Remove a DAG with Active Databases and other Exchange Tricks

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More Summer Fun! We are preparing to install Exchange 2013 in our environment to replace our Exchange 2010. Our Exchange 2010 platform runs on our 3-node Hyper-V cluster with 5 virtual hosts and one physical as follows:
1 – Edge Server
2 – CAS Servers in an NLB Cluster
2 – Mailbox Servers in a DAG
1 – Unified Messaging Server (physical machine)

With the Exchange 2013 role redesign, I’ve decided to move to a HA configuration instead of CAS Arrays and DAGs. This will simplify management for my team. Our new platform will look like:
1 – Edge Server (Exchange 2010 Edge Transport because Microsoft wants you to move to their Cloud Services)
1 – Client Access Server
1 – Mailbox (Hosting 2 Mailbox Databases for staff)
1 – Mailbox (Hosting Archive Database and Unified Messaging)

Anyways, in preparation for the upgrade, I upgraded all the servers to Exchange 2010 SP3 and decided to nuke the failover capabilities before the upgrade to simplify things. Removing the CAS Array is a simple matter of removing the nodes and fixing a few DNS entries and mail routes.

Removing the DAG caused a little bit more anxiety as it affects our production databases and you have to click buttons that say Remove or Delete (my least favorite part of server administration).

Took a bit of Google work but I finally found a well written article to assist: Decommissioning Exchange 2010 DAG

I also had issues (doesn’t everyone) removing the Public Folder Replica. I don’t like having to resort to ADSIEdit but I’m pretty sure everyone thats ever tried to remove a legacy PF database has had to.

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