Exchange DAG protection questions (storage, Linux, the meaning of dedicated).

etomcatetomcat Posts: 1,318 Superuser

Dear Sirs,

 

A hungarian customer has been using a single-server Exchange setup, but now they want to build an Exchange 2016 DAG with 2 members and continue using FSAV ESS 12.11 on that. They have some questions left even after the reading the cluster deployment guide:

1., How much quarantine storage space requirement should they assume?

So far I only found this guidance: "As a minimum requirement, Quarantine database should have the capacity to store information about all incoming and outgoing mail to and from your organization that would normally be sent during 2-3 workdays."

2., The customer wants to place the quarantine storage area on a Linux-based file server, because they think it would be safer that way.

- I think granting that wish isn't possible, because the implementation document says this: "For the Database Availability Group (DAG) installation, the quarantine storage must be set on a dedicated computer. This computer has to be a member in the same domain with Exchange Servers."

 

However, Microsoft Corp. insists a Linux computer cannot be a true member of a domain, if "domain" means Active Directory membership. Is Samba imitation good enough for this purpose or worth trying?

- I think any quarantined content is stored in encrypted form by FSAV Exchange protection, so it's harmless even if located on a Windows file server. Thus the customer's worries are unfounded and there is no need for involving a Linux server. Can you confirm this?

3., If they must use a Windows-based server for storing the quarantine, is it really impossible to utilize a DAG member for that purpose and do they really have to provide a dedicated 3rd computer?

 

I think they need a non-DAG computer for that, because the document says: "For the Database Availability Group (DAG) installation, the quarantine storage must be set on a dedicated computer." However, they really want a confirmation on this issue.

 

Thanks in advance, Yours Sincerely:

Tamas Feher, 2F 2000 Kft., Hungary.

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  • etomcatetomcat Posts: 1,318 Superuser

    Hello,

     

    This is the response I've just from received from F-Secure partner support:

     

    Q - How much quarantine storage space requirement should customer assume?

    A - Regarding this question, it depends on the volume of mail traffic, mailboxes, attachments etc the customer has. We can't really say for sure as we don't have this information. The documentation says: "As minimum requirement, Quarantine database should have the capacity to store information about all incoming and outgoing mail to and from your organization that would normally be sent during 2-3 days.

    Q - The customer wants to place the quarantine storage area on a Linux-based file server, because they think it would be safer that way.

    A - As you said, they need to place it on a computer part of the domain, as the user account used has to be part of the domain to ensure proper access and permission. In this case a Samba server situation is not supported.

    Q - I think any quarantined content is stored in encrypted form by FSAV Exchange protection, so it's harmless even if located on a Windows file server. Thus the customer's worries are unfounded and there is no need for involving a Linux server. Can you confirm this?

    A - The quarantine is stored in a way that can be opened by our software only, but it is not encrypted. It is not advised to encrypt the folder containing the quarantine as it will impact the performance on read and write operations.

    Q - If they must use a Windows-based server for storing the quarantine, is it really impossible to utilize a DAG member for that purpose and do they really have to provide a dedicated 3rd computer?

    A - In this case I advise to follow the documentation as it states the supported scenarios. It is possible that if they install a MSSQL server on the same server and point to it, it will work, but this can impact the performance, and since it's not a supported scenario according to the documentation, if there are any issues, we won't be able to support it as it is not tested.

     

    Best Regards: Tamas Feher, Hungary.

    VadHoudini
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