Released: Exchange Server Role Requirements Calculator 8.3

Today, we released an updated version of the Exchange Server Role Requirements Calculator. This release focuses around two specific enhancements. Exchange 2016 designs now take into account the CU3 improvement that reduces the bandwidth required between active and passive HA copies as the local search instance can read data from its local database copy. The…

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DAG Activation Preference Behavior Change in Exchange Server 2016 CU2

Every copy of a mailbox database in a DAG is assigned an activation preference number. This number is used by the system as part of the passive database activation process, and by administrators when performing database balancing operations for a DAG. This number is expressed as the ActivationPreference property of a mailbox database copy. The…

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Lagged Database Copy Enhancements in Exchange Server 2016 CU1

The high availability capabilities of the lagged database copy are enhanced in the upcoming release of Exchange 2016 Cumulative Update 1. ReplayLagManager As you may recall, lagged copies can care for themselves by invoking automatic log replay to play down the log files in certain scenarios: When a low disk space threshold (10,000MB) is reached…

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Exchange Server Role Requirements Calculator Update

v7.8 of the calculator introduces support for Exchange 2016! Yes, that’s right, you don’t need a separate calculator, v7.8 and later supports Exchange 2013 or Exchange 2016 deployments. Moving forward, the calculator is branded as the Exchange Server Role Requirements Calculator. When you open the calculator you will find a new drop-down option in the…

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The Exchange 2016 Preferred Architecture

The Preferred Architecture (PA) is the Exchange Engineering Team’s best practice recommendation for what we believe is the optimum deployment architecture for Exchange 2016, and one that is very similar to what we deploy in Office 365. While Exchange 2016 offers a wide variety of architectural choices for on-premises deployments, the architecture discussed below is…

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New Support Policy for Repaired Exchange Databases

The database repair process is often used as a last ditch effort to recover an Exchange database when no other means of recovery is available. The process should only be followed at the advice of Microsoft Support and after determining that all other recovery options have been exhausted. For many years in many versions of…


Using an Azure VM as a DAG Witness Server

Update 8/13/15: Since publication of this blog post, there have been change in our Azure support statement related to Exchange Server. Please see KB 2721672 for more information. I’m happy to announce support for use of an Azure virtual machine as an Exchange 2013 Database Availability Group witness server. Automatic datacenter failover in Exchange 2013…


Those pesky lazy indices

In Exchange 2013 there are indices within a given mailbox database.  The indices are created, maintained, and deleted by the Information Store Worker Process associated with a given database.  These indices are not to be confused with the Exchange content indexes that are built via the Search Foundation engine as they are completely different. Within…


Site Resilience Impact on Availability

This article continues the analysis I started in my previous article, DAG: beyond the “A”. We all understand that a good technology solution must have high levels of availability, and that simplicity and redundancy are the two major factors that drive solution availability. More specifically: The simpler the solution (the fewer independent critical components it…


The Preferred Architecture

During my session at the recent Microsoft Exchange Conference (MEC), I revealed Microsoft’s preferred architecture (PA) for Exchange Server 2013. The PA is the Exchange Engineering Team’s prescriptive approach to what we believe is the optimum deployment architecture for Exchange 2013, and one that is very similar to what we deploy in Office 365. While…

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