Two Domain Controller with VMware

orkinos used Ask the Experts™
I plan to install 2xDomain controller DC1 and DC2 with windows 2008 standard in VMware ESXi free server.
DC1 is main domain controller and DC2 is redundancy domain controller.
i have a server with 2x Gigabit ethernet and 2x 1Tb hard disk.
is that a good idea ? or any suggestions. 2x domain controller in vmware server are stabil?
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Top Expert 2011

This would not be a problem, if they only host the domain controller role.
Only thing to consider is if you install both Domain controllers are on the same Vmware host, if the host fails both DC's are down.
It is not that great of an idea.  The main point of multiple DCs is for redundancy or load balancing.  If one DC is not able to respond due to lack of resources, cut in netowork link, hard drive trashing, high CPU usage, whatever, then the other will be feeling that also.  You be better off to run your second DC on an older machine and have it handle the basics in case your heavy duty DC goes down.  I often will use the machine I am "retiring" act as a secondary DNS, AD, GC only.  Sometimes perhaps some minor NAS work, such as archives of backups, or other non mission critical things.  When I need to take down my main dc for something, everyone can still log into the domain, surf the net, etc.

As far as stability, it will be just as stable as any other configuration.
Top Expert 2011
This is not an issue, but not recommended for production if you don't have no physical DCs, as ronnypot said if you loose the host you loose the DCs
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017
Many organisations have virtual Domain Controllers. It's entirely up to your organization's policy, if you have physical or virtual Domain Controllers, there are no rules that state that all Domain Controllers have to be physical, if you do opt for Virtual Domain controllers, never use Snapshots to roll the servers back.

VMware vSphere Hypervisor is the new name for ESXi.

The free download is available from here

you need to register to download for free.

The latest versions is ESX 4.1 U1

Here are the documents

Getting Started Guide

Please make sure you server is on the Hardware Compatibility List

and you use a 64 bit server and enable Intel Virtualisation Tecnology also called Intel-VT.

compare the differences between ESX and ESXi (the replacement for ESX)
Mike ThomasConsultant
Top Expert 2010
Having 2 domain controllers running on ESXi is perfectly fine, you do not need physical domain controllers, however having those Domain controllers on the same hardware is a very bad idea and makes having 2 DC's almost pointless. You would be better off installing one of them on to a PC if you cannot affor more server hardware.

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