Exchange Load Balancing

Exchange Load Balancing

Microsoft© Exchange load balancing solutions by A10 Networks, Array Networks, Kemp Technologies, Loadbalancer.Org and Martello Technologies

Following is a listing of product lines that we carry and how they assist with Load Balancing Microsoft Exchange. If you have questions or concerns about deploying any of them, or would like to discuss your organization’s unique needs, please feel welcome to contact us via the form below and one of our specialists will be happy to assist you.

Microsoft Exchange provides reliable messaging with built-in protection against spam and viruses. Using Exchange, users throughout an organization can access e-mail, voice mail, calendars, and contacts from a wide variety of devices and from any location.

The AX Series with its Advanced Core Operating System (ACOS) has been designed specifically for applications such as Exchange, providing better robustness in failover situations and performing intelligent load sharing of email processing.

The AX Series is a certified device on the Microsoft Technet “Hardware Load Balancers for Exchange Server 2010” list, providing advanced features and unique security benefits that can support and enhance all Exchange 2010 deployments

Adding the AX Series to all your Microsoft Exchange Server deployments provides the following benefits:

  • Higher Scalability – enterprises can provide Exchange services to a very high number of employees, load balancing them among multiple Exchange servers in parallel
  • High Availability – Exchange services are guaranteed even if an Exchange Server goes offline
  • Higher Performance – end users access their Exchange services faster thanks to multiple Exchange server optimizations such as, but not limited to, compression and SSL offload
  • Higher Security – protects services from DDoS attacks
  • Higher flexibility – different Exchange services can be accessible via the same public VIP

The deployment guide contains configuration procedures for AX Series application delivery controllers and server load balancers, to support a Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 solution.

Deploying Array Networks APV Series
Application Delivery Controllers with Microsoft Exchange 2013

Array APV Series application delivery controllers are certified by Microsoft to provide high availability for common business applications including Exchange, Sharepoint, Lync, Terminal Services and Active Directory Rights Management Services. In addition, our Microsoft load balancing solutions accelerate application performance while at the same time improving server efficiency and enhancing security.

In addition, Array’s aCelera WAN optimization controller speeds delivery of Microsoft applications such as SharePoint and System Center Configuration Manger by de-duplicating and compressing traffic, improving overall throughput and user experience.

  

  

For organizations deploying Exchange, Array has partnered with Microsoft to create a joint solution that intelligently optimizes and load balances Exchange traffic across CAS servers for the highest level of availability and a superior end-user experience.

Load Balancing Microsoft Server 2010

Microsoft Exchange Load Balancing

The big changes Microsoft has made to its core server architecture in 2010 create exciting new opportunities to manage the server infrastructure for always-on reliability and cluster-enabled application acceleration. Most important of these is Microsoft’s 2010 strategy to emphasize scaleout, rather than scale-up, making the right load balancing solution more critical than ever. Now that Client Access Server (CAS) is used to handle all client connections, there’s a well-defined endpoint for managing the delivery of an optimal user experience.

The KEMP LoadMaster combines versatility with ease-of-use to speed deployment of the complete portfolio of advanced messaging applications and protocols used by 2010, including Outlook Web App (OWA), Outlook Anywhere (OA), ActiveSync (EAS), Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), Post Office Protocol version 3 (POP3),Internet Message Access Protocol version 4 (IMAP4) and RPC Client Access (RPC CA).

With built-in SSL acceleration and/or overlay, the LoadMaster offloads a key source of CPU drain to improve the capacity of Client Access Servers. Layer 7 health checking at the LoadMaster ensures that should one of the servers become inaccessible, the load balancer will take that server off-line, while automatically re-routing and reconnecting users to other functioning servers.

The entire KEMP LoadMaster product family, including the Virtual LoadMaster (VLM) supports Microsoft 2010, and includes a comprehensive first year warranty and technical support agreement.

LoadMaster and Exchange

KEMP LoadMaster combines versatility with ease-of-use to speed deployment of the complete portfolio of advanced messaging applications and protocols used by Exchange 2010, including Outlook Web Access, Outlook Anywhere, ActiveSync, SMTP, POP3 and IMAP and RPC Client Access (Native MAPI). With built-in SSL acceleration and/or overlay, the LoadMaster offloads a key source of CPU drain to improve the capacity of Client Access Servers. Layer 7 health-checking at the LoadMaster ensures that should one of the servers become inaccessible, the load balancer will take that server off-line, while automatically re-routing and reconnecting users to other functioning servers. Not quite ready to make the move to Exchange 2010? KEMP LoadMasters integrate seamlessly with earlier versions of Exchange as well.

Load balancing Microsoft Exchange

More than ever, an organization needs cost-effective and flexible tools for communication. With Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 an organization can achieve new levels of reliability and performance with features that simplify your administration, help protect your communications, and meet your users demands for greater mobility.

Microsoft Exchange Server is Microsoft’s cornerstone of their Unified Communications solution, and is a flexible and reliable messaging platform that can help you lower your messaging costs by 50-80%, and also increase your organization’s productivity with “anywhere access” to business communications. It also safeguards your business with compliance and also protection capabilities that help you manage risk.

Organizations need to find a solution that is scalable when trying to deploy a Microsoft Exchange Server for high traffic throughput. To scale the deployment of the Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft recommends using a hardware load balancer to distribute the traffic among multiple Exchange servers.

Functionality of the Exchange system is split into five roles. Those which are mandatory are Mailbox, Client Access and Hub Transport. The Edge Transport and Unified Messaging roles are optional and depend on the infrastructure and operational requirements.

The Client Access Server Role (CAS) does not have any built-in load balancing functionality. The Hub Transport (HT) role does provide load balancing functionality for server to server mail traffic, but not external SMTP traffic that arrives from other applications or from outside the organization directly to the HT server. Therefore, it is a common requirement to load balance both the CAS and HT roles. In some cases only the CAS role is load balanced. The exact load balancing requirements depend on the number of servers in use and how / where the roles are deployed.

Microsoft Exchange Diagram

There are a number of ways that you can configure the load balancer for the CAS & HT roles. One of these methods uses two Virtual Servers (VIPs), one for the CAS role, one for the HT role. This keeps the configuration simple and enables the loadbalancer to be deployed quickly with minimal configuration.

Alternatively, the Exchange services can be split into a larger number of VIPs although this can be an unnecessary complication. However, this does allow the settings for each VIP to be customized (e.g. persistence/affinity options) and also allows additional more granular health-checks, i.e. one per VIP.