Promote Member Server Running Exchange 2010 to a Domain Controller

jdr1237
jdr1237 used Ask the Experts™
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I have an environment with the following servers:
1) Two domain controllers running Server 2003 Standard 32 bit.  One server is 1 1/2 years old and the other one is about 7 years old.

2) One member server running Server 2003 Standard with Exchange 2003, 32 bit

The Exchange server is 7 years old and needs to be replaced.  I am going to purchase a new 64 bit server that will run Server 2008 R2 with Exchange 2010, 64 bit with 12 GB ram.

Instead of buying a replacement server for the 7 year old domain controller, can I promote the Exchange 2010 server to a domain controller, and retire the old domain controller?

If the Exchange 2010 server can become a domain controller, would there be any problems when I upgrade in the future to the new version of Exchange on another server?
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Multitechnician
Top Expert 2014
Commented:
Check this page : http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa996719.aspx

Installing Exchange 2010 on Directory Servers
For security and performance reasons, we recommend that you install Exchange 2010 only on member servers and not on Active Directory directory servers. However, you can't run DCPromo on a computer running Exchange 2010. After Exchange 2010 is installed, changing its role from a member server to a directory server, or vice versa, isn't supported.
It is possible to install Exchange Server 2010 on an Active Directory Domain Controller. However, for performance and security reasons it is NOT recommended. It seams you have a small organization so having a less powerful domain controller as a seperate box is the best solution if you cannot afford a new box.
You will be kicking yourself if you do this. You never want to have a single server in charge of 2 major roles if you have to rebuild the server in case of a crash.
You can create a virtual server on the Exchange box using Hyper-V and make that virtual server a domain controller.  This would not be good if it is the only DC, but you have another, so this would be a decent short-term fix.
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MASEE Solution Guide - Technical Dept Head
Most Valuable Expert 2017
Commented:
If your budget doesn't cover a new server harrdware. Then you can go ahead with hyper-v as mentioned by lluden.

Make sure you have enough memory in the server as Hub/CAS requires heavy memory to have better performance.
leakim971Multitechnician
Top Expert 2014
Commented:
be sure to be able to install hyper-v

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc732470(WS.10).aspx#BKMK_reqs

Hyper-V requires an x64-based processor, hardware-assisted virtualization, and hardware data execution prevention (DEP).
Using the newly purchased physical server, I'll also recommend installing HyperV on the physical box while you can have 2 virtual servers running of the host. 1 as your Exchange Server while the 2nd as your Domain controller. I'll also recommend upgrading one of the old DCs with Windows Server 2008 DC so that way you can run a 2008 forest n domain functional level (i.e, if all your member server run windows Server 2008).

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