Blocking automatic activation in DAGs

After the post on Exchange 2010’s Active Manager I received a question on the possibilities to block automatic activation of database copies in a DAG. There could be legitimate reasons for wanting this, like when you want to prevent remote database copies in a secondary data center from being activated automatic.

The blockade can be created on two levels:

  • Server – this prevents automatic activation for any database copy hosted on that server;
  • Database Copy – this prevents automatic activation for a specific database copy hosted on a specific server.

To block all database copies on DAG member <ServerID> from becoming activated automatically, use:

Set-MailboxServer –Identity <ServerID> – DatabaseCopyAutoActivationPolicy Blocked

To enable all database copies on DAG member <ServerID> for automatic activation again, use:

Set-MailboxServer –identity <ServerID> –DatabaseCopyAutoActivationPolicy Unrestricted

To block automatic activation on the database copy level, use the Suspend-mailboxDatabaseCopy. For example, to block the database copy of DatabaseID from automatic activation on ServerID, use:

Suspend-MailboxDatabaseCopy –identity <DatabaseID>\<ServerID> –ActivationOnly

To enable automatic activation again for this database copy on the specified server, use Resume-MailboxDatabaseCopy, like:

Resume-MailboxDatabaseCopy –identity <DatabaseID>\<ServerID>

Be advised that contrary to what the name of the cmdlet might suggest, using Suspend in conjunction with ActivationOnly and Resuming an activation blocked database copy does not affect the replication process for that database copy.

6 thoughts on “Blocking automatic activation in DAGs

  1. Thank you for your article.
    How can I manually activate DBs on the other end if DAG setup “DatabaseCopyAutoActivationPolicy Blocked”

    • Or if I use “Suspend-MailboxDatabaseCopy –identity \ –ActivationOnly” for particular DB. How can I manually activate DB?

      Thank you

      • If I understand your question correctly, you want to activate a blocked database which isn’t possible. You can block it on the server and database level, and that’s also the level where you need to unblock it. If you block it on the server level and want to unblock on the database level, that’s not possible; you can unblock it on the server level and block per database.

        Hope that answers your question.

        • Thank you for your reply.
          We have Exchange 2010 DAG in two data-centers, we have setup all active DBs located in first data-center (Mailbox server + CAS array [witness]) and copy DBs in second data-center (mailbox server). Than we use following command to suspend database copy activation “Suspend-MailboxDatabaseCopy –identity \ –ActivationOnly”.
          My question is, how we should activate DBs copy in second data-center if mailbox server in first data-center stop working and what happened if mailbox server will start-up later in first data-center.

          Thank you

          • 1) When blocked, automatic activation is also blocked so you need to manually deblock and activate the 2nd copies. Blocking is mostly used to prevent lagged copies becoming active.
            2) When the 2nd copies are active and you fire up the first DC, the databases in the first DC will be (re)synchronized. They won’t be activated automatically.

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