Does GOexchange® Support Clustering?

What type of clustering does GOexchange support?

How GOexchange Views Clustered Servers.

The physical server name or "Cluster Node" name is always the displayed server name in the GOexchange Console.

How Many Exchange Virtual Servers (EVS) Attached to a Cluster Node Can GOexchange Maintain?

GOexchange® supports a one-to-one relationship between an EVS and a Cluster Node.  During installation and licensing, the Administrator is asked to identify the EVS name that is active on the node/server where GOexchange® resides.  Normally there should only be one EVS selection; however under certain circumstances, it is possible to have more than one EVS available for selection.

EXAMPLE:  With an Active/Active Cluster there are at least two Cluster Nodes and two EVSes.

Scenario 1

In the scenario above there is a one to one relationship between the Cluster Nodes and the EVSes, GOexchange will only see one EVS during installation and licensing.  However if Cluster Node2 fails, then EVS2 will fail over to Cluster Node1.  In this case EVS1 and EVS2 are operational on Cluster Node1.

Scenario 2

In this scenario GOexchange® will see two EVSes that are active/operational on Cluster Node1.  Therefore, during installation or licensing the Administrator will need to designate which of the EVSes will be managed by GOexchange®.

NOTE: GOexchange® can only maintain one EVS.  If multiple EVSes are attached to a Cluster Node, GOexchange® will only maintain the EVS that was designated during installation or licensing and will ignore all other EVSes.


Clustering Terminology

Defining a Cluster in Windows 2000/2003

A cluster is a group of independent computers that work together to run a common set of applications and provide the image of a single system to the client and application.  The computers are physically connected by cables and programmatically connected by cluster software.  These connections allow computers to use failover and load balancing, which is not possible with a stand-alone computer.

Cluster Administrator

Administrators use cluster management applications to configure, control, and monitor clusters. Cluster Administrator exists for this purpose. You can install Cluster Administrator on Windows 2000 Professional, Windows 2000 Server, and Windows 2000 Advanced Server, regardless of whether it is a cluster node.  Cluster Administrator allows you to manage cluster objects, establish groups, initiate failover, handle maintenance, and monitor cluster activity through a convenient graphical interface.

Cluster Nodes

A Cluster Node is a physical "Individual Computer" that has a working installation of Windows 2000/2003 Advanced Server and the Cluster Service. By definition a "Node" is always a member of a server cluster.  Each Cluster Node has a unique name.

Exchange Virtual Servers

Exchange Virtual Servers (EVS) are an important concept in an Exchange 2000, 2003, or 2007 cluster.  An EVS acts as a stand-alone server.  Clients connect to the EVS just as they do to a regular server.  The EVS is the basic unit of failover.  If a resource fails in the EVS, then the Cluster service tries to restart the resource.  If the resource fails multiple times, then the Cluster service moves the entire EVS to another node.

Active Groups

Within the Cluster Administrator, all currently active/operational EVSes that are attached to the Cluster Node are displayed in the "Active Groups" container under the Cluster Node.

See Also: Licensing Clusters