Hardware Thread, Server hardware noob - Overkilling our DC? in Technical; We currently run only a few servers but run a network of around 400 devices and near 1000 users, our ...
21st May 2012, 11:02 AM #1
Server hardware noob - Overkilling our DC?
We currently run only a few servers but run a network of around 400 devices and near 1000 users, our main DC is currently running alot of services and performance seems....ok but Im pretty sure so many tasks shouldn't be allocated to the one server IMO (they were setup like this before I started here)
Server 1, DC-
Backup print server
Few pieces of software also running from share
File server for all homepaths and a few shared areas for staff too
Intel Xeon E5410 2.33Ghz x4
4GB DDR2 332MHz
*awaits amusing feedback on our poor setup* upgrades due this summer tho!
21st May 2012, 11:11 AM #2
As you expect its pretty poor, I'd expect a DC to have everything listed there up to and including WINS but everything else should be spread across another 1-3 servers. I'd probably at least double the ram for now if you're using a 64bit OS
I've seen servers doing more - where I am now originally had 1 server doing EVERYTHING including all of the above plus Exchange 2k3, ISA 2004, Backup Exec and their MIS but as you'd expect it seriously struggled and the load has now been spread over 4 physical servers with 2 running a few VM's
21st May 2012, 11:13 AM #3
- Rep Power
21st May 2012, 11:16 AM #4
Upgrading 2003 to enterprise will sort the ram issue ( plus you can keep it 32bit)
Our DC atm , handles ( DNS,AD,DHCP,GPO) And worst of all !!! EXCHANGE !!!
will be changed in the summer though ... we currently have 8 physical servers , but plan to expand using VMware
we are very similar PC/user wise .
21st May 2012, 11:21 AM #5
Larger files are placed on a 2TB NAS with shared area for staff and students. Print server is also wsus and replicates the DC. Sims is separate on the admin domain DC.
One question I do have (I did put a noob warning as the topic) What is the advantage beside organisation and nice naming conversions of running virtual servers on a piece of hardware over that hardware being used for one normal server performing all those tasks? They are after all sharing the same hardware for the same tasks plus having to run another copy of the server OS. I can understand why you'd want it for cost and space reasons alone over more physical servers but surely again I refer to the previous question. Is it due to separating the number of services being handled by a single OS resulting in a performance increase and improved 'flow' to the management of services?
Last edited by bondbill2k2; 21st May 2012 at 11:44 AM.
21st May 2012, 01:05 PM #6
In simple terms, "yes" to the last question.
Originally Posted by bondbill2k2
Also, consider availability - if you have one server with the DC role, DHCP role, File server role, DNS role, and... oh I dunno, an IIS role installed.
If its not a virtual server then a patch to part of the DC role that requires a reboot means that you interrupt all the other services. If they're virtualised as seperate servers, you can patch one role and restart that virtual server without interrupting the other services.
21st May 2012, 01:38 PM #7
Should also be better for redundancy . Incase of a hardware failure ( providing you have 2 VM servers )
21st May 2012, 02:04 PM #8
Just setting our new DC's up now. Both are limited VM's - host is dual E5620 processors, 32GB ram, Raid10 enterprise SATA drives.
DC guests have 4GB allocated, up to 4 core allowance on a single 100GB fixed size drive.
DC's run : AD, DC, GC, DNS, DHCP. Nothing else. No need for wins.
Bulk of the work is separated - the main servers run SCCM, SQL, AV another physical box for SIMS and its SQL, a physical box (desktop PC really!) for Printers/Papercut. All on 2008 R2.
Few other bits and bobs on other VM's on other hosts like moodle, email etc but they're kept very separate from the main network infrastructure going in as above. I'd not say your setup is bad (our CC3 setup is far worse - 2.5 servers, each running file services, full AD, DNS, DHCP, some printers, users - the works!). They are flaky
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