Exchange on Domain controller

Posted on 2006-04-11
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
    LVL 2

    Author Comment

    Thanks in advanced!
    LVL 48

    Expert Comment

    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

    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.
    LVL 8

    Expert Comment

    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


    Featured Post

    6 Surprising Benefits of Threat Intelligence

    All sorts of threat intelligence is available on the web. Intelligence you can learn from, and use to anticipate and prepare for future attacks.

    Join & Write a Comment

    I have never ceased to be amazed how many problems you can encounter on a fresh install of a Windows operating system.  This is certainly case in point& Unable to complete ANY MSI installation.  This means Windows Updates are failing and I can't …
    So you have two Windows Servers and you have a directory/folder/files on one that you'd like to mirror to the other?  You don't really want to deal with DFS or a 3rd party solution like Doubletake. You can use Robocopy from the Windows Server 200…
    Need more eyes on your posted question? Go ahead and follow the quick steps in this video to learn how to Request Attention to your question. *Log into your Experts Exchange account *Find the question you want to Request Attention for *Go to the e…
    In this tutorial you'll learn about bandwidth monitoring with flows and packet sniffing with our network monitoring solution PRTG Network Monitor ( If you're interested in additional methods for monitoring bandwidt…

    734 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    20 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now