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  • DC & Exchange on same server?

    Hi all,

    I'm somewhat limited in my available hardware and was wondering if it would be OK to use a single server as both my AD domain controller and the Exchange server.

    I know it's not optimal, but it will be an IBM x226 with dual 3GHz Xeons and anywhere between 8-16GB RAM.

    I will be running Server 2003 on it, possibly x64, and Exchange 2003.

    Is this OK? Caveats?

    Thanks!

    Chris

  • #2
    Re: DC & Exchange on same server?

    Hi,

    Not recommended. Have a look at this link

    http://www.petri.com/problems_with_e...ontrollers.htm

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: DC & Exchange on same server?

      Originally posted by WorldBuilder View Post
      Hi all,

      I'm somewhat limited in my available hardware and was wondering if it would be OK to use a single server as both my AD domain controller and the Exchange server.

      I know it's not optimal, but it will be an IBM x226 with dual 3GHz Xeons and anywhere between 8-16GB RAM.

      I will be running Server 2003 on it, possibly x64, and Exchange 2003.

      Is this OK? Caveats?

      Thanks!

      Chris
      How many users do you have wanting to connect to the Exchange server? Microsoft do not recommend it but I have done so in the past and on SBS, you don't have an option.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: DC & Exchange on same server?

        There will be about 100-120 users connecting to Exchange and slightly more connecting to the domain in general. Too much?

        Hmmm... Certainly seems like it's not a good idea...

        Any other thoughts, fellas? Thanks!

        Chris

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: DC & Exchange on same server?

          Originally posted by WorldBuilder View Post
          There will be about 100-120 users connecting to Exchange and slightly more connecting to the domain in general. Too much?

          Hmmm... Certainly seems like it's not a good idea...

          Any other thoughts, fellas? Thanks!

          Chris
          Doesn't sound too much to me. Not with your specs and especially if it is 64 bit used.

          If you were to enable 'caching' of emails on the client side this will reduce the resources used by Exchange and by users when connecting to their emails.

          And of course, phase when people connect to Exchange.

          Look at the link ITLondon has provided before deciding as well.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: DC & Exchange on same server?

            What do you mean by "phase when people connect"? I'm not familiar with that.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: DC & Exchange on same server?

              Originally posted by WorldBuilder View Post
              What do you mean by "phase when people connect"? I'm not familiar with that.
              I must admit, I read it myself just now and wondered what I was saying.

              Then I realised. Makre sure that you stagger when users join to the Exchange server, so not all users are caching emails from Exchange at the same time and getting their configuration downloaded.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: DC & Exchange on same server?

                Oh, I see, but this is only during initial joining, right? Assuming they all run cached mode in Outlook, there's nothing to say when a user is only allowed to connect... They can connect anytime... Yes?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: DC & Exchange on same server?

                  Originally posted by WorldBuilder View Post
                  Oh, I see, but this is only during initial joining, right? Assuming they all run cached mode in Outlook, there's nothing to say when a user is only allowed to connect... They can connect anytime... Yes?
                  That's right. Wants they are cached, unless a new email comes in or they are sending, their local computer resources will be used when reading emails etc.
                  Last edited by Virtual; 15th March 2009, 19:29.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: DC & Exchange on same server?

                    AfAIK Running Exchange on a DC is not supported unless it's a SBS.
                    I suggest that this topic should be moved to the exchange forum.
                    Marcel
                    Technical Consultant
                    Netherlands
                    http://www.phetios.com
                    http://blog.nessus.nl

                    MCITP(EA, SA), MCSA/E 2003:Security, CCNA, SNAF, DCUCI, CCSA/E/E+ (R60), VCP4/5, NCDA, NCIE - SAN, NCIE - BR, EMCPE
                    "No matter how secure, there is always the human factor."

                    "Enjoy life today, tomorrow may never come."
                    "If you're going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill"

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                    • #11
                      Re: DC & Exchange on same server?

                      Certainly seems logical. Just to let y'all know, after really reading the article linked to from ITLondon and checking out even more resources, it seems that doing this is NOT a good idea and therefore I will not be doing it after all. I have limited options, but options nevertheless.

                      Thanks, guys!

                      Chris

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: DC & Exchange on same server?

                        Rather than not supported it is not the recommended configuration, Microsoft recommend that Exchange be installed on a member server. The only requirement for Exchange to be installed on a DC is that it is also a GC, which it will be if you have a single DC in your Forest.

                        100-120 users though may be getting close to the limit of users on a single server setup. SBS has a 75 user limit for a similar setup for example. It really depends what else you want to run on the server. Your server is a good spec though.
                        BSc, MCSA: Server 2008, MCSE, MCSA: Messaging, MCTS
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                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: DC & Exchange on same server?

                          i have my exchange 2003 on my dc (windows 2003 server R2) as well, and its 32 bit with 4GB of memory..so far everything is fine and smooth...you might need to fine tune the startup and shutdown script so you wont have to wait for days for all exchange services to be up after reboot the server.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: DC & Exchange on same server?

                            So you didnt do any research beforehand and see that your configuration (unless it is SBS) is very much NOT recommended by Microsoft?

                            It does work, but it means that if you decide to unpromote that DC, you will break exchange, also Exchange will not take advantage of any other DCs on your domain
                            Tom Jones
                            MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
                            PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
                            IT Trainer / Consultant
                            Ossian Ltd
                            Scotland

                            ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: DC & Exchange on same server?

                              Good god, this thread is like Cable TV. All repeats about MS not recommending the configuration. MS recommends XP to run on a P3/300 with 128MB RAM and 1.5GB HDD space. Maybe the poor man (sorry if your are the other gender) has financial constrictions and is trying to fit it together as best he (she) can.

                              Worldbuilder, can you list what hardware will be available, old and new. We know you have 100 to 120 users so SBS is out of the question. Are the numbers likely to grow as WEBS may be an option though it is a bit more expensive but will allow for growth. Don't forget you willl need WSUS to keep that number of users updated without swallowing bandwidth that would make Linda Lovelace's eyes bulge. http://www.microsoft.com/ebs/en/us/default.aspx

                              Personally I think with those user numbers you need a second DC (even a virtual one) on a server that is NOT the physical DC. Exchange can be plonked onto a low end workgroup type server (64 bit if you want to run Exchange 2007 as Exchange 2003 is now 6 years old) and if it is speced high enough the Virtual DC could run on that. Doné forget to allow extra for when the boss wants to run iPhnes, Blackberries and Windows mobile phones all on the one server. What anti virus are you running or want to run. Are you going to have sufficient capacity on your server.

                              In business the 3 important things are location, location, location. In IT I believe it is planning, planning and planning, expecially for the future when you get "oh, we also want to run application X as well. Didn't we tell you that? Never mind, it is only 1 more little piece of software".

                              Don't forget to get any/all Servers to be running off appropriate sized UPSes.

                              Make a plan, post it back here and get some constructive comments and who cares if MS don't recommend/support it.
                              1 1 was a racehorse.
                              2 2 was 1 2.
                              1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
                              2 2 1 1 2

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