It's true! Exchange 2013 SP1 allows creating a Database Availability Group without specifying a DAG IP address on Windows Server 2012 R2!
What does this mean? It basically means DAGS are much simpler, gone is the reliance on Windows Failover Clustering, 1 less static IP Address and DNS record to manage and no more CNO's (Cluster Naming Objects) in AD. Exchange now manages the DAG for you without issues caused by Windows Failover Clustering which plagued Exchange 2010 and below running on Server 2008 R2 and lower.
Simply use 255.255.255.255 when creating a new DAG in place of the IP Address. This tells Exchange that no static IP is going to be used therefore it won't create a traditional DAG Cluster in Windows Failover Clustering.
Downside to doing this is that you can't use the Failover Cluster Manager to edit the DAG since it is no longer used. Instead it is completely managed through Exchange either from Exchange Control Panel (ECP) or Exchange Management Shell (EMS).
You can create the IP-less DAG using the following Powershell command:
New-DatabaseAvailabilityGroup -Name DAGName -DatabaseAvailabilityGroupIPAddresses ([System.Net.IPAddress]::None) -WitnessServer WitnessServerName –WitnessDirectory “Path of witness Directory“
You can then add the DAG member nodes using the following Powershell command for each of the nodes:
Add-DatabaseAvailabilityGroupServer identity DAGName –MailboxServer mailboxservername
Now you can either create a new database and the add a database copy to the other DAG member nodes, or just add a database copy for an existing database:
New-Mailboxdatabase -server servername -name DBname -Edbfilepath “DBpathDBname.edb” -logFolderPath “LogFilesPAth”
Add-MailboxDatabaseCopy databasename -MailboxServer mailboxservername
Once the database is created and/or the database copy has commpleted, restart the Information Store service and then you can check the status by running the following Powershell command:
Powershell command to get a detailed status of the DAG:
Get-DatabaseAvailabilityGroup -Status | FL
Here are the Powershell commands to review and change the DAG cluster, however you shouldn't need any of these.
To Check Cluster properties run this command: Get-Cluster -Name ClusterNodename | select *
To Determine the nodes in the cluster and node state: Get-ClusterNode -Cluster Clusternodename
To get individual node properties: Get-ClusterNode -Cluster Clusternodename -Name Clusternodename | select *
To get cluster network states: Get-ClusterNetwork -Cluster Clusternodename
To get cluster network properties: Get-ClusterNetwork -Name “Cluster Network 1″ -Cluster Clusternodename | select *
To get cluster interface properties: Get-ClusterNetworkInterface -Cluster Clusternodename -Node Clusternodename
To get individual cluster network interface properties: Get-ClusterNetworkInterface -Cluster Clusternodename -Name “Clusternodenicname” | select *
To get the cluster quorum status configuration: Get-ClusterQuorum -Cluster Clusternodename | fl
To get the cluster group status: Get-ClusterGroup -Cluster Clusternodename
To move the cluster group between nodes: Move-ClusterGroup -Cluster Clusternodename -Name “Cluster Group” -Node MBX-2
To get the cluster logs: Get-ClusterLog –cluster Clusternodename
To get the cluster resource state: Get-ClusterResource -ClusterClusternodename | fl
To get cluster group: Get-ClusterGroup -Cluster Clusternodename
To get Primary Active Manager in Dag: Get-DatabaseAvailabilityGroup -Identity DAG -status | fl name,primaryActiveManager