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  • The big change question...

    Hi all, first post after years of reading and solving problems thanks to you

    (Sorry if my question is in the wrong place)

    My question is about changing the little "server farm" that i have.
    I am busy with vmware to virtualize our servers. Why? to make our servers more dynamic. (put more ram or cpu when needed, hardware errors, etc)

    I'm hosting terminal servers / exchange etc and the systems are windows 2003 server (std / enterprise) and Exchange 2003 some with active-sync to mobile phones. The vmhost systems are windows 2003 ent. (because we cant support nix systems)

    What we have:

    Several litle company's rend there own server with office and exchange. This company's have 1 server with AD / Exchange and terminal services one 1 box with max 5 users on it, enterprise AV software, zabbix monitor systems, 5 TB NAS backup systems and Gbit infra.

    I know that hosting AD / Exchange and terminal services one 1 system = NOT done... (Small Business Server...? lol) but it works fine for many years now because the have max 5 users on it.


    My questions:

    1. Is it possible (and a good idea) to make one exchange server that host mail for several AD domains who are NOT integrated in our forest?
    Or put the Ad's in the our forest like : company.ourforest.local


    2. Is it a good idea to put AD and Exchange seperated from Terminal servers?
    (the servers running fine for many years now and if it ain't broken....)


    3. What should you do if you have PLENTY of hardware and software licenses and you starting from scratch to build a "farm" to host terminal servers with mail / office etc and different Active Directory's?


    Thank you for your post.

    regards
    Last edited by guidow; 30th July 2009, 22:28.

  • #2
    Re: The big change question...

    There are a lot of different ways to crack this egg, but, off the top of my head, I would say, 2 bare metal boxes, all with VMWare (or insert your virtualization technology of choice), and a SAN (e.g. MSAs, OpenFiler, etc).

    You have had Exchange, TS and AD all on one box?? Eee gads!! You are very lucky nothing broke.

    I would split each of the components, Exchange on it's own box with VMWare and the other two (TS, DC) serperate VMs on the other box. Very high level, but that is probably the best route to go.

    Oh and just because you have plenty of hardware, does not mean that you have to use it, in production at least. Especially if your user environment is on the smallish side. However, having plenty of hardware and licenses will allow you to build up a test environment and/or an offisite DR environment, without having to put in a lot of capital for equipment, licenses etc.
    Make sure you have a good backup strategy in place too!

    Hope I wasn't too vague! Good luck!

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    • #3
      Re: The big change question...

      Originally posted by guidow View Post
      I know that hosting AD / Exchange and terminal services one 1 system = NOT done... (Small Business Server...? lol)
      SBS = Exchange on a DC, not TS. It is never advisable to let users gain access to the server that controls the security if your system.

      Originally posted by guidow View Post
      2. Is it a good idea to put AD and Exchange seperated from Terminal servers?
      Yes. Many people would argue that it's not a good idea, it's essential.

      Originally posted by guidow View Post
      (the servers running fine for many years now and if it ain't broken....)
      Then you've been fortunate. No matter how good the security in place is, users will always find a way. And if they can't, the malware they inadvertently run will.

      Originally posted by guidow View Post
      3. What should you do if you have PLENTY of hardware and software licenses and you starting from scratch to build a "farm" to host terminal servers with mail / office etc and different Active Directory's?
      Separate servers for Active Directory, Exchange and Terminal Services. Whether they be physical or virtual is up to you - remember to keep at least one physical DC if you virtualise others.
      Gareth Howells

      BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

      Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

      Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

      "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

      "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

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      • #4
        Re: The big change question...

        Originally posted by gforceindustries View Post
        Separate servers for Active Directory, Exchange and Terminal Services. Whether they be physical or virtual is up to you - remember to keep at least one physical DC if you virtualise others.
        A second on this statement. Last two places I worked we virtualized everything we could, but always kept one DC on physical hardware just for piece of mind.

        -Jason
        MCSA/MCSE 2K3,MCITP:ESA,MCTS x 4,VCP x 2

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