Windows Server 2008 R2 + Hyper-V VM Network configuration

Right now our network consists of 1 physical Windows 2003 standard server (DC, DNS, DHCP, File & Print, and Exchange 2003), 1 physical SQL \ application server, 1 physical VOIP server.

We purchased a new server with the intent of consolidating some of these onto one host.   Our preliminary plan has been to install Windows Server 2008 Standard R2 on the hardware, configure that as a DC + DNS, DHCP, and file & print server, and VOIP server (3CX).  Then we'll create VM1 for Exchange 2010, VM2 for SQL \ App server, VM3 for Sharepoint.

I'd like your feedback on whether or not this is an intelligent configuration.  We're a small company (< 20 users) and been running with a single DC for a long time.  Thanks in advance.
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That sounds good, but you will need 4 Windows server licenses. It is actually cheaper to buy 1 copy of Windows Enterprise. It will allow you to run 1 copy on the physical host running AD, file, print etc., and 3 more instances as VMs on that same host. Enterprise normally allows you to run 4 copies of Windows in VMs and one copy on the physical box with Hyper-V if and only if the physical box is only managing Hyper-V. Since you will be doing more than that you lose the license to that 4th VM. I would run the DC on the hardware, so your plan is good.
Your config sounds fine. I've been putting in very similar systems recently. Whatever you do don't put 32 bit clients. Its a waste of time and everything just works under 2008 x64

The only thing to remember is sizing of the host.

Exchange 2010 - 6-8gb
Sharepoint web front end - 4-6Gb
SQL server - the sky's the limit but anything under 4-6gb is tiny.
The host will consume some memory but not much - lets say 1-2 Gb

so you're looking at a host with around 20gb memory. While it sounds a lot its not expensive to put this amount of memory in a box these days.

I'd recommend purchasing a small Nas (we use Synology and no problems whatsoever) for both doing backups of the servers and for emergency extra disk space. With iSCSI you can provision a 100gb disk and move files onto it in a matter of minutes. They cost little and are well worth the investment.

When you migrate exchange remember to locate both the db and the logs on disks with *loads* of free space. Exchange 2010 introduces an important change. Previously when someone sent an attachment to the whole company, the attachment was stored once. In 2010 it is duplicated in each mailbox ... that on its own can push up your db size noticably. I recently migrated a client whose mail db went from around 40 to around 80gb!
Also if you are going to migrate mail using pst import remember that the imported mail will generate  1Gb of exchange logs for 1Gb of mail... this is where the Nas will come in handy.


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Svet PaperovIT ManagerCommented:
From licensing point of view (this of Microsoft), with Windows Server 2008 Standard you can install one physical and one virtual machine only if the instance running on the physical machine is used for hardware virtualization purposes and nothing else. See the following document at page 3:
Sorry, me too, I used to think like you.
I remember seeing a discussion a year or so back  on the subject. The license is slightly more open than only virtualization. This is from the document:

•      Windows Server 2008 Standard: Assigning a single license of Windows Server 2008 Standard to a server permits you to run one instance of the software in one physical and one virtual OSE on that server. If you run both the permitted instances at the same time, the instance of the server software running in the physical OSE may only be used to run hardware virtualization software, provide hardware virtualization services or to run software to manage and service the OSEs on the server

Someone from MS indicated that this was meant to permit using the host as a Domain controller among other things. Essentially you can use the normal functions of windows but not install anything else.
Unfortunately I don't know where the discussion was. Too long ago.

From a practical perspective in small installations the host would need to be a dhcp and dns server... how would the IT person's pc get an IP address and find the domain to be able to get to the other machines when starting everything up. While its not obligatory, if the host is not a dc the setup gets messy trying to guarantee the bootup sequence so that the dcs start first.


I think the best way, if you want to consolidate to just one server, would be an 2008 R2 Enterprise server. With this you get 1 physical and four virtual licenses.
The configuration would than be:
host - Server 2008 R2 - with only Hyper-V role!
vm1 - Server 2008 R2 - DC, DNS, DHCP, file server, VOIP server
vm2 - Server 2008 R2 - Exchange Server
vm3 - Server 2008 R2 - SQL/APP server
vm4 - Server 2008 R2 - Sharepoint server

The only shortfall of this configuration is that dc and file services reside on the same server - some user could possibly infect your domain controller via file share. If your budget allows, you should consider another virtual machine, for the file server only.

Note1 - you should not run any other roles than Hyper-V on the host server.
Note2 - host server should not be joined to the domain.

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Windows Server 2008

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