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H&R Reit ensures applications uptime and redundancy for its Microsoft Exchange Server with StarWind VSAN

Published: July 16, 2019

StarWind appeared to be the hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) solutions that meet our budget and able to work with the existing hardware without significant changes.

Edrissa Jarju, IT manager

PROBLEM

Before deployment StarWind Virtual SAN (VSAN), H&R Reit had a single-server infrastructure for its Microsoft Exchange Server. The main problem with this existing architecture was connected with email service downtime risks. The environment lacked redundancy, resulting in an inappropriate amount of recovery time. The servers had redundancy at storage, in network connections, but lacked it at the host level. H&R Reit implemented a solution in place to address a host level failure based on Veeam Backup & Replication to a backup host, but it didn’t work in the long run. H&R Reit was to look for a solution that used existing hardware resources even if they were dissimilar to avoid costly options of replacing them. Moreover, the company didn’t want to use expensive SAN shared storage with the possibility of a single point of failure (SPOF). Hyperconverged technology was the only option that met the company’s expectations on creating a failover cluster with shared storage and avoiding SPOF. The hyperconverged solution didn’t require ripping everything apart and starting all over again. And most importantly, it allowed achieving the company’s objectives at a reasonable cost and ensured a smooth transition plan with minimum service disruption. Before opting for StarWind VSAN, H&R Reit explored other hyperconverged offerings like VMware vSAN and Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct (S2D). Still, the factors of the hardware dissimilarity, version of the hypervisors, and budget constraints excluded these as solutions.

SOLUTION

StarWind VSAN appeared to be the hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) solution that met H&R Reit’s budget and was able to work with the existing hardware without significant changes. StarWind VSAN provided a means to create a two-host failover VMware cluster, two-host Windows Server cluster, and 2-member Microsoft Exchange DAG cluster. This solved the risk exposure of the previous infrastructure at a much lower cost than the other solutions explored. The new setup allows concurrent maintainability of the components supporting the electronic mail service. Windows and Exchange Server updates can be carried out without shutting down the email service. Since its implementation, StarWind VSAN works consistently well and meets the company’s requirements. Also, StarWind worked closely with H&R Reit as the company explored its HCI as a solution. StarWind engineers answered all the questions before a decision was made. They are available 24/7 and quick to respond to the company’s service calls.

H&R

About the Company

H&R Reit is a Canadian property developer and management company. It manages high-end commercial properties and other facilities.

Company Profile

Property Development & Management Company

Contact Person

Edrissa Jarju,
IT manager