There has been a lot of buzz around EMC Replication Enabler for Exchange (REE) which is our free plug in on the CLARiiON platform that allows for EMC’s implementation of Microsoft’s Third Party Replication API for Exchange Server 2010. This plug in allows for management of the replication solution when used with MirrorView/S and RecoverPoint. Basically, Third Party Replication API was built by the Exchange Product Group to allow Third Party vendors to ‘plug-in’ to the Database Availability Group (DAG) framework and instead of leveraging the native Continuous Replication within the DAG, leverage other forms of data replication such as array based replication.
See below for how this works:
As part of the upcoming Microsoft Exchange Tested Exchange Solutions (ETS) program, EMC/Microsoft/Brocade/Dell have partnered together to release the 2nd whitepaper as a part of this program. The solution validation was done in partnership of EMC, Microsoft, Brocade, and Dell and was built out at the Microsoft Enterprise Engineering Center (EEC) labs in Redmond, WA This solution is titled “Zero Data Loss Disaster Recovery for Exchange 2010: Enabled by EMC Unified Storage, EMC Replication Enabler for Exchange 2010, Brocade, Dell and Microsoft Hyper-V” – Yes the title is a mouthfull!
Highlights of the Solution:
- Exchange Server 2010 on Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V, 10,000 users per site (20k total), 500MB mailboxes, 150 msgs per day
- 2 Exchange Database Avaliability Group (DAG) design, utilizing 3rd party replication API enabled by EMC REE
- EMC Replication Enabler for Exchange with Mirrorview/S for synchronous replication between 2 sites
- EMC CX4-480’s Storage (2 per site)
- EMC Replication Manager w/EMC Snapview for app consistent replicas
- Brocade ServerIron ADX application load balancers (1 per site)
- Brocade 300 SAN switching and Dual Port 8GB FC HBA
- Brocade FASTIron Ethernet Switches (1 per site)
- Brocade MLX8 Core Router (1 per site)
- Dell PowerEdge R910 servers (4 Hyper-V hosts) – Quad-Eight Core Intel Xeon 7560, 192GB RAM, 4 X 1GB Ethernet ports
The physical diagram of the solution looks like this where we have 4 Hyper-V hosts across two data centers hosting a total of 20k users:
In addition to showcasing the storage and replication aspect with EMC REE and MS Third Party Replication API, we were also able to show some best practices in terms of guest building block and placement with regards to Exchange roles across Hyper-V hosts as seen below we have 2 DAGs across the Hyper V hosts with CAS/Hub roles along with DC/GC servers virtualized:
The solutions teams also performed some extensive performance validation in terms of both storage performance with JetStress and overall validation with LoadGen in both local failure and site failure scenarios. Remember, a solution not only needs to ‘work’ but it also needs to perform under load.
In short, if you are looking at an Exchange 2010 design and considering HA/DR and virtualizing the infrastructure, you won’t want to miss this very detailed whitepaper. Get it here: http://www.emc.com/collateral/software/white-papers/h7410-zero-data-loss-exchange-wp.pdf