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Exchange on Domain controller

Posted on 2006-04-11
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-18
I am setting up a new server for a client which require MS Exchange.

I have read that you should not run exchange on the domain controller, but no one really states why.

I run it in my small business with no problems but i only have 5 users. This client will have 60 at most.

I know this still isn't a massive so my question is with a powerfull enough server should this be fine.

Question by:crossfireit

Author Comment

ID: 16433155
Thanks in advanced!
LVL 48

Expert Comment

ID: 16433161
Hi crossfireit,

its not best practice but yes it will be fine, we have ours on a DC and will most probably stay that way with an upgrade as not once have we had issues

its just not MS best practice

LVL 15

Accepted Solution

Darwinian999 earned 1000 total points
ID: 16433587
Some of the reasons that it's not recommended:

Exchange requires different optimisations to a Domain Controller.
Heavy Exchange activity will impact the performance of Domain Controller functionality, causing slow logons etc.
Heavy Domain Controller activity will impact Exchnage performance, causing slow access to email etc.
Management of an Exchange Server requires Admin access to the server, so if Exchange is installed on a Domain Controller, the Exchange Administrator needs Domain Admin access.

In the real world though, lots of organisations install Exchange on a Domain Controller and it works fine. Microsoft even has a product that bundles Exchange & Domain Controller functionality on one server - SBS (Small Business Server).

For your client, their best option might be SBS 2003. http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/sbs/default.mspx

Expert Comment

ID: 16447239
You can run it on a DC with no problems. Make sure you add a shudown script in group policy or the local policy. make a batchfile that uses a "net stop" command to stop the information store and the exchange services.

If you dont, it will take 10-40 mins to shutdown your server.

Make sure you backup your server's systemstate if you plan to install AD + exchange on the same box. If AD has a problem and you have no systemstate you are screwed. AD restore mode is safe mode so you cant do much with exchange while in that mode.

That is why i would not install AD + exchange on the same box


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