- Does it need to be the exact same hardware if users have to be live on a DR site after it is brought up, in case of disaster?
- Can the DR hardware be different than production? That is, can I restore an Exchange backup onto different hardware and get the users up and running on it?
- Can we restore the Exchange database from a clustered environment onto a standalone Exchange server?
The hardware in your DR site does not need to exactly match the hardware in your live production site. Ideally you would want the specifications to be as close as possible so that performance doesn't suffer as a result of the outage. The hardware does not have to be the same type, as well. For example, you could be using an HP system for production and have your DR system be a Dell, and so forth.
Databases that were on clustered Exchange servers can be restored to non-clustered systems. If, however, you do restore to a DR cluster, you can use the instructions at in MSKB 321068, HOW TO: Restore an Exchange 2000 cluster after a complete cluster failure to do this.
This was first published in April 2003