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Test Exchange clusters in VMware 4.0



If you're considering a move to a clustered Exchange server, you'll definitely want to stage and test your configuration before deploying it in a production environment. A quick way to accomplish this task is to use VMware. Here's how to install Exchange Server 2000 in a clustered environment using VMware 4.0 virtual machines.

Prerequisites
Prior to installing Exchange in a clustered VMware environment, you should review the following articles on how to configure your VMware clustered environment:

"Creating virtual machines for testing systems in VMware"

"Set up VMware to install Windows clusters"

"Install and configure Windows clustering in VMware"

Working through these articles will help you produce a working cluster. At this point, we'll begin the clustered installation of Exchange Server 2000.


Installing Exchange 2000 on VMware
In order to properly configure a Windows 2000 clustering environment with Exchange, you'll need to configure Active Directory with the Forestprep and Domainprep options. Next, you'll need to make sure you have Internet Information Server (IIS) installed. The default install of IIS will not suffice because you need to add the SMTP and NNTP components. Now let’s walk through the install.

Forestprep
Prior to installing Exchange, you must prepare the Active Directory forest for integration with Exchange objects. To carry out this task, type f:\setup\i386\setup.exe /forestprep in the Run menu (your CD may have a different drive letter). This will begin the forestprep wizard. Click Next and accept the Microsoft Exchange Agreement. If applicable, on the next screen you will enter your license information. Click Next to view the Select Components screen. The only option you have is to install the forestprep. Click Next and choose your installation type: Create A New Exchange Organization or Join Or Upgrade An Existing Exchange 5.5 Organization.

On the next screen, you can enter an Organization name followed by an Exchange 2000 administrator account. Finally, prior to the install completing, you will be notified by Exchange that it has recognized your cluster and that it will install the cluster-aware version of Exchange, as shown in Figure A. Once the install completes, click Finish.

Figure A


Domainprep
For the Domainprep installation, follow the same procedure as in the forestprep installation. The only difference is that you will type the following command to launch the domainprep install:
f:\setup\i386\setup.exe /domainprep

Exchange Server install
Once we have prepared Active Directory with the Forestprep and Domainprep installs of Exchange, we are ready to install Exchange on all nodes within our cluster.

To install Exchange on Node 1:
  1. Place the Exchange CD in the tray and wait for the splash screen to appear. Click Exchange Server Setup to continue.
  2. Next, review your licensing and enter your license key, if applicable.
  3. On the Component Selection screen, click the dropdown arrow and choose a typical installation. By choosing a typical installation, you are allowing the Messaging and Collaboration services and the System Management tools to be installed (Figure B). Make sure you choose the C: (or a local drive) on this component selection screen because you're installing Exchange in a cluster. Because of this, Exchange won't install the database files, but only the binaries that are stored locally on each node. Click Next to continue.
  4. On the next screen, you'll accept another license agreement. Exchange only supports per-seat licensing, so it's prompting you to make sure you are in compliance. Once you click Agree, you're shown the Component Summary screen listing all of the components you have chosen to install. If you agree, click Next.
  5. Now the installation shows you a progress bar and begins installing Exchange on the node you selected. At the end of the installation, click Finish and reboot the server.
  6. Now that you've finished installing Exchange on Node 1, perform Steps 1 through 5 on Node 2 of your Exchange cluster.

Figure B


Configure your resources
After you've installed the cluster-aware Exchange Server, you need to install the appropriate groups and resources for Exchange to work properly. This step is necessary because the cluster-aware installation of Exchange did not install any of the databases, just the software binaries on each local drive.

To configure your Exchange resources, start with these steps:
  1. Power up both Node 1 and Node 2 of your Exchange VMware cluster.
  2. On one of the nodes, open Cluster Administrator from the Start menu and right-click on the Groups folder. You can name this (disk) group anything you choose. Click Next.
  3. In the next window, choose a preferred owner of your group. The preferred owner is the primary host you specify to run the Exchange Services.
  4. When you've completed this task, click Finish.

Next, you'll need to configure an IP address resource for the cluster:
  1. Right-click on the disk group you just created and choose New | Resource.
  2. Enter a description, such as Exchange 2000 IP or something that lets you know what you're creating.
  3. Choose IP Address from the Resource Type dropdown menu.
  4. Make sure that the group that you created is specified in the group dropdown menu. For example, if I created an Exchange group called EXCH1, then this is what should appear in the group dropdown. Select it and click Next.
  5. In the Possible Owners window, choose all the nodes on which you're running Exchange Server 2000 by adding them to the Possible Owners field. Click Next.
  6. On the Dependencies window, you can specify which resources will be brought online by your cluster services first. Note: IP addresses have no dependencies. Click Next.
  7. Enter your Exchange IP address and choose Enable NetBIOS For This Address.
  8. Click Finish, and your resource is created.

Next, you'll create a Network Name resource. This set of steps essentially creates a NetBIOS name for the IP address you just created. To create a Network Name resource:
  1. Right-click on the disk group you created and choose New | Resource.
  2. Enter a Name and Description for this resource, such as Exchange NetBIOS Name.
  3. Select Network Name from the Resource Type dropdown list.
  4. Select your Exchange group from the dropdown list. Click Next.
  5. On the Possible Owners window, choose all the nodes on which you're running Exchange Server 2000 by adding them to the Possible Owners field. Click Next.
  6. In the Dependencies dialog box, add the IP address resource you created previously. Click Next.
  7. In the Network Name Parameters window, type the name you want to use for this particular resource. The name you choose should be registered with DNS and WINS.
  8. Click Finish.

Now that you have created your disk group and resources, you need to move the shared disk resource from the default group to the new group. When you first build a cluster in VMware, you create the disks that will be used as your shared storage. These disks are created and categorized in a folder called Disk Group 1 or Disk Group 0. For this next step, we will move one of these shared disks into our newly created group.

To move the shared disk resource:
  1. In Cluster Administrator, find the disk resource you would like to use. Once you've located the disk resource, drag and drop the resource to your newly created Exchange group.
  2. You will be prompted with a confirmation dialog box. Click Yes and you will be prompted with a second dialog box asking if you're sure. Click Yes.

You're now ready to bring everything online. In your Exchange group, right-click and bring all of your resources online. The final resource we need to create is the Exchange System Attendant. To create an Exchange System Attendant:
  1. Right-click on the disk group you just created and choose New | Resource.
  2. Enter a Name and Description, such as Exchange Attendant.
  3. Select Microsoft Exchange System Attendant from the Resource Type dropdown list.
  4. On the Possible Owners window, choose all the nodes on which you're running Exchange Server 2000 by adding them to the Possible Owners field. Click Next.
  5. In the Dependencies dialog box, add the Disk resource and the Network Name Resource to the Resource Dependencies box. Click Next.
  6. This screen displays the path to the Exchange database files. The default is C:\EXCHSRVR (replace C with the appropriate drive letter on your system)
  7. Click Finish.

With this final resource being created, the following resources are automatically added to your Exchange Group:
  • Exchange Information Store Instance
  • Exchange Message Transfer Agent Instance
  • Exchange Routing Service Instance
  • Exchange HTTP Virtual Server Instance
  • Exchange POP3 Virtual Server Instance
  • Exchange IMAP4 Virtual Server Instance
  • SMTP Virtual Server Instance

Once the above resources are created, you can bring each resource online. You have now successfully installed Exchange 2000 Server on Windows in your VMware clustered environment.
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