Procedures for Performing a Disaster Recovery Failover in Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat Server


If you use Microsoft
Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat Server for mission-critical
business purposes, as many customers do, you must ensure that your organization
will be able to maintain Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat Server
communications even when an entire site, including the Microsoft Office
Communications Server Enterprise pool that hosts Communications Server 2007 R2
Group Chat Server, is lost. For this reason, we strongly recommend that your
organization have a detailed disaster recovery plan.

To preserve Group Chat
Server functionality when a site is lost, a secondary pool, located at a
different site, must be available that can take over if the primary pool fails,
and a failover mechanism must transfer operations to the secondary pool. This article
serves as a guide for failing over Group Chat Server from one pool to another.

Authors: Marc Perez, Austin Pichot

Publication date: March 2011

Product version: Microsoft
Office Communications Server 2007 R2

The overall process for restoring Group Chat Server to a
different Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 pool involves backing
up the Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat database,
restoring the data to the target database, and moving the users (forced move)
to the new pool. This is followed by providing permissions to the Office Communications
Server 2007 R2 Group Chat accounts.

Note: The process
described in this article is different from the process for leveraging site resiliency
in Office Communications Server 2007 R2. Site resiliency assumes the loss of a
site but not the loss of services. Site resiliency is typically achieved by
spanning Communications Server pools and services across sites.

Note: The process
described in this article is intended for the recovery of services, not for
data recovery. The data recovered from the Communications Server 2007 R2 Group
Chat database during this process is determined by the method and frequency of
the backups. Any associated services or programs, such as for compliance, will require
manual intervention.

Tested Scenarios

Two Group Chat Server production configurations were tested
for this article:

  • A Communications Server 2007 R2 pool with two
    Group Chat Channel Servers deployed
  • A Communications Server 2007 R2 Enterprise pool
    with three Group Chat Channel Servers deployed

In each case, an identically configured secondary pool is
available at the secondary site. In other words, the pool at the primary site
and the pool at the secondary site both include:

  • A Communications Server 2007 R2 Back End Microsoft
    SQL Server Cluster
  • Four Front End Servers
  • Two (or three, depending on site configuration)
    servers running Group Chat Channel services
  • A SQL Server computer for the Group Chat
    back-end database

The following specifications applied to the test
environments:

  • In both of the tested scenarios, Cumulative
    Update 5 (OCS_2007R2_CU5) was
    installed on all computers running Communications Server 2007 R2 and
    Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat Server.
  • In each test case, in order to simulate a complete
    failure of the primary site, all computers running Communications Server 2007
    R2 and Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat Server at the primary site were
    shut down before the failover process began.
  • At each site, Active Directory Domain Services
    existed and was up to date.
  • Backups of the primary SQL Server database were
    available to the secondary pool.

Overview of the Failover Process

The overall process for preparing a secondary Enterprise
pool involves the following high-level steps.

Important: For
details about these steps, download the white paper that this article is based
on, "Procedures for Performing a Disaster Recovery Failover in Office
Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat Server," from the Microsoft Download
Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=212655.

  1. Move the necessary user and service accounts to
    the secondary pool.
  2. Restore the database backup of the source
    (unavailable) pool to the secondary pool, and provide the necessary permissions
    to the Group Chat accounts for the restored database on the secondary pool.
  3. Remove references to the failed Group Chat
    Servers from the Group Chat database.
  4. Provide the necessary permissions to the target
    Group Chat Servers.
  5. Associate Group Chat Servers with the secondary
    pool by using Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat Server
    Configuration Tool.
  6. Start services.

Summary

Following the steps in the failover process helps your IT
organization properly failover Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat Server from
one pool to another and preserve its associated business environment. Providing
an IT organization the capability to quickly recover the platform - where an
entire site and Communications Server pool is lost - is critical for the organization.

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