Managing DAG: Modifying a DAG Witness Server

This entry is part 1 of 7 in the series Managing DAG in Exchange 2013

In the previous post we went over the process to configure a Witness Server and on this post we are planning to move the DAG Witness Server to a different server and you there are a couple of reasons  for an Exchange Admin to perform such task.

First, if the current Witness Server is being decommissioned and we need to bring a new one; the second good reason is that you are moving to a more robust solution, let’s say you started small with 2 DAG member in your main location and now you want to deploy a second Datacenter and use a third datacenter to host your DAG Witness Server to provide automatic failover.


For this post let’s say that we have a DAG with 4 members: 2 in Toronto (main site) and 2 in Porto Alegre (DR site) and we are going to move our current witness server to a third datacenter located in Paris (voilà I was able to fit my 3 favourites cities in a single scenario :) ).

image1 Managing DAG: Modifying a DAG Witness Server

Modifying the existent DAG…

We can chance the DAG Witness Server using either the EAC (Exchange Admin Center) or Exchange Management Shell, for this series the default tool will be EAC.

Let’s open the Exchange Admin Center, click on  servers, database availability groups, let’s select the desired DAG from the list (the current witness server is TOREX03). Then, click on the Edit (second button from the left).

image thumb7 thumb Managing DAG: Modifying a DAG Witness Server

In the general tab. Let’s type in the name of the new DAG Witness Server (in our scenario is PARFS01.apatricio.local) and then click on save.

image thumb8 thumb Managing DAG: Modifying a DAG Witness Server

Validating the changes…

There are a couple of ways to validate the changes that we have just performed, the simpler one is through EAC, back to the main page we should see the new witness server listed/

image thumb thumb Managing DAG: Modifying a DAG Witness Server

We can also go to the new DAG Witness Server and we should have a folder and a couple of file on it.

image thumb1 thumb Managing DAG: Modifying a DAG Witness Server

If we open the Failover Cluster we will noticed that the new information about the DAG Witness Server is also shown in the Quorum Configuration.

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Removing the Share from the original server…

Now that we moved the Share to our new DAG Witness Server we can safely go to the original server and remove the share from it, after that we can also remove the content since they are no longer in use.

In order to remove the share, right-click on the Share and click on Properties, then click on Sharing tab, and finally hit Advanced Sharing… Uncheck the first option Share this folder and click OK twice.

image thumb2 thumb Managing DAG: Modifying a DAG Witness Server

At this point of the series we configured a DAG Witness Server and we know how to move around in case we need to.

Written by Anderson Patricio

 Managing DAG: Modifying a DAG Witness Server

Anderson Patricio is a Canadian Exchange Server MVP and MCSM (Solutions Master) and he contributes to the Microsoft Community with articles, tutorials, blog posts, forums and book reviews. He is a regular contributor at, (English) and (Portuguese).
You can connect with Anderson on Twitter , Facebook, and Google+.

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