Installing a domain controller, exchange, and SQL Server on VMware

First off, this is a small office (5-10 people).

They have just purchased a server to run AD, Exchange, and SQL Server.  They want to use STD edition, not small business ed because in the next few months they expect to grow rapidly.

I have 1 server (Windows 2003 x64 ed) that I have to work with at the moment (I have some small box for a backup DC).  The server has VMWare installed on it.

Would it be best to install AD & SQL on virtual and exchange on the physical server?  Install all of them on virtual servers.  Give me some ideas please.
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flood_landAsked:
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LazarusCommented:
Do not install Exchange on a VM unless you want to run into alot of problems. You also should not be installing it on a server that is running AD either. Exchange is a memory hungry pig, as well as SQL. I would not put all of that on one server at all. If have no other server you should buy one. At best place your SQL and AD on once Server then the Exchange on the other. If you try to put it all on the one, even if it is 64 bit you will have some performance issues. My opinion anyway...
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MATTHEW_LCommented:
I have had Exchange running on VM in the past.  This was a test enviroment so performance wasn't huge, but it ran OK.  I would also reccomend away from putting so many things on one box.  You would want a lot of RAM to do something like that.  For my VM Exchange I allocated 1GB to the Exchange virtual server and 512 to a few others.  Again this was testing so perforamnce wasn't a huge issue.

In the end it depends on how much it will be used, what acceptable perforamnce is etc.  SBS (Small Business Server) integrates all of these features and more on a single box.

I would virtualize each server as it's own server, that way you could eventaully move them around easily from physical box to box when you get more pysical servers to split them up or give them more resources.  Each one on it's own VM will probably be the best.

Again, just make sure you've got a lot of RAM.
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SembeeCommented:
With a small office of 5 - 10 people I would have saved some cash and bought SBS Server. It is designed for exactly these circumstances.

Both Exchange and SQL are not really suitable for VMWARE use because they are very storage intensive. Microsoft also do not support those products in virtual machines.

It will also be very expensive to license for 5 - 10 users, you will need multiple Windows licenses, plus the full product of Exchange and SQL. Certainly something I would struggle to justify for the number of users.

Simon.
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Windows Server 2003

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