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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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14 Comments
 
LVL 19

Accepted Solution

by:
vmwarun - Arun earned 600 total points
ID: 24818751
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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Author Comment

by:Trevor Local
ID: 24818768
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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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:vmwarun - Arun
ID: 24818810
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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LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:Datedman
ID: 24818958
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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Author Comment

by:Trevor Local
ID: 24818992
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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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:vmwarun - Arun
ID: 24819018
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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Author Comment

by:Trevor Local
ID: 24819026
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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LVL 10

Assisted Solution

by:Datedman
Datedman earned 600 total points
ID: 24819044
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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Author Comment

by:Trevor Local
ID: 24819429
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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LVL 10

Assisted Solution

by:Datedman
Datedman earned 600 total points
ID: 24819461
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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LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:Datedman
ID: 24819478
...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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Author Comment

by:Trevor Local
ID: 24819559
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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LVL 3

Assisted Solution

by:qualchoice-it
qualchoice-it earned 400 total points
ID: 24823452
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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LVL 21

Assisted Solution

by:za_mkh
za_mkh earned 400 total points
ID: 24823487
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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