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General Chat Thread, 5K for a new PDC in General; Originally Posted by pantscat @ localzuk - just out of interest as I've been thinking about virtualising all my DCs, ...
  1. #16

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pantscat View Post
    @localzuk - just out of interest as I've been thinking about virtualising all my DCs, do you use an external time source?
    Yes, at the moment our on-site time server is also our phone server, and it syncs with the SWGfL's time server. All machines then either sync with that server, or with the active directory servers, which themselves synch with the phone server.

  2. 2 Thanks to localzuk:

    mthomas08 (7th April 2011), pantscat (7th April 2011)

  3. #17
    ezzauk's Avatar
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    For our DC's we Use the Dell Poweredge R210 4gb ram, 160gb raid 1, quad core. Costs about 1.5K

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    mthomas08's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Active directory doesn't use 'PDC' any more, not since NT4 era, but yes, all active directory servers are virtualised. You have to be careful with time on them - ie. don't use 'suspend' features etc...

    They've been virtualised here for at least 3 years without any issues so far.
    Sorry old fasioned and old habbit on that front, I refer to: which holds the global catalogue, dns and dhcp and is top of the forrest, just reading a few things and the "suggestion" is to have at least one physical DC. Obviously if its working for you then thats great to know as an option for us to go down.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mthomas08 View Post
    Sorry old fasioned and old habbit on that front, I refer to: which holds the global catalogue, dns and dhcp and is top of the forrest, just reading a few things and the "suggestion" is to have at least one physical DC. Obviously if its working for you then thats great to know as an option for us to go down.
    The issues that can occur with AD servers when virtualised are down to use of things like 'suspend' and 'snapshots'. These sort of technologies 'turn back time', which Active Directory does not like and can cause serious issues. So, instead of treating the virtualised ADCs as virtual machines, you simply treat them as physical hosts - backing them up in the traditional way instead of via snapshots etc...

  6. Thanks to localzuk from:

    mthomas08 (7th April 2011)

  7. #20

    teejay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mthomas08 View Post
    Sorry old fasioned and old habbit on that front, I refer to: which holds the global catalogue, dns and dhcp and is top of the forrest, just reading a few things and the "suggestion" is to have at least one physical DC. Obviously if its working for you then thats great to know as an option for us to go down.
    There were problems with virtualising your main DC with earlier versions of virtualisation software, but not anymore. A lot of the online articles on this are out of date. As localzuk has said, as long as you avoid snapshotting the things it's fine. The only thing I would say is that you are better installing a new DC from scratch and transferring the roles from the old one than doing a physical to virtual conversion.
    The big advantage is that you make the machine pretty much hardware agnostic, so if you need to move it onto another box it's very simple to do, great for disaster recovery and future upgrades.

  8. 2 Thanks to teejay:

    Butuz (7th April 2011), mthomas08 (7th April 2011)

  9. #21
    Butuz's Avatar
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    teejay hit the naill on the head. "hardware agnostic" is by far the biggest benefit of virtualisation with something like the free version of VmWare esxi. Your servers available on pretty much any hardware you like, even a 400 quad core workstation if you need it in a disaster scenario.

    Butuz

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    mthomas08's Avatar
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    Had been reading about snapshots and AD dont mix, Things to consider when you host Active Directory domain controllers in virtual hosting environments
    Been doing my home work, and as stated earlier I like my options

    Thanks guys you are great help as always, now we just need to decide here exactly what path we want to take with these servers.

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    JoskosSolutions's Avatar
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    I will PM you

    Garsh

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