Customizing Your Exchange Cluster Configuration


When you deploy Exchange Server 2003 in a cluster, you must accept many default settings. For example, your Exchange cluster is made up of Exchange Virtual Servers that are created using the New Group Wizard. However, this wizard does not allow you to configure all the possible failover options for your Exchange Virtual Servers. Similarly, the New Resource Wizard, which creates an Exchange System Attendant resource for your Exchange Virtual Server, automatically creates the remaining Exchange resources, like the Exchange store and the MTA, using the default settings for each of these additional resources.

Because initial cluster deployment typically involves so many default settings, you may have to customize your cluster configuration settings. This customization is important not only to achieve your cluster objectives, but also to obtain optimal cluster performance. Incorrect cluster configuration is the source of many of the Exchange-related issues handled by Microsoft Product Support Services. Therefore, carefully follow the recommendations in this chapter to make sure that your clusters perform optimally.


If you upgraded your Exchange cluster from Exchange 2000 to Exchange 2003, you can ignore this section about customizing your cluster configuration because your configuration settings will not have changed.

There are two levels of settings that you may want to adjust in your Exchange cluster configuration:

  • Settings for the Exchange Virtual Servers.

  • Settings for the Exchange resources that are associated with a specific Exchange Virtual Server.

For a simplified example of the configuration settings for a four-node cluster, see "Configuration Settings for a Four-Node Cluster."