Remove a DAG with Active Databases and other Exchange Tricks


More Summer Fun! We are preparing to install Exchange 2013 in our environment to replace our Exchange 2010. Our Exchange 2010 platform runs on our 3-node Hyper-V cluster with 5 virtual hosts and one physical as follows:
1 – Edge Server
2 – CAS Servers in an NLB Cluster
2 – Mailbox Servers in a DAG
1 – Unified Messaging Server (physical machine)

With the Exchange 2013 role redesign, I’ve decided to move to a HA configuration instead of CAS Arrays and DAGs. This will simplify management for my team. Our new platform will look like:
1 – Edge Server (Exchange 2010 Edge Transport because Microsoft wants you to move to their Cloud Services)
1 – Client Access Server
1 – Mailbox (Hosting 2 Mailbox Databases for staff)
1 – Mailbox (Hosting Archive Database and Unified Messaging)

Anyways, in preparation for the upgrade, I upgraded all the servers to Exchange 2010 SP3 and decided to nuke the failover capabilities before the upgrade to simplify things. Removing the CAS Array is a simple matter of removing the nodes and fixing a few DNS entries and mail routes.

Removing the DAG caused a little bit more anxiety as it affects our production databases and you have to click buttons that say Remove or Delete (my least favorite part of server administration).

Took a bit of Google work but I finally found a well written article to assist: Decommissioning Exchange 2010 DAG

I also had issues (doesn’t everyone) removing the Public Folder Replica. I don’t like having to resort to ADSIEdit but I’m pretty sure everyone thats ever tried to remove a legacy PF database has had to.

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