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Windows Server 2008 R2 Thread, Best practice for use and number of servers in Technical; Hey there everyone, Our school network is running around 600 clients, with 16 servers – 4 physical, and 12 virtual. ...
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    Best practice for use and number of servers

    Hey there everyone,

    Our school network is running around 600 clients, with 16 servers – 4 physical, and 12 virtual. The servers are, or at least were all 2003 or 2008, with all Dcs all running 2008.

    We are making relatively good progress on a project to rollout Windows 7. As part of this, there is quite a lot of backend stuff that we need or would like to do, upgrade AD Schema, raise AD domain functionality level, replace as many of the 2003 servers as possible, upgrade the DCs to 2008r2 and introduce some newer technologies and features such as DFS.

    As part of all of this, i’ve been thinking a little bit about the actual use and number of servers in our domain. There seems to be some a good number of considerations and implications for this. For example, how much does one try to separate various services and software - at what point are the gains in management and redundancy outweighed by extra costs considerations (hardware, licensing, power ect). How many servers is “too many”? What about how to go about mixing and matching various services and software? is it good to separate 3rd party software from Windows services or even themselves? What are suitable services to run on DCs? (KMS comes to mind). What about Windows services that run best on a dedicated server (Exchange being a good example).

    I’d love to hear any thoughts and feedback on this, in particular how your own servers are setup, and how you would go about setting them up if building your network again from scratch.

    (bit of a general topic, I did have a quick look for similar topics but didn’t find anything too similar, apologies in advance if I missed any useful, recent and similar threads)

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    For Exchange I would use a dedicated server (Physical or virtual). Depending on the HA/DR number of users etc will determine the number of servers you need and of course the speco fhte physcial/virtual services.

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    When dealing with virtual servers, I have always believed it is most sensible to allocated only what resources are required and then run everything on its own machine. Sure, its more of a pain to patch lots of windows boxes, but having a dedicated box for everything makes backups and restores easier, reduces impact of errors and downtime, things like that.

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    Now we're on VMware I keep everything separate... whereas before I had a "management server" that had all the irritating apps like door control, photocopier accounting etc they all get their own VMs now. Less chance of something conflicting (usually IIS) and gives a bit more control for upgrades etc.

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