I watched your webcast on clustering today, and I was wondering how much data transfer took place between two clustered servers in an active/passive configuration. At my site, we're trying to develop a network design that will enable users at two different physical locations on the domain (connected via load-balanced T1s) to send e-mail, access their contacts, etc., if something were to happen to the two T1 links between the sites. If you don't think clustering would be very effective in this situation, do you have any other suggestions? Thanks for your help.
Thank you for watching my webcast! Clustering won't be effective here because you are looking at overall redundancy. Certainly you could cluster your mailbox and public folder servers. Just keep in mind that clustering's role in life is to provide high availability in the event of hardware failure. It's up to you to build your cluster with fault tolerance in mind.
However, based on what you've said, it sounds like you would benefit from the new features in Microsoft Outlook 2003. I realize that by the time you read this, it will likely still be in beta, but I think you should give it serious consideration. Outlook 2003 has a feature called "cached mode" that pretty much does what you've described.
In cached mode, Outlook stores a copy of the user's mailbox locally in an offline store (.ost file) and periodically synchronizes the .ost file frequently with the user's Exchange server. Outlook manages the network connection state and switches seamlessly between online and offline. It syncs with the user's mailbox when online, and it works locally when no connection exists or when the connection is less than reliable. Your users will have access to online resources, including calendars, free/busy and address lists.
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