Moving Lake Washington School District to Exchange Server 2010

The Lake Washington School District, which serves the cities of Kirkland, Redmond, and Sammamish, Washington, needed to upgrade its Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 environment to Exchange Server 2010.

Business issue and requirements

The scope of this multiphase project required providing the school district with a new Exchange environment capable of hosting 17,000 mailboxes and taking advantage of new server virtualization and availability features in Exchange Server 2010. The new High Availability feature in Exchange Server 2010 provides a simplified, unified framework for both high availability and disaster recovery to ensure failover protection.

Solution

Wadeware designed a new Exchange architecture for the district that runs on new hardware and reduces the number of physical servers in the environment. The new architecture requires three physical servers, and each physical server runs two virtual servers: a virtualized Exchange Mailbox server, and a virtualized Exchange Hub Transport and Client Access server.

To take advantage of the High Availability feature, Wadeware created a Database Availability Group (DAG) that includes each of the three virtual Mailbox servers, as well as Mailbox databases on each physical server that replicate to each other for failover protection. Two virtual mailbox servers are associated with each physical server so that one mailbox server is active while the other one is passive. The new Exchange environment design takes advantage of logical unit number (LUN) architecture options in Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V that allow each physical server to be abstracted virtually from the server hardware. The results of this new design include increased availability, more management and user features, lower computer overhead costs, and a delighted client.