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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 ...
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    bondbill2k2's Avatar
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    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-
    DHCP
    DNS
    AD
    GPO
    WINS
    AV
    Backup print server
    Few pieces of software also running from share
    File server for all homepaths and a few shared areas for staff too

    Spec:
    Intel Xeon E5410 2.33Ghz x4
    4GB DDR2 332MHz

    *awaits amusing feedback on our poor setup* upgrades due this summer tho!

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    Jamman960's Avatar
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    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by bondbill2k2 View Post

    File server for all homepaths and a few shared areas for staff too
    Totally read this as file server for all homeopaths And I thought we had some crazies here ...

    It doesn't sound like the server is too overloaded - you could only really tell by RAM/CPU consumption and whether everyone sees it doing it's job quickly and reliably enough.

    We have servers of a similar spec and usage, apart from the software running from shares. I always think it's best to share the workload to workstations with that

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    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 .

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    bondbill2k2's Avatar
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    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 12:44 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bondbill2k2 View Post
    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?
    In simple terms, "yes" to the last question.

    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.

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    Should also be better for redundancy . Incase of a hardware failure ( providing you have 2 VM servers )

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    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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