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Microsoft support policy for Exchange Server installations that are running with a third-party Cluster service


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Summary

This article describes the Microsoft support services that are currently available for Microsoft Exchange Server installations that are running with a third-party Cluster service.

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Microsoft Product Support Services (PSS) supports Microsoft Exchange Server clustering based on the failover clustering features of the Microsoft Cluster Service (MSCS). The MSCS is provided with applicable versions of Microsoft Windows operating system software. To be fully supported by PSS, a Microsoft Exchange installation that is running on MSCS must be installed on hardware that has passed Windows Catalog testing as a cluster system. For more information about the Microsoft support policy for server clusters and the HCL, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
309395 The Microsoft support policy for server clusters, the Hardware Compatibility List, and the Windows Server Catalog
Several third-party vendors offer clustering services and solutions for applicable versions of Microsoft Windows operating system software that do not rely on MSCS. We do not perform in-depth testing of applicable versions of Windows or Exchange Server software with such vendor services and solutions. Additionally, there is no Microsoft hardware or application certification program for these solutions. Therefore, we cannot provide information about the actual performance or interaction of third-party clustering services and solutions that are running Exchange.

PSS will try to help a customer troubleshoot and provide support for an Exchange-related issue when Exchange is installed on a third-party clustering solution. PSS will try to help a customer with such issues until it is reasonably believed that the cause of the issue is an incompatibility between the third-party clustering solution and Exchange. As part of making this determination, PSS may try to independently reproduce the issue. If the issue cannot be reproduced in a fully supported Exchange clustering environment (for example, MSCS clustering on a Windows Catalog certified cluster system), PSS may refer the affected customer to the vendor of the third-party clustering solution, or suggest removing the third-party solution to help resolve the issue.

To be very clear, removal of the third-party clustering solution is not a precondition to receiving PSS�s support services. However, if less drastic troubleshooting efforts do not effectively resolve the issue, and there is a reasonable basis for PSS to believe that the third-party clustering solution may be the cause of the problem, PSS may have to request that the customer remove the third-party solution in order to continue troubleshooting. Otherwise, PSS may have to refer the customer to the vendor of the third-party clustering solution for additional troubleshooting support.

The customer will be completely responsible for engaging a vendor�s support organization. PSS will try to provide the customer with reasonable assistance in working with a vendor�s support organization to help resolve a customer�s Cluster service issues. However, PSS should not be considered the primary liaison between the customer and the vendor. We strongly recommend that customers develop support relationships with each vendor whose hardware or software is part of their respective Exchange solution.

The following table outlines the specific versions of Exchange Server and Windows software that are required to create MSCS-based clusters are that running Exchange.
Exchange versionOperating system version
Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 EnterpriseMicrosoft Windows Server 2003 Enterprise
Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Datacenter
Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Enterprise SP1Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Enterprise
Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Datacenter
Windows Server 2008
Microsoft Exchange 2003 Enterprise Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Enterprise
Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Datacenter
Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server
Microsoft Exchange 2000 Enterprise Edition Windows 2000 Advanced Server
Windows 2000 Datacenter Server
Microsoft Exchange Server version 5.5 with Service Pack 3 (SP3) or later versionsWindows 2000 Advanced Server
Windows 2000 Datacenter Server
Microsoft Windows NT 4.0
For more information about the configurations for Exchange running on MSCS-based clusters that we recommend, visit one or both of the following Microsoft Web sites: For more information about how to run Exchange in a cluster configuration that includes Active Directory domain controllers that are installed on any one of the cluster member computers, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
898634 Active Directory domain controllers are not supported as Exchange Server cluster nodes

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Keywords: KB810986, kbinfo, kbclustering, kbpolicy

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Article Info
Article ID : 810986
Revision : 8
Created on : 11/27/2007
Published on : 11/27/2007
Exists online : False
Views : 373