Windows 2003 server: Prefered Server Config


I have 2 boxes - Dell Poweredge 2400 PIII 733 Dual Proc with 512MB Ram...6 18 GB Disks in each. Mirrored C drives..the other 4 disks in a RAID 5 Array....

I want to use these servers as 2 DC's in a windows 2003 domain....What I was going to do was as mentioned have a mirrored C drive partioned into C and D drives 8.5GB on each partition...

Was going to install the AD on C and the Log files on D...I know they say separate disks for this but what do you do when you havent the capacity :-|

Was going to have DNS and WINS on C on both....
And was going to use the RAID 5 Array on both servers for a file store.....

My company havent enough cash to buy me new servers so am left with this and have been told to have it up and runing within 6 months...

We have approx 120 users at teh moment but its bound to be more at some point

Can anyone let me know if this would be feasible

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Sure...those boxes will be fine for DCs and file sharing. I probably wouldn't put Exchange on it with 120 people hammering away, but file and print shouldn't be a problem.

The split for the NTDS directory, logs and SYSVOL are for two reason: recovery and performance. Since you're splitting one logical disk into two partitions, you're not going to gain any performance. As for recovery, they are mirrored and I'm assuming you're getting good backups, so you're covered there.

Keep an eye on your memory most importantly as I would suspect that to be the first bottleneck. If you could get that up to 1GB+, I think you'll have yourself a nice (and inexpensive) 2K3 domain. It doesn't sound like you're planning on any sort of clustering, so there's really no reason to jump to 2K3 Enterprise, so stick with Standard. After all, doesn't Microsoft claim you can now "do more with less." Sorry...had to throw that in there.

To re-encourage you, the company I work for is just about finished with our NT4.0/Exchange 5.5/Novell migration to a complete W2K3/E2K3 environment. Our NT 4.0 box was both the PDC and the Exchange 5.5 server and it was a Pentium 200 with 192MB RAM. Our Novell file server was a Pentium 100 with 128MB RAM. This all supported 60 users and we are a computer services company, so we are pretty heavy users. BTW...please no grief on those servers, I've already had enough. :)

Let me know what you decide.


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I agree with Drob.

Your fine capacity wise, but just make sure you have a decent backup regime. Relying on RAID is NOT enough. You need to be doing at least a full weekly and daily incremental backups, preferably stored offsite.
credmoodAuthor Commented:
hey people..cheers for this..I was kinda sure bit never hurts to get some feedback :-) Yes I have a full backup runing every week night with an incremental at the weekends...I have two full backup thursday tapes (Thursday 1 and 2 used on a fortnightly basis) which are stored offsite (well my house ;-) )

RAM I have noted I will be putting a request in for another 512MB for eack box on Monday morning..should be ok for that :-)

Exchange I have noted...we have a seperate box for this (Poweredge 2650 rack, 4 disks 1 and a raid on the other 3 disks, not great but again have a full backup every week night) plan to migrate to 2003 from 5.5 after the migration to AD.

Again noted on the Split partions on the C drive .. seprate pysical disk for performance...however im stuck with what ive got and as the servers only have 6 disks im stuffed...but hey it sounds good enough what ive got :-)

Cheers :-)
Glad to hear. Write back once you've completed your project. I'd like to hear how it comes out.

BTW...the migration from 5.5 to 2K3 was a snap. Microsoft has a lot of docs out there for 5.5 to 2K that you can follow. Also, Exchange 2K3 has a deployment guide that runs you through most, although not all, of the steps to migrate.

Glad we could help.

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Windows 2000

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