Avatar of inseek
inseek
Flag for United States of America asked on

Running Hyper-V on a single server (DC, Database server etc)

We’re small company with less than 30 employees. Out old physical server (dual-core Intel CPU, Windows SBS 2003) is too slow to run AD and some database and other software so it is time for hardware upgrade and move into virtualization.

Since multiple servers/advanced storage solutions are out of picture at this moment, we’ll have to find best way to host 3 or 4 Windows Server 2008 R2 VMs on a single physical server/host in addition to our AD/Domain Controller. Since I do not have any advanced knowledge, I am facing major challenges and I need to set the server up in 10 days.
My boss decided to go with Hyper-V instead of vSPhere (don’t ask me why, not my decision). We already purchased the server (dual-socket 4-core Xeons with 24GB RAM, 2x 250GB RAID1 + 4x1TB RAID10 connected to Adaptec RAID 2805) and 2x Windows Server 2008 R2 OEM.

I have some questions I hope you may help me:

1.      Should I go with Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 (bare metal hypervisor, free) or Windows Server 2008 R2 core or full install?
Initially I was thinking about going with Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 but my problem is that with this scenario I will not be able to manage my RAID controller so there is no way I can get notifications about disk failure. The server will reside in the room that is not frequently visited.  So, I am not sure that I can install Adaptec Storage Manager on Windows Server 2008 core, but it should run on full install.

2.      Active Directory/Domain controller.
Let’s say we’ll go with a full install. Should I enable AD on a full installed copy of Windows server (Parent partition) or should I deploy and run it as separate VM (guest)? I know that Microsoft recommend not to use a server for more than one role, but with a single server that will host only few guests, what are my other options?

3.      Backups
Any suggestions for backup software and the best way to backup and restore DC and guests? I know I can use the build-in Windows backup to backup guests, but how effective it is when restore is required? I heard things about BackupAssist, BackupChain, Altaro and NovaBackup – all of around $300 software capable of backing up Hyper-V

4.      Any suggestions what to do with our old physical server?
 Can we use it, say, as a secondary (backup) DC or even install a Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 turning the server into a second Hyper-V host? Is it possible to restore guests from backup and run them on old server if the new (primary) server fails? I can upgrade the CPU to quad core and probably add more memory if required.

5.      Hyper-V or VMware
Since we’re still not started installing OS/Hypervisor, is there any reason(s) why we should choose VMware ESXi (free) instead of Hyper-V Server 2008 R2/Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V? The goals is to minimize potential downtime (if the new server goes down), ability to run/restore VMs from backup, better options to manage virtual machines, easy expansion to include additional hosts if needed, external (non-local) storage etc. The price is definitely a factor, I am on tight budget at least for the moment, so paid versions of ESXi are out of image.

Any help and suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
VirtualizationWindows Server 2008VMware

Avatar of undefined
Last Comment
inseek

8/22/2022 - Mon
ASKER CERTIFIED SOLUTION
James Haywood

Log in or sign up to see answer
Become an EE member today7-DAY FREE TRIAL
Members can start a 7-Day Free trial then enjoy unlimited access to the platform
Sign up - Free for 7 days
or
Learn why we charge membership fees
We get it - no one likes a content blocker. Take one extra minute and find out why we block content.
Not exactly the question you had in mind?
Sign up for an EE membership and get your own personalized solution. With an EE membership, you can ask unlimited troubleshooting, research, or opinion questions.
ask a question
SOLUTION
Lee W, MVP

Log in or sign up to see answer
Become an EE member today7-DAY FREE TRIAL
Members can start a 7-Day Free trial then enjoy unlimited access to the platform
Sign up - Free for 7 days
or
Learn why we charge membership fees
We get it - no one likes a content blocker. Take one extra minute and find out why we block content.
Not exactly the question you had in mind?
Sign up for an EE membership and get your own personalized solution. With an EE membership, you can ask unlimited troubleshooting, research, or opinion questions.
ask a question
inseek

ASKER
Thank you both for your advise.

leew:

24GB memory is not a problem as the existing server is running with 4GB that are enough (and we're not using Exchange in-house). We will need only 2 or 3 guests, and they do not need too much processing power or memory as until now they ran off dual core CPU. If I need more guests, we can purchase additional licenses for 2008 server.

My concern is now actually with OEM licenses. Does that mean that guests can only run on original hardware that was used to install them? In my case, if I use both OEM licenses on a new server and run two guests, what will happen if I decide to move the VM(s) to the old server and run it there? Old server is Dell PowerEdge 840 with Xeon 3040 so it is capable to run Hyper-V.


If we go Server 2008 R2 Enterprise route as you suggested and use one of Server 2008 R2 Standard licenses we already have for old server, can we set an old server as secondary DC and potentially use it as a host for VMs should the main (new) server go down? Server 2008 R2 Enterprise comes with 25 CALs that is enough for our current needs, do we have to purchase more CALs for secondary (backup) DC since it will be running Standard edition (I mean, is there a difference in CALs for 2008 Standard and Enterprise? I will try to convince management to purchase Enterprise edition since we're going to need at least one more Standard which comes with 5 CALs + 20 CALs we do not currently have.

Based on your answers/suggestions, I'm thinking that I can run primary DC as a guest on new server, and run secondary DC on old server. On old server, DC will run on hardware.

The reason why the primary DC will not run off the old server is that I need to keep old server up and running until I have everything in place on the new server. I am going to setup a completely new DC, and then existing workstations will re-join new domain (I have just 10 workstations that belong to the original domain that is running on old server, but there are more computers coming, some of them along with their own server running DC that will not be used). Am I on the right track with this (or should I separate this in a new question)?
SOLUTION
Log in to continue reading
Log In
Sign up - Free for 7 days
Get an unlimited membership to EE for less than $4 a week.
Unlimited question asking, solutions, articles and more.
inseek

ASKER
Our business operates from Mon-Fri, 9-5, it is not a problem to do it during the weekend when everything can be down. The server(s), including the database server, are not busy servers with 1000s transactions per second, so I don't really need a powerful machines with lots of memory and processing power. What I need is to separate our domain controller from database server, that's why the virtualization came in the picture on first place; and I just want to add more redundancy and ability to upgrade to better hardware in the future which I believe will be much easier with virtualized servers. I may also need to virtualize the server that one of the new companies will bring with them since they use some different database on it along with DC, but I am not clear about it at this moment. I am really assessing at the moment the possibility to go with Enterprise edition (about $2400) that will give me 4 guests and total of 25 CALs, or just getting one more 2008 Standard ($650) plus 20CALs ($650) that will give me 2 guests and one physical server for DC.

hhaywood000:

If I understand you correctly, if I have 3 OEM licenses for 2008 R2 Standard and I use two of them on new server to run 2 guests, and third on on old server, I will need a forth license in order to run 2 guest on old server? According to my plan, I will have a DC on new server running as guest, and backup DC (replica of primary one) running on hardware on old server. If the new server goes down, on theory, will I be able to run our operation by using secondary DC and simply restore the VM with database server (that originally ran on new server) from backup? Sorry, I do not have experience with setups that host more than one DCs or advanced virtualization), but I want to start things right from the beginning and will gather knowledge along the way (I guess most of us are following this route).

Thanks!
SOLUTION
Log in to continue reading
Log In
Sign up - Free for 7 days
Get an unlimited membership to EE for less than $4 a week.
Unlimited question asking, solutions, articles and more.
David Johnson, CD

If I understand you correctly, if I have 3 OEM licenses for 2008 R2 Standard and I use two of them on new server to run 2 guests, and third on on old server, I will need a forth license in order to run 2 guest on old server?

no Standard is 1 physical and 1 virtual on the same machine. The biggest gotcha is once you install it and register it.. that software is tied to that hardware..

You also will need client access licenses (CALS), and if you are thinking about using remote desktop then you need cals for them as well. SQL server also requires cal's. Cal's is always the sticky point. Make sure you select the right way of setting up the cals (per user) or (per machine) once you choose the method then you are stuck. Per user is great for people with desktops, laptops, home machine.. per machine is better for 24/7 operations

Hint:  Per User mode is tracked but not enforced.  It is up to you to maintain compliance.

Enterprise is better up to 4 vms per physical machine license.  Equivalent to 5 machines.
I started with Experts Exchange in 2004 and it's been a mainstay of my professional computing life since. It helped me launch a career as a programmer / Oracle data analyst
William Peck
inseek

ASKER
Got approval for 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition, so that will be the OS on new server.

Thanks for your help and suggestions!