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Can a 'dormant' backup Exchange server be used as a failover server?

Can a 'dormant' backup Exchange server be used as a failover server to restore Exchange database (.edb) files in a backup operation? Our expert weighs in.

Yesterday, the RAID-1 (mirrored pair) holding the Exchange Server system failed. We lost the Exchange server and some key files. It's all sorted now, but it got me thinking. I have a spare server that only holds backups. Could I install Exchange Server on the spare server and leave it "dormant"? If the main Exchange server goes down and I point the "dormant" version of Exchange at a restore of the .edb files, would it be all set? I've clustered in the past, but my current company can't afford the hardware.

We are working with Windows 2000 Server Service Pack 4 (SP4) and Exchange 2000 Server. We are using SMTP straight to Internet without an ISP connector, and we have less than 50 users.

There is no way of achieving this plan with Exchange 2000 Server. However, I would recommend that you read up on clustered continuous replication (CCR) in Exchange 2007. It may meet your needs.

Do you have comments on this Ask the Expert Q&A? Let us know.

Related information from SearchExchange.com:

  • FAQ: Exchange Server backup and recovery
  • Crash Course: Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 cluster configuration
  • Reference Center: Exchange Server clustering tips and resources
  • Reference Center: Exchange Server backup and disaster recovery
  • Dig Deeper on Exchange Server setup and troubleshooting

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