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Microsoft Domain Controller Specifications

Posted on 2012-03-19
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Last Modified: 2012-03-23
Hello,

I realize the answer can be, "it depends" and I know that this is somewhat of an open question.  

I am trying to size domain controllers for an office that currently has 30 people but I want to allow growth for 50 people and I want the machine to last for 5 to 8 years.    The DC would provide basic Active Directory services.  The remainder of the environment would include:
1 application server, 1 SQL server and 1 web server.

Print an and file services would remain on the app or sql server.

If I needed to put in Terminal services I think I would put these services on the app server.

I don't think I need any monster server to perform these functions but I feel when I go to any major mfg. they will want me to purchase something over sized.
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Question by:tucktech
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Lee W, MVP earned 250 total points
ID: 37740265
Are you virtualizing or getting several physical servers?

(I would be getting one or two physical servers, a SAN, and setting up a VM cluster.  *I* would probably use Hyper-V but outside of price (as I think clustering is NOT free on ESXi), VMWare ESXi is the standard).

As for hardware, 1 GB of RAM, Single CPU with a Single core should be MORE THAN SUFFICIENT for a DC in such a TINY environment.  AD is simply not a resource hog.  Now, I wouldn't get that... among other things, I don't think they sell single core systems anymore.  But that's partly why I'd go with VMs.

With a need for 4 servers, you can get one copy of Server 2008 R2 Enterprise and run 4 VMs on it with no additional Windows licensing.  AND install it to the physical hardware for Virtualization purposes only.  (Enterprise has a 1+4 license model where the 1 is virtualization only plus 4 VMs OR a shared install plus 3 VMs).
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Author Closing Comment

by:tucktech
ID: 37756864
This is good advice.  You would have to create a BOOK to provide "complete" answser.  Thank you.
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