodeB by running the following command in the EMS:

Move-ClusteredMailboxServer EXServer01 -MoveComment “Failover to NodeB” -TargetMachine:NodeB -Confirm:$False

After running this command, go into the Failover Cluster Management MMC. Expand our Cluster > Services and Applications > CMS (EXServer01). There are a few things to take note of here. There are two preferred owners of this CMS, NodeA and NodeB. This means, if NodeA is the current owner of the resources of this CMS and it goes down, NodeB will take over. The same goes in a vice versa scenario.

As we can see, the current owner is NodeB which means the Move-ClusteredMailboxServer command was successful. All the “Other Resources” which are the Exchange Resources are also currently online. We have a successful verified Exchange Cluster failover.

Moving the CMS via the EMS is not the only way to move a CMS. Ever since Exchange Server 2007 SP1 was released, the ability to move a CMS to another node was added into the Exchange Management Console (EMC). So let’s go check out this command and move the CMS back over to NodeA, but this time, by using the EMC (Start > All Programs > Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 > Exchange Management Console). Then Expand Server Configuration > Mailbox > Choose Managed Clustered Mailbox Server from the Action Pane.

Select the option “Move the clustered mailbox server to another node.” Select Next to Continue.

Select NodeA as your Target Machine and set the Move comment to whatever you like. Select Next to Continue.

Review the Configuration Summary. Once satisfied, Choose Move to Continue.

Once again, after executing this move, go into the Failover Cluster Management MMC. Expand our Cluster > Services and Applications > CMS (EXServer01). As we can see, the current owner is NodeA which means the move via the EMC was successful. All the “Other Resources” which are the Exchange Resources are also currently online. We have a successful verified Exchange Cluster failover.

Summary

Well folks, that is all for Part 4 of this article and concludes this article series. To recap on what was included in Part 4 of this article series, we first started off recapping what was included in Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of this article and what the goal of this lab is for. It is to showcase Server 2008’s built in iSCSI Initiator software to connect to an iSCSI Target and deploy a Single Copy Cluster (SCC) for Exchange 2007 Failover Clustering. In Part 2, we left off at the final stages of disk preparation. All of the shared disks were successfully portioned, formatted, and named. In Part 3, we formed the cluster, beginning with Node A followed by Node B. We then proceeded with configuring the cluster networks, quorum, and validated our failover cluster worked.

In Part 4, we installed the Exchange 2007 Active Clustered Mailbox role and the Passive Clustered Mailbox role. We then performed management on our Clustered Mailbox Server (CMS) by showing how we can move the CMS via the Exchange Management Shell (EMS) as well as using the Exchange Management Console (EMC).

I hope these articles will help you out on your endeavor to installing Exchange 2007 on Windows Server 2008. Thank you for viewing.

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13 Responses to “Exchange 2007 SP1 SCC using Server 2008 StarWind iSCSI – Part 4”

  1. on 03 May 2008 at 6:22 amsubject: exchange

    Weekend reading…

    How to customize OWA in Exchange Server 2007 Top 10 Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 registry hacks What…

  2. on 17 Jul 2009 at 10:10 amLord Melch

    Excellend write up – thanks.

    Cheers
    LM

  3. on 20 Aug 2009 at 3:03 amDilan Manjula

    thanks. it realy helps.

  4. [...] 2007, installing Exchange 2007 in a SCC Failover Cluster, and managing your SCC Failover Cluster. Lab Setup Guest Virtual Machines One Server 2008 Enterprise (Standard can be used) RTM/SP1 x64 [...]

  5. on 09 Oct 2009 at 12:19 pmNick PHam

    Thanks helped alot, however when I do a cluster group, it displayed the Availability Storage as Offline? on NODEA. but all tests show its working but still displaying offline.. any ideas

  6. on 09 Oct 2009 at 3:34 pmElan Shudnow

    What happens if you try bringing it online using cluster "clustername" GROUP "Available Storage" /online:nodename

  7. on 12 Oct 2009 at 3:25 amNick PHam

    The above command didn't work, however I did "CLUSTER GROUP "Available Storage" /online:nodename" which worked. thanks for your help

  8. on 30 Oct 2009 at 6:40 pmSh Ma

    Hello Experts,

    we have 2 node SCC cluster and having some starnge problem with our backup rate. we use Equalogic PS1000 as storage and Backup exec 12.5 for the backup. we use iSCSI for the SAN connection.
    For last one month our backup rate has come fown to 1.2GB/min and it was close to 2.5GB/Min earlier. this slow backup rate is only through iSCSI and all other backups are fine.
    I apprciate if anyone has faced similar issues and how can I resolve the issue?

    Thanks
    Sh

  9. on 04 Jan 2011 at 11:49 amHusseik

    man check if u have some disk failure in the iscsi
    whenever we face slow connection in our SAN (maybe its same as in ur iscsi) we notice some disk failure in the RAID groups

    HTH
    Hussein K

  10. on 03 Jun 2011 at 11:39 amXat`

    Hi ! I've a problem at the installation of passive clustered mailbox role step with this error : "the exchange server is in an inconsistent state. only server recovery mode is available". I tried to resolve it by http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc4113… but I haven't the Exchange object at the specified path.

    Everything else works perfectly ! Please can you help me ?

    Thanks a lot for your help and for your blog !

  11. on 03 Jun 2011 at 4:35 pmXat`

    More informations, i've 2 DC on each Mailbox clustered role and 1 serveur for the HUB & CAS role.

  12. on 09 Jun 2011 at 10:19 pmElan Shudnow

    My suggestion is to not put DC and Exchange on the same box.

  13. on 09 Mar 2013 at 6:35 pmfarming simulator 2013 demo pc

    There’s definately a lot to learn about this topic. I love all of the points you made.

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