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Using a PC as 2008R2 DC

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  • Using a PC as 2008R2 DC

    A few years back, I upgraded our domain from 2k to 2003R2. I had planned to upgrade the 2003R2 DC to 2008R2 but I just realized it's too old, it's a Poweredge with a Pentium III circa 2002. I have a newer 2008R2 Poweredge application server with dual 6core processors and 32gb that doesn't have much load on it and could easily double as a DC, but I want a second DC and would still like to replace the old P3 server with something that will run 2008R2 so I don't have to run in mixed mode. Money being tight as it is, I was wondering how a decent PC would work. I have an Optiplex 960 with a 3.1G core2 duo and 8GB ram with dual gigabit ethernet. If I used it, it's sole purpose in life would be as a DC and nothing else. I wouldn't have raid but should be able to image the drive regularly for backup. IF this would work well, which one should have the FSMO roles ?

  • #2
    Re: Using a PC as 2008R2 DC

    It will work without any problems, but the hardware will be less reliable than a "proper" server. As long as you keep an eye on it and (IMHO) provide some form of RAID (probably 1) you will have no problems

    I have a perfectly good windows domain running on laptops that I use for training/demonstrations.
    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 **

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    • #3
      Re: Using a PC as 2008R2 DC

      Thanks ossian.

      One other thought - can Server 2008R2 / 2012 installs be moved from one machine to another ? I know that's not allowed with Windows 8 but I'd like to think I can move my Server software to better hardware later on.

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      • #4
        Re: Using a PC as 2008R2 DC

        Not really
        Your best bet would be to add a new server, DCPROMO it and then unPROMO the old one

        Alternatively put on the free HyperV edition of Server 2008R2 and create a virtual machine which can be moved
        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


        • #5
          Re: Using a PC as 2008R2 DC

          Yes, it certainly could work as a DC. You are not forced to use a rack mountable server as a DC. I have used less worth machines as a NT4 DC...

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          • #6
            Re: Using a PC as 2008R2 DC

            Thanks fellas. My last question about moving the server software must have not been clearly stated. I was wondering about Windows Server 2008 and 2012 Licensing - Is it tied to the original hardware you install it on, like in the case of windows 7 and 8 - that is once windows 7 / 8 is installed on a computer, you can not install and active the software on another machine. I was wondering if Server 2008 or 2012 has such licensing restrictions, or if I can uninstall it and install on better hardware when I'm able to get it.

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            • #7
              Re: Using a PC as 2008R2 DC

              A lot depends on the license you buy.
              OEM ones are supplied with hardware and therefore tied to it (check which hardware it is -- at least one company I knew of would sell you a mouse with an OEM Windows license, so migration was potentially possible as long as the mouse remained present!). If you buy a retail license, you can reinstall it as you wish.

              Microsoft activation will fail if you change too much hardware but a quick phonecall usually sorts that out
              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


              • #8
                Re: Using a PC as 2008R2 DC

                Thanks again Ossian.

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