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Installing Exchange Server 2003 Clusters

 

Topic Last Modified: 2005-12-14

By Rob Wilcox.

This article is an overview of the procedure needed to install Microsoft® Exchange Server 2003 on a cluster server. This article also covers the changes that were made to the installation process itself.

Use the high level steps when you install Exchange Server 2003 on the cluster server:

  1. Run ForestPrep (if it has not been done yet).
  2. Run DomainPrep (if it has not been done yet).
  3. Make sure that the cluster service is running on each node.
  4. Make sure the required services and components are running on the node. The follow services need to be present on all nodes that host Exchange Server:
    • .NET Framework
    • ASP.NET
    • Internet Information Services (IIS)
    • World Wide Web Service
    • Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) service
    • Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP) service
  5. Run Exchange Server 2003 Setup
    noteNote:
    No popup message will appear that indicates Setup is running on the cluster server.
  6. Repeat steps 1 through 5 on the other node of the cluster.
    After you repeat these steps, you can create the Exchange Server 2003 Virtual Server.
  7. Create the group to host the Exchange Virtual Server.
  8. Create an IP Address resource.
  9. Create a Network Name resource.
  10. Add a disk resource for the Exchange Virtual Server.
  11. Create an Exchange Server 2003 System Attendant resource. This resource automatically creates the rest of the Exchange resources.

When you set up a cluster, you should pay particular attention to the following things:

  • Changed Permissions Requirements
  • Installation of DTC resource
  • Additional Network Name properties
  • Last screen of new Virtual Server creation wizard
  • POP3 and IMAP4 resources are not created by default

To successfully create, delete, or modify an Exchange 2000 Server Exchange Virtual Server (EVS), the Microsoft Windows® 2000 Advanced Server cluster service account required Exchange Full Administrator permissions at the organization level if it was the first EVS in the organization. If it was not the first EVS in the organization, it required Exchange Full Administrator on the Administration Group into which it was being installed.

In Exchange Server 2003, the permissions have changed to remove this requirement. Any person or application that runs as the Windows 2000 Advanced Server cluster service account has the ability to affect service levels for an Exchange 2000 Server organization, without having to have rights on the Exchange Organization itself.

After the last Exchange 2000 Server EVS has been successfully upgraded to Exchange Server 2003, the cluster service account for that cluster can be removed from the organization/Administration Group permissions using the delegate control wizard. Remember that if that account is used by other Exchange 2000 Server clusters, you will have to leave the permissions in place until they have been upgraded to Exchange Server 2003.

If the Distributed Transaction Coordinator (DTC) resource is not created on the cluster before Exchange Server 2003 Setup starts, a popup message is immediately displayed.

Popup Error for DTC resource not created

You must create a DTC resource before proceeding.

To create a DTC resource using the command line
  • At a command prompt, run Comclust.exe.

noteNote:
If the command is not recognized from your current path, you may need to go to %systemroot%\system32 folder to run this command.

This command creates the DTC resource shown in the following figure.

Screenshot of DTC Resource Creation from command

Although not the preferred method for creating the DTC resource, you can create it manually. However, under some conditions, a manually created DTC may not start properly; use the command line method to resolve this problem.

To manually create the DTC resource
  1. From Cluster Administrator (on any cluster node), under Groups, right-click Cluster Group, point to New, and then click Resource.

  2. From New Resource, in the Name box, type Distributed Transaction Coordinator.

  3. In the Resource type list, select Distributed Transaction Coordinator

  4. In the Group list, make sure Cluster Group is selected, and then click Next

  5. Verify that all nodes appear in the Possible owners list, and then click Next.

  6. Select the Quorum disk and Cluster Name resources as dependencies.

  7. Click Finish.

  8. Right-click Cluster Group, and then click Bring Online.

noteNote:
Although it is possible to create a DTC resource under Exchange cluster group (if it is created manually), the correct procedure is to create it under the Cluster group.

When you view the properties of Network Name resource, you see two options on the Parameters tab.

Screenshot of the Network Name Resource Props
  • DNS Registration Must Succeed   Specifies whether the network name must be registered with a DNS server before the Network Name Resource can be brought online. If this is selected and the network name is not registered in DNS, the Network Name resource will fail.
  • Enable Kerberos Authentication   Specifies whether Kerberos authentication is allowed for client connections. If this is checked, clients can use Kerberos when making the authenticated connection to this virtual server's Network Name resource.

The last page of the new Exchange Virtual Server Wizard contains additional administration instructions.

Screenshot of EVS Summary (last) screen.

By default, on Exchange Server 2003 clusters, the POP3 and IMAP4 resources are not created. If you create them manually, you need to set a dependency on the System Attendant; this dependency is mandatory.

Cluster Administrator Screen Shot
 
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