Is there a reason not to virtualize a Domain Controller with VMware

Posted on 2011-10-14
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
We are about to upgrade our corporate environment with VMware. I was planning on running desktops on one server and the Domain Controller & File Server on another host server. A software vendor of ours strongly suggested that we do NOT virtualize our Domain Controller. He stated that there are numerous problems with DC's running as a VM. I have heard of issues with Hyper V and running DC's as a VM but is this true for VMware's Vsphere?
Question by:mlsbraves
    LVL 57

    Accepted Solution

    Disagree strongly wih your vendor.  No problems at all if you do it right,  I'd first read through these two entries

    Some things you don't do

    1.  Sync time with the host...let the windows time hierarchy work
    2.  Take snapshots and use them

    I wouldn't run every DC in the domain on the same SAN if all your storage is in one place.

    I'd ask the vendor what issues he is talking about specifically. the way the virtualization of DCs is going to become even more common place with Windows 8.  Mark has a preview here



    LVL 17

    Expert Comment

    Absolutely not.  Your vendor is trying to sell you more hardware than you actually need.  VMware does not rely on Windows Domains, unless you use VMware vCenter server, and even then, you have the ability to connect to VMware hosts directly (i.e. not through vCenter server) and start the machines up.
    LVL 116

    Assisted Solution

    by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
    We run all our DCs on VMware, and so do ALL of our clients now, once upon a time, organisations, did not trust Virtual, so kept at least one physical, but now all our virtual.

    What gives Virtual DCs a bad name, is Virtual Admins, that Rollback Snapshots!

    Because they do not understand what Snapshots are and do!

    The DS team has a good blog entry on it here:  (also look for part 2)

    LVL 3

    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks for the comments and links, these should be very useful.

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