NetApp’s SnapMirror Reflection: Time-saving Technology Tip
It always makes me feel good when I can help a client utilize the technology they own to solve an issue. I was recently working with a client to add additional database copies to their Microsoft Exchange 2010 environment. We went through a storage design and provisioned the solution easily enough. My work was almost complete when the Exchange administrator told me it was taking a long time to seed all the passive copies.
We checked out the architecture and verified that Exchange was configured correctly. After looking at the size of the Exchange databases it made sense that we were seeing long seed times. Everything was working as expected; it was just a lot of data to replicate, with thousands of users and multiple DAGs over multiple sites.
Because the environment was built on NetApp storage we were able to utilize NetApp’s SnapMirror to seed the additional database copies. It reduced the time to replicate the databases by about 66% and it was simple to implement.
We setup the mirrors with a passive copy of the database as the source, mirrored the data, broke and released the mirror and then added the additional copy to the DAG with an Exchange Management Shell command similar to this:
Add-mailboxdatabasecopy –identity ‘DB1′ –mailboxserver‘exchmbserver1’ –SeedingPostponed
The option to postpone seeding is the important part of this command. It worked like a charm and made the client very happy. I’m thinking it would be nice to see this functionality built into NetApp’s SnapDrive. Maybe NetApp will pick up on that. In the meantime I think I will be using this technique with other clients. I hope that you find it useful, too.