AD and Exchange on VMWare ESXi 4.0 Update 1 (free edition)

I'm planning to implement AD (Win2008Std) and Exchange (2007 Std) over VMWare ESXi 4.0 Update1. I appreciate a lot your expert comments about considerations i must have.

If there is any issues with Win2008, i have no problem to work on Win2003Std

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ive done it on multiple esxi 4.0 u1.

Only thing to make sure of is storage and backups. IMHO
Mike ThomasConsultantCommented:
There are no issuesat all and i have run it more than once, but many people have said that your first DC should be on seperate hardware and the other DC's can then go on the VM host, this is more to do with redundancy than technical limitations though.

Get plenty of RAM and you'll be ok.  You haven't said how many users you will be supporting.  Given that you're running AD and Exchange on the same VM, I 'm going to guess that you've got less than 100 users.  Based on that, Having a minimum of 8GB of RAM in your ESXi host will be a good start (but put more in now if you can - RAM is cheap).

Don't skip on the number of drives either.  It's better to have the data spread across six smaller drives instead two big drives.  If you can, get an external SAN.

Make sure you have at least two network ports - again more is better though.

How are you going to backup Exchange?  If it's virtual you can't use an internal or external tape drive as there is no easy of attaching it to the server.

Finally, as has alread been said - have another DC on a physical box incase everything goes horribly wrong for you.

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Although you haven't mentioned any particular versions of Exchange 2007/Windows 2008, just be aware that Exchange 2007 SP2 is not supported on Windows 2008 R2.

Don't run Active Directory and Exchange on the same Virtual Machine, as exchange would not talk to other DC's on your network.

Separate the logs and the mailbox databases onto separate drives, and you should be fine.
albertofresnilloAuthor Commented:
Your guess is correct, i will handle 25 users, so it won't be a lot of load on VMWare Server.
Im planning to backup to disk across the network, at midnight, where is not people working. I think i will use the physical DC to store Exchange database backups and pass tape drive from there.

Good idea for the physical backup and backup DC.

Sounds like you've got everything covered.  Only other thing I will say is have a good poke around ESXi, mess around with it, make sure you are familiar with how it works before you deploy your live servers as it will save you pain in the future.
make sure your time is setup correctly.
not quite sure what bntech means by that I'm going to guess.

ESXi is notorious for time drift.  Make sure you configure the NTP service on it correctly.  Also, make sure you DON'T sync the time on your virtual machines with the ESXi host.
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