Friday, September 16, 2005

Exchange Cluster Build

What a couple of days it has been. I dug myself into a hole when I said I could have this Microsoft Exchange cluster built by today. First, I had a hard time even finding the servers that were already racked and connected. Even then, it was tough to figure out what monitor and keyboard they were connected to. Just that wasted half a days worth of work.

Then, two days where the production servers were having various problems that took most of both days fix, monitor, and manage. So, there goes another day and a half that I should have been working on the new cluster build.

I got right back to the build of the new cluster and started having more problems, it turned out that the servers were plugged into network ports that were not configured for the right VLAN. That would have been quick to figure out, except the cables weren’t labeled with the switch ports they connected to, so when I talked to the network guy, he didn’t know what ports I was talking about, and said, find the ports or MAC addresses and give me a call back. I found the ports, and for a backup, got the MAC addresses, and about fifteen minutes later, I called the network guy back but he had left for the day. We finally got it on the network first thing the following day, yesterday.

Enter, the SAN problems. I had been used to NetApp and HP SANs for the most part, but here, they use EMC. Shouldn’t be a problem, right? Wrong. I had all kinds of version conflicts with Windows 2003, the QLogic HBA drivers, and EMC’s PowerPath software. Eventually, I had to open up a support case with EMC that took two hours for them to respond to. After much back and forth e-mail with the EMC technician, I was able to get everything just right so it would work.

Since then, its been smooth sailing. Cluster server is installed, all the disks are configured, and Exchange is setup and running. Right now, I’m just waiting for the backup guy to do his thing and I’ll finish up. I might actually be done the build today, but I’ll still need another day or two for testing and review.



Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

I mean, noob.

damn, I just owned myself. I suck.