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Windows Server 2008 R2 Thread, VM Hardware for Domain Controller in Technical; Hi All, We currently have 1 domain controller(physical server) which is also acting as file/print server. I want to add ...
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    Question VM Hardware for Domain Controller

    Hi All,

    We currently have 1 domain controller(physical server) which is also acting as file/print server. I want to add another DC to reduce recovery time. I was planning on making this new DC virtual and would like your opinions.

    Currently we don't have any other plans to add extra servers, however this could change. So one of my questions is, do I bother virtualising this server what benefits will it give me or do I just add it as another physical server?

    I was planning to use VMware ESXi on a budget server like HP ProLiant ML110 G6 - Xeon 2.5 GHz, 4 GB Ram and mirrored disks. Will this spec be enough?

    Any Suggestions or Comments are welcome
    Thanks
    Matt

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    It should be fine, we have two virtual DCs (also doing DNS and DHCP), I've only assigned them 1GB ram and 1 virtual CPU (they are server 2003) and they're fine.

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    teejay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K.C.Leblanc View Post
    It should be fine, we have two virtual DCs (also doing DNS and DHCP), I've only assigned them 1GB ram and 1 virtual CPU (they are server 2003) and they're fine.
    Should be fine, just check that the processor supports VT technology, there are a few random Xeons which don't.

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    jamesfed's Avatar
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    You might want to have a look at the new HP G7s - they have much better energy saving features than the G6 and it could end up saving you in the long run.
    Also what are you running as your Server OS? (Im guessing Server 2008 R2 as thats the forum but its good to check)

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    3s-gtech's Avatar
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    The HP ML115 with quad-core Opterons all support hardware virtualisation if that Xeon doesn't (though I suspect it does). Your spec will be fine for a DC - I have two Dell Poweredge 2550 as Server 2008 and 2003 DCs, and they're running P3 processors and 1GB of RAM, do the job fine. I would definitely virtualise yours if you can though, more flexible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mprice View Post
    Hi All,

    We currently have 1 domain controller(physical server) which is also acting as file/print server. I want to add another DC to reduce recovery time. I was planning on making this new DC virtual and would like your opinions.

    Currently we don't have any other plans to add extra servers, however this could change. So one of my questions is, do I bother virtualising this server what benefits will it give me or do I just add it as another physical server?

    I was planning to use VMware ESXi on a budget server like HP ProLiant ML110 G6 - Xeon 2.5 GHz, 4 GB Ram and mirrored disks. Will this spec be enough?

    Any Suggestions or Comments are welcome
    Thanks
    Matt
    Keep in mind ESXi will require 2GB ram to run, not leaving much for VMs. Bump up the ram and you can utilise it for other stuff.

    I use 1vCPU and 2GB ram for each DC with 2008R2.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesfed View Post
    You might want to have a look at the new HP G7s - they have much better energy saving features than the G6 and it could end up saving you in the long run.
    Also what are you running as your Server OS? (Im guessing Server 2008 R2 as thats the forum but its good to check)
    Yeah, it will be Server 2008 R2.

    Many Thanks for all your comments, Do you guys backup your VM DC's if so what methods? backup of the virtual disk or backup the system like normal? or both? I read there are problems with snapshots and AD problems.

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    jamesfed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mprice View Post
    Yeah, it will be Server 2008 R2.

    Many Thanks for all your comments, Do you guys backup your VM DC's if so what methods? backup of the virtual disk or backup the system like normal? or both? I read there are problems with snapshots and AD problems.
    I'd say look at at least 6GB RAM min then - with idealy 2-4GB per DC.
    Sanpshots should never be used for DC backups there are a tonne of posts about them on the web but one of the best ones that I found (with some suggestions for alternatives) can be found here-
    Proper Backup/Restore Methods for a Small Business Server 2008 Running as a Virtual Machine - The Official SBS Blog - Site Home - TechNet Blogs

    Its about Small Buissness Server but the same applies

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesfed View Post
    I'd say look at at least 6GB RAM min then - with idealy 2-4GB per DC.
    Sanpshots should never be used for DC backups there are a tonne of posts about them on the web but one of the best ones that I found (with some suggestions for alternatives) can be found here-
    Proper Backup/Restore Methods for a Small Business Server 2008 Running as a Virtual Machine - The Official SBS Blog - Site Home - TechNet Blogs


    Its about Small Buissness Server but the same applies

    Good read thanks...

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    oxide54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theblacksheep View Post
    Keep in mind ESXi will require 2GB ram to run, .
    does it? ESX yes not ESXi the memory foot print is way less than that

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    Quote Originally Posted by oxide54 View Post
    does it? ESX yes not ESXi the memory foot print is way less than that
    It does use less, my ml115 is idling using 400mb @ home. Agents, vcenter management and the recommended sizing for service console ram should push that up. Its another VM and the highest priority so you need to play safe. To clarify it wont install without 2gb and 3gb is the minimum requirement if managed by vCenter.

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    oxide54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theblacksheep View Post
    It does use less, my ml115 is idling using 400mb @ home. Agents, vcenter management and the recommended sizing for service console ram should push that up. Its another VM and the highest priority so you need to play safe. To clarify it wont install without 2gb and 3gb is the minimum requirement if managed by vCenter.
    I think I was just nit picking a bit !

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    Quote Originally Posted by oxide54 View Post
    I think I was just nit picking a bit !
    I should have made a more accurate statement!



    Update: 12/08/10, esx/esxi service console memory usage:

    ML115 with 4gb esxi 4.1: 380mb (3 active vms using 2gb)
    RM200 with 8GB and esxi 4.1: 890mb (1 active vm using 6gb)
    bl480c with 36gb and esx4: 2516mb (6 active vms using 16gb)
    Last edited by Theblacksheep; 12th August 2010 at 05:45 PM.

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    After doing a little research it seems the ML110 G6 SATA/RAID controller isn't supported by ESXi but by changing to RAID mode it will work.

    Anyone have one of these and have you had any trouble with setting up ESXi?

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    I couldn't get ESXi to work with the embedded P110 SATA controller in my DL160 in any kind of raid config at all.
    It only sees the drives as individual units which sort of defeats the object.
    What do you mean by RAID mode?

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