AD basic setup

I'm looking to setup a small startup business (8 staff) which has bought two servers. They want an Active Directory setup (although they're not sure what benefit they get from this). They also want one server to be a file server and the other to be for some dedicated document management / cad /3d drawing server software.

My experience is close to none on windows server setup, but i've heard that its best to not have an AD server also running hyperV. Does this mean the AD server should only function as an AD server or could it act as file server as well ?(which is what they want)

Any pointers to useful resouces also appreciated, they already have cloud email, so they dont need exchange or anything fancy. Are there any important considerations for a basic AD setup that i should be aware of?

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Mayavan RTechnical ConsultantCommented:

AD server can be File server and it will have Active directory DNS services which will replicate during AD replication itself so that we reduce traffic over network.

Regarding AD on Hyper-V refer this forum :

Basic of AD setup :

Hope this will help you.
jly999Author Commented:
How does AD DNS services reduce traffic over the network? Also, should I have file server on different partition of and server or in a VM? Thanks
Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
A domain controller should not be configured on the HOST of a VM and only a Guest VM. Also Active Directory should run completely separate from other services like file servers/sql servers/Exchange etc. The only thing that I would recommend having run on an DC would be DNS/DHCP/ADDS that is it.

Also some of the main benefits for implementing active directory are below...
- centralized management
- centralized control for machine policies/restrictions
- feature rich, functionaility rich
- Scriptable
- Easy to integrate with other systems/applicaitons/software
- Multi Language support
- Easy to achieve High Availiability for DNS/AD DS
- Policies (password lengeth, complexity etc)
- User Policies/ Machine policies
- You can integrate with other corporations using Forest Trusts

See the link below for additonal benefits for Active Directory


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jly999Author Commented:
Thanks for the help, I'm unsure what you mean about the host/guest VM though . whats the difference, sorry showing my ignorance here...

The problem is that its a small company and they want the server to be more than a domain controller. If the domain controller is installed not on a   but on main server, can I have separate VM for the file server on same machine? thanks
Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
You have a HOST server for your VM infrastructure. The Host server does not go on the domain. You then install/configure Hyper-V on this Host machine where you start to create your Guest VM's (which are the VM's that are residing on the HOST server).

From there you can create mutliple Guest VM's on this host which the Guest will be part of the domain.

Hopefully this make sense.

jly999Author Commented:
I think I see, so this way one physical server is DC only, the other physical server has hyperv and vm's.

But that leaves the DC under utilised, can I have the dc and  file server on same server or is that not rrcommended?
Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
No you can have both servers configured as a Hyper-v host. You can then setup your Guest VM's underneath each of the host. Just make sure that you have enough resouces for all of the Guest VM's

jly999Author Commented:
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Active Directory

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