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Server 2008, Exchange 2010 Hyper-V Deployment Recommendation

Hi Gang,

We're starting the due diligence process to migrate a 2003 Small Business Server utilized as Domain Controller and Exchange server.  Due to migration limitations, we will be migrating to Server 2008 R2 and Exchange 2010. New server/hardware has not been purchased.

Currently we have about 85 users and Exchange database is maxed out at 75GB. We would prefer purchasing/utilizing 1 server.  It appears there are various configuration options utilizing Hyper-V on one hardware platform. This is where I get confused. What options are preferred and recommended?

1.      Configure 2 VM’s one as Domain Controller. One as Exchange server. (What happens when physical machine is restarted? Is the DC available when the physical machine boots? Does this cause issues if the VM  Domain Controller hasn't started?

2.      Configure the domain controller for physical hardware, (joined to domain). Configure Exchange as VM.

3.      Utilize 2 RAID configurations – One RAID 1 for OS and domain controller roles. One RAID 5 or 10 for Exchange.

4.      Utilize one RAID 5 or 10. Create separate Volumes from RAID controller for DC and Exchange. (Wouldn't this limit the ability to grow/increase VM’s storage dynamically?)

Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.

Thank you!
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atsanders
Asked:
atsanders
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
1) Indeed, configure 2 VMs. One DC, one Exchange. Leave the host in a workgroup. So what happens when you reboot the host? The host comes up fine because it doesn't rely on a domain, so even though the DC is not yet up, it has no impact. Configure the Exchange VM with a delayed start so it starts after the DC has finished coming up.

2) No. Do not collocate the ADDS and the Hyper-V roles. Hyper-V should always be the *only* role on physical hardware if you are going to run any VMs.

3) How you choose to configure RAID will be very dependent on budget and performance. You can go RAID 1 for the physical OS, or even no RAID if you have reasonable backups. Then put your VHD's on RAID 1, RAID 5/6, RAID10, depending on speed and resiliency desires.

4) An extension of 3. And agian, no right answer here...but each environment is different and has different tolerances for outages and budgets.
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atsandersAuthor Commented:
Excellent Cgaliher.  Thanks for taking the time to respond. I think you have me pointed in the right direction. One last question...  Are there any benefits creating separate volumes for each VM?
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
Potentially less fragmentation. And from an administrative perspective, easier identification of volumes and their purpose.
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atsandersAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the time and information Cgaliher!
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