Exchange Server 2007: Recover a Non-Mailbox Role

1/19/2011 8:59:11 AM
Problem : There are other server types to be concerned about, such as the Client Access server, the Hub and Edge Transport servers, and the Unified Messaging servers. How do we prepare for a disaster involving these important servers?

Solution : A variety of ways to restore servers exist; however, Exchange makes the procedure much easier with many of the server roles because the primary configuration data is stored in AD.

So, imagine a server has crashed with one of the four roles internal to your network (MB, CAS, HT, or UM). You can restore the roles themselves (let’s not worry about MB at this point; we’ve covered quite a bit already regarding the restoration of the databases) by running the setup /m:RecoverServer command.

Perhaps you’ve purchased a whole new server and want that server role back up and running, or let’s say you have another server that is running a different role and you want to put the role back on that server. You can do this thanks to the AD connection.

To start with, you need to reset the computer account within AD. Then the new server can join up without a conflict with the older configuration data. To do this, perform the following:

Select Start, Administrative Tools, and then Active Directory Users and Computers.

Locate the computer object for the failed server.

Right-click the server and choose Reset Account.

With the new server, you need to configure the same number of disk drives as the original and assign the disks with the same drive letters. After you have everything in place, install Windows Server and make sure the name is the same as the failed server and join the domain.

When you go to install Exchange, type setup.com /m:recoverserver, which will ask AD to restore the roles and settings that are stored to this server.

Keep in mind that customized settings and files on the server (depending on the type of server it was, such as UM, CAS, and so on) might require manual restoration.

Server Restore Points to Remember

Each server role still has pieces you might want to be aware of and ensure the recovery of in the event of a problem. For example:

  • Client Access Server— Has IIS services running that require you to back up and restore the IIS metabase data. Microsoft offers direction to back up the data and a script to restore it at: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb124359(EXCHG.80).aspx.

  • Unified Messaging— Some of the audio recordings that are associated with the UM server may be located in AD (such as the recorded name). If the UM server was the prompt publishing point for a dial plan, those files might be missing. If it wasn’t the publishing point, those files might be intact.

  • Hub Transport Server— You might want to alter the procedure with these. Instead type setup.com /m:RecoverServer /DoNotStartTransport. The reasoning is that you do not want to have the server come to life and begin sending messages here and there. Ensure the configuration is correct before you start up the transport service.

Edge Transport Recovery

The data is not held in AD logically, so these require a bit of manual intervention to recover. You need to export the configuration of the server. Microsoft provides a script to do this.

To use the script, perform the following:

On the Edge Transport server, open the EMS.

Navigate to the scripts folder, which is usually located where you installed Exchange. The standard location you are looking for is C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\Scripts.

Type ./ExportEdgeConfig.ps1 -cloneConfigData: “DriveLetter:\EdgeBackupFile.xml” and then press Enter.

After you see the confirmation message, you can locate and move that file to another server for backup.

If you need to restore an Edge Transport server that has crashed—whether with a new server or new disk—install Server and all the service packs and hotfixes.

Install Exchange normally as an Edge Transport server. Use the same server name.

Run the ImportEdgeConfig.ps1 script. This creates an answer file based upon the .xml file you created earlier. You might need to edit the answer file to ensure you have the proper data, log paths, Send connector information, and so forth.

Run the ImportEdgeConfig.ps1 script again, but this time it will restore the server using the answer file you adjusted and bring your server back to its original configuration.

After you finish, run the EdgeSync process between a Hub Transport server and your newly restored Edge Transport server to restore communications between the two.

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  •  Exchange Server 2007: Design and Deploy Disaster Recovery Settings - Use Dial-Tone Restores
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