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W2k8 Server Standard - 4G RAM max question

Posted on 2009-07-09
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Last Modified: 2012-05-07
Hello -

I will be setting up a standalone DC (first one in new domain) and will then convert it to a VM. I just noticed the max RAM for W2k8 Server Standard is 4 Gigs. I have 16 Gigs in the server that will become the ESXi server. I assume VMware can then be able to use the full 16 gigs of RAM, and possibly allocate more to the VM DC machine? little confused--
thanks
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Question by:Trevor Local
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vmwarun - Arun earned 150 total points
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My suggestion would be to install ESXi first and then start with your Windows Domain Controller Installation.

What version of ESXi are you planning to install, ESXi 3.5 or ESXi 4.0 ?

I do not recommend P2V of Domain Controllers.


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by:Trevor Local
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I just got the server, and it's Dell preinstalled with Server Standard, with RAID5. I haven't fired it up yet. So that box will become the ESXi (4.0) and will have a DC VM.
So I should install the ESXi first, then install the DC as a VM? I assume that will alleviate the RAM issue to?
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by:vmwarun - Arun
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ESXi 4.0 can support 16 GB RAM.

Please update the Hardware Details of your Server. ( No of Procs, RAM, Storage)
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by:Datedman
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Your VM will still be limited because of the Windows license, unless you use 64 bit (for which you are already licensed.)
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by:Trevor Local
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I have the Xeon X3323 Quad Core, 16 G (4x4), Perc 6/i Controller with 3 SATA hot plug drives (250G 7.2RPM)

za_mkh made reference to the support of the SATA controllers with ESXi. I did see the Perc 6/i controller on the HCL list though. Not sure about the hot plug drives.
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by:vmwarun - Arun
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If the controller is listed on the VMware HCL, then the drives should be fine since VMware ESXi 4.0 supports SCSI, SAS and SATA Drives.
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by:Trevor Local
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is installing the 64 bit version an option with the server reinstall CD? assuming I install the ESXi first then install the DC VM.
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by:Datedman
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Hmm I just realized I may be wrong, not sure if you have a Dell OEM license that is 32-bit only.  Should check with Dell.
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by:Trevor Local
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You are right. It comes with 32 bit. So now I guess we need the 64 bit OS upgrade to be able to use the 16G RAM, or more than 4 Gig of it in the VM?

And that leads to the next question of do I need to use more than 4 gigs of RAM in the VM DC? There's 5 clients, no mail server.
And I also have 2 databases to think about. Do I also run those on the DC VM, or run those separately. One is Quickbooks, one user, the other is a small inventory database, 5 users. Both currently sit on an XP machine acting as the server.
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by:Datedman
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Okay if you can spring for extra licenses you're much better off running the DC in a separate VM IMO, will take about 512 megs (or less.)   QUICKBOOKS OMG put that in a separate machine if possible. :)  Actually now that I think of it, just use an XP virtual for QB and another XP virtual for the inventory database?  Should work at least as well as they do now.
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by:Datedman
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...so may I ask why you even need much more memory, firepower, or even ESX?  Sounds like the operation is relatively small?  How many computers total?  Maybe you could save a load of cash and go with 64-bit 2K8 running virtual machines in Hyper-V.  Which is also easier/cheaper to learn and maintain IMO...
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by:Trevor Local
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yes, it's overkill,  and a small operation. has potential to grow. main concern is to get everything off the XP workstation. And to play with a new virtual world (test out other OS's and functions).
I don't know much about the Hyper-V.
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by:qualchoice-it
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Just a word of advice on P to V a DC, you did state you were doing that right?  I would build your DC out as a VM, I've seen very quarky issues when taking a Physical Box that has AD installed and making it a VM, when you stand up a DC on a physical box the MAC address is embedded inside of AD, your AD will start growing in size for no reason over a period of a few months up to a year. Just thought i would mention that.  Guess its a bug that needs to be fixed in VMWARE.
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by:za_mkh
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Mirror what the other say: Build the DC as a VM. Don't P2V it.
Your other question re 4GB  memory for a DC ... yes I think it is overkill for 5 users especially  if it is going to do nothing but be a DC. Our DCs run on 2GB memory (on Win2K3 32Bit) and they support 9000 Users!
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