File Share Witness (FSW) on non-Exchange Server

Microsoft is shifting focus on Load Balancing solutions. During TechEd 2010 in Berlin it was announced that Windows Network Load Balancing (NLB) is no longer recommended (but still supported) and that the recommendation will be to use a hardware load balancer.

Another new recommendation is to use combined Exchange server with all three Server Roles, i.e. Hub Transport, Client Access and Mailbox Server Role when possible.

When using a Database Availability Group (DAG) you have to use a server outside the DAG as a File Share Witness (FSW). Normally an Exchange 2010 Hub Transport Server is recommended for FSW usage, but when using a two node DAG each with three Server roles an additional Hub Transport Server might not be available.

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Exchange 2010 Hosting mode revisited

I already blogged earlier about the multi-tenant hosting possibilities in Exchange 2010 SP1 when using the /hosting switch during installation. This provides a true multi-tenant Exchange 2010 environment but lacks quite an amount of functionality, like Public Folders, the Unified Messaging Role, Lync Server 2010 multi-tenant integration (although an update on this is expected later this year) and provisioning difficulties. You can read my two earliers blog post on Exchange 2010 hoster edition and Exchange 2010 SP1 hosting & Control Panel. Although it is doable, it is difficult at the same time.

With the upcoming Service Pack 2 for Exchange 2010 there’s nothing new with respect to the Hoster Edition, but for a normal installation (also referred to as on-premises installation) a new feature called Address Book Policies (ABP) will be presented. The new ABP feature is the successor of the Exchange 2007 Address List Segregation (which is not supported in Exchange 2010 since it might horribly break Exchange 2010). This makes it easier for non hosting customers to implement multiple address lists without using the /hosting switch (please remember you need to be a registered hoster to officially use the hoster edition of Exchange 2010 SP1).

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