Advice on Server 2003 DC Use in a small network

I'm responsible for a small network of 50 users/machines with 2 servers and I'm looking for some insight regarding how to make the best use of what hardware resources I have available without over-burdening the PDC.

Server 1: Dual Xeon machine with 4Gb RAM and 200 Gb total in a RAID 5 running Windows 2003 R2. This maching is our PDC, file and print server as well as running DNS, DHCP, WSUS 2.0, Symantec Antivirus Server and a few other minor pieces. Currently it's CPU use never rises over 30%, and that's only during a backup or full virus scan - generally it's around 5-10%.

Server 2: P4 2.8 with 1.5Gb RAM and a single SCSI drive also running Server 2003 R2. It is primarily our mail server (GroupWise), but also functions as a backup DC and runs Backup Exec to backup both servers with an internal LTO-2.

Basically, I have a management package (imaging, inventory and patch management)I'd like to run, but it's system requirements call for a 2.8 Ghz P4 and 2 Gigs RAM. However, I'd also be removing WSUS as this woudl replace it. Ideally, I'd like to just run it on Server 1, but I'm concerned whether this would be too much for a PDC and might affect it's responsiveness to users.

Any insights would be appreciated.

DanoklasAsked:
Who is Participating?

[Webinar] Streamline your web hosting managementRegister Today

x
 
and235100Connect With a Mentor Commented:
"Personally" - if you have available funds - have two DCs as KCTS states- but just doing that.
Email should be separate as well, in an ideal world, from any other apps.
This package is unlikely to need all those resources, just for package deployment. But going with the specs - do not put this on either of these servers.
Ultimately - if you have to - load-balance the FSMO roles, and install the package management software on the 2nd server.
0
 
KCTSCommented:
Personally I would rather have two DCs than one, that way there is a degree of redundancy.

I like the quote from the boss of American Airlines when asked why he always flew in a plane with four engines? - "Because they don't make one with eight".
0
 
DanoklasAuthor Commented:
We do have two DC's... as mentioned, the primary server is a DC as well ass the email server. That's the concern. I don't want to put this package on the mail server as it doesn't have the RAM anyway. However, while the other server has plenty of RAM and rarely get's more than 10% utilization, I just don't have enough experience with Windows Domains yet to know whether I really should steer clear of putting something that intense on a DC.

BTW, the system requirements for the management software - which is Novell Zenworks Configuration Management 10 in case you were wondering -  is for up to 500 users (2.8 GHz P4 and 2Gb RAM).
0
Keep up with what's happening at Experts Exchange!

Sign up to receive Decoded, a new monthly digest with product updates, feature release info, continuing education opportunities, and more.

 
and235100Connect With a Mentor Commented:
Oh - Zenworks. Now, actually - that is a bit of a resource-hog... (or so I have found in the past)

Okay - if funds do not allow for another server - put Zenworks on the 2nd DC...
Although - there is really no such thing as a "PDC" in Server 2003 - if you have both DCs as GC servers - and the FSMO roles are shared - then this allows for some redundancy if a server goes down...

PDC and BDC are more NT4-era descriptions - not really valid for a 2003 schema.
0
 
DanoklasAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the input. I think I'm going with a third option... upgrade the ram on an administrative workstation and use it instead.  Given my experience testing ZCM this on a VMware setup, I'm just not confident enough in it's maturity to risk one of our main servers.
0
 
and235100Commented:
Good choice. Thanks.
0
All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.