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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, Can I virtualise my only DC? in Technical; Hi all I have Primary schools with just one physical DC. The server normally runs AD, DHCP, DNS, print server. ...
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    XiJ
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    Can I virtualise my only DC?

    Hi all

    I have Primary schools with just one physical DC. The server normally runs AD, DHCP, DNS, print server. Sometimes they also run WSUS and even occasionally a SIMS server too.

    I would like to start virtualising - with new hardware. I'm concerend that many of my schools will be on a budget and not sure if they'd benefit from virtual servers. My questions would be

    1. Is it worth Virtualising my only DC?
    2. Is it recommended?
    3. Can I use some large capacity internal drives for storage between all VM's?

    The older server could stay as a secondary DC if necessary but isn't good enough to run VM's on really.

    I did look at this thread: Whether to virtualise our main servers but not sure it all applies to my primary schools.

    Cheers

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    What OS is the DC? Virtual DC's are supported by MS for 2012 and 2012 R2.

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    XiJ (28th January 2014)

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    XiJ
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    okay, thanks. we would use 2012 / 2012 R2 with a new license.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    It is supported, even snapping shotting is.

    If you run it on Hyper-V make sure you don't join the host machine to the domain.

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    XiJ (28th January 2014)

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    XiJ
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    Thanks - yes read about that. We wouldn't join host to domain but i would probably use hyper-v

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    If you virtualised you would have the benefit of being able to run 2 DC's, DHCP , DNS etc, that would allow some resiliency for doing updates/patches etc, but you will be putting lots of eggs in a single piece of hardware basket (no different to only having a single server to start with)

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    XiJ (28th January 2014)

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    you might notice issues with time syncing and MS recommend syncing with an external source (to the host) for this.

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    XiJ (28th January 2014)

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    For peace of mind I'd still keep the physical DC with the virtual as a second.


    I know it's supported, and I know it *should* be fine...but there's no harm in having a physical beasty after all the issues others have had with virt DCs

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    XiJ (28th January 2014)

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    Quote Originally Posted by XiJ View Post
    Hi all

    I have Primary schools with just one physical DC. The server normally runs AD, DHCP, DNS, print server. Sometimes they also run WSUS and even occasionally a SIMS server too.

    I would like to start virtualising - with new hardware. I'm concerend that many of my schools will be on a budget and not sure if they'd benefit from virtual servers. My questions would be

    1. Is it worth Virtualising my only DC?
    2. Is it recommended?
    Depends. I might consider it in a really really small environment where there are no services not dependent on the VM hosted services anyway. It does tend to be frowned on because authentication tends to be used by many other services, some of which might be independent of the hosted services (some building access control, login to MFD's etc).
    3. Can I use some large capacity internal drives for storage between all VM's?
    You can technically, but assuming a 1Gbs or better network, IO is probably the first bottleneck a virtual environment will run into. A little capacity planning could go a long way.

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    XiJ (28th January 2014)

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    Been running all vitual DCs here for years (on VMware) - just don't touch the snapshot button!

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    XiJ (29th January 2014)

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    ok first off please please don't put all your DCs on the same box, if the host fails than no one can log in and the domain is down, always either have a physical DC as well or and far better have 2 Hosts with a DC on each

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    if your host is part of the domain, some times it has to be, then please follow this advice on preventing a nightmare with system time.

    We were having timing issues due to the PDC being a Virtual. Hosts look at the PDC for time, but Virtuals take time from the host, so time issues can just spiral. The scenario is, the PDC is a minute out, host looks at PCD changes time to PDC, later, PDC looks at Host and is a minute out so changes time to Host and so on.

    Solution

    Configure your PDC as per How to configure an authoritative time server in Windows Server using the “fix it myself”, configuring a PDC to use an external Time Source.

    Then make sure you go to the Virtual PDC in Hyper V manager, go to setting, and then to integration services, untick time synchronisation.

    This works well now.

    Time servers I used when configuring are “1.uk.pool.ntp.uk.0x1 2.uk.pool.ntp.org.0x1” (Don’t forgot to put the ,0x1 or it won’t work).

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