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Exchange Server on a DC?

Posted on 2007-11-19
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Can MS Exchange 2007 be installed on a 2003 DC using AD?
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Question by:AnimatorOne
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19 Comments
 
LVL 2

Assisted Solution

by:DrTrollrot
DrTrollrot earned 200 total points
ID: 20315588
As long as you have 2003 SP1, there should be no problem.

More info: http://technet.microsoft.com/sv-se/library/aa996719.aspx
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:Network_Data_Support
ID: 20315603
dont do it
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Author Comment

by:AnimatorOne
ID: 20315640
Why not do it?
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LVL 58

Accepted Solution

by:
tigermatt earned 1000 total points
ID: 20315648
I believe this is possible, at least it was with Exchange 2003. However, it certainly isn't a recommended setup, mainly because if you install Exchange on a DC it will use that DC and that DC only for Active Directory lookups. If Active Directory goes down, you may have many other DCs but Exchange won't go off and find them.

If you only have one or two servers then I can see where you're coming from with putting Exchange on a DC, but if you have a much larger system with many servers there isn't any point in installing Exchange on a DC.

Also, whatever you do, remember that you must never run dcpromo to promote or demote the domain controller role on any Exchange server.

-tigermatt
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:Network_Data_Support
ID: 20315691
as tigermatt has pointed out plus perfomance issues, problems can occur with services also
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:Network_Data_Support
ID: 20315696
but i suppose the question was can you and you have anwsered what he wants to know
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Author Comment

by:AnimatorOne
ID: 20315757
I have 25 users, a primary DC and a second DC. I have 2 member servers but they're not modern, so... I'd like to put the Exchange software on one of the DCs.

I'm not worried about performance, the DCs are a couple months old with excellent specs.

Perhaps I should install it on both the primary and backup DC and just have it in a ready state on the backup incase the primary goes down. The backup DC is just faileover anyway.
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LVL 48

Expert Comment

by:Jay_Jay70
ID: 20315775
This is highly advised against by Microsoft.....you should always try and avoid having exchange on a DC Especially exchange 2007...It is exceedingly bad practice
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Author Comment

by:AnimatorOne
ID: 20315828
Can you point me to some background information from MS? I'd like to know why its bad practice.
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LVL 48

Assisted Solution

by:Jay_Jay70
Jay_Jay70 earned 200 total points
ID: 20315881
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Author Comment

by:AnimatorOne
ID: 20315894
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb125206.aspx

Details the dependence of Exchange on AD and notes that:

"As a best practice, you should not run Exchange 2007 on computers that also function as Windows domain controllers. Instead, you should configure Exchange servers and Windows domain controllers as separate computers."

But it doesn't say why exactly and there's no major warnings I could find.
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Author Comment

by:AnimatorOne
ID: 20315906
That's a good article Jay Jay
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LVL 12

Assisted Solution

by:Network_Data_Support
Network_Data_Support earned 200 total points
ID: 20315955
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/938237

Page 35: Imprecise information given regarding installation best practices
On page 35, the Tip may give an incorrect impression on the suitability of installing Exchange Server 2007 on a domain controller.

Change:
"Tip: To reduce network traffic between Exchange servers, domain controllers, and global catalog servers, you'll typically want to deploy the Mailbox, Client Access, Hub Transport and Unified Messaging roles on a computer acting as a domain controller with a global catalog. This is not a requirement, but it is a recommended best practice for most Exchange server implementations."

To:
"Tip: To reduce network traffic between Exchange servers, domain controllers, and global catalog servers, you may want to deploy the Mailbox, Client Access, Hub Transport and Unified Messaging roles on a computer acting as a domain controller with a global catalog. This is not a recommended best practice, but it is a supported configuration."
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LVL 22

Assisted Solution

by:kristinaw
kristinaw earned 200 total points
ID: 20315992
the documentation noted above i believe was an unfortunate misprint.

basically, the reason you don't want exchange on a dc, is that it makes both roles more difficult to troubleshoot. for one, when exchange is installed on a dc, that dc must be a gc. the reason is because even if you have 50 dc/gc's in your environment, when exchange is installed on a dc, it will never talk to any other dc/gc in your environment except the local box. so, if the dc/gc role ever fouls up on this box, exchange will not work until that role is fixed.

also, once exchange is installed on a dc/gc, you can never dcpromo that box while exchange is installed on it (not supported anyways), you have to remove exchange first.

does this help?

kris.
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LVL 104

Assisted Solution

by:Sembee
Sembee earned 200 total points
ID: 20317207
The first question I would have to ask is how old are you domain controllers?
Unless they are very modern AND have Windows 2003 X64 installed then you cannot install Exchange 2007 on it.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:AnimatorOne
ID: 20319463
Thank you very much for the comments, they are VERY helpful! My DCs are a couple months old, the next best server I have is my terminal server (a PowerEdge 2500 - couple years old).

I've promoted my server already so that's not a concern.

My tape backup hardware is on the primary DC which is also convenient.

I'll be happy to hear any more comments then I'll close this issue / split these points.
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:Network_Data_Support
ID: 20319508
there isnt really alot more to say mate, its not recomended and may cause you lots of issues when things go wrong. you also going to get alot of errors proberly when restarting the server ever.
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LVL 104

Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 20319547
Unless you installed Windows 2000 x64, then you are not going to be able to use those machines. You will need to wipe one of them and reinstall Windows 2003 X64.

Simon.
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Author Closing Comment

by:AnimatorOne
ID: 31410023
Thanks for the help!
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