This article contains recommendations on how a Microsoft Exchange defrag operation should be carried out on a Neverfail Heartbeat server.
Following Microsoft guidelines, an offline defrag can only be carried out when Microsoft Exchange is stopped. Whilst it is possible to run an offline defrag with Neverfail Heartbeat running, it is a fairly intensive process, especially with large databases on production servers. The following procedure is recommended:
Running a defrag operation on Neverfail Heartbeat server pair with Microsoft Exchange
1. Check File System Status and Registry Status are both ‘Synchronized’. From the Neverfail Heartbeat Management Client on the Primary Active server, click the ‘Shutdown’ button.
2. When prompted choose to stop the protected application also, which is Exchange.
3. Run the offline Microsoft Exchange defrag utility as required on your data stores.
4. Start Neverfail Heartbeat on the Primary and Secondary server (this will start Exchange too as normal).
5. Microsoft recommends performing a full backup after the defrag operation because previous backups will restore the database to its previous state before the defrag.
6. The full system check will ensure that the changes are sent to the passive server.
The full system check from step 6 means there is no need to perform an offline defrag on the passive server.
The backup from step 5 could be performed before or after the full system check, however the sooner you perform the backup the better.