Quick check my  Domain Controller hardware specs

Tiras25
Tiras25 used Ask the Experts™
on
Hello folks, need another pair of eyes to check my DC Win2016 hardware specs.  Only for AD purposes box.  DC, DHCP, DNS.  It'll be sitting separately from VM environment and crunching only AD specific purposes.  

HPE ProLiant DL360 Gen10 Performance - rack-mountable -Xeon Silver 4110 2. - x1
Intel Xeon Silver 4110 / 2.1 GHz processor- x1
HPE SmartMemory - DDR4 - 16 GB - DIMM 288-pin -registered - x1
HPE Read Intensive - solid state drive - 480 GB - SATA 6Gb/s - x2
HPE Foundation Care 24x7 Service - extended service agreement - 3 years - o - x1
Hardware Option(s) Install into a Server (CDW ConfigurationServices) - x1
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Top Expert 2014
Commented:
It's about 10 times as fast as a 3 year old server of the same price so I suspect it can still do the same job whatever the code monkeys throw at it. Most of that is down to SSDs.
Joseph HornseyPresident and Janitor
Commented:
You're fine.

The minimum hardware requirements for WIndows Server 2016 are WAY under what you're looking at.

To give you perspective, I've got a 2016 Standard (Desktop Experience installed) server with Active Directory, DHCP, DNS doing some basic file sharing, DFS and running backup software on:

- HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen8
- Intel i3-3240 @ 2.40Ghz
- 4GB RAM
- A few 7200 RPM SATA drives

It never hits CPU or RAM usage enough to show up on our monitors.  Granted, it's a small branch office.

How many users/computers do you have?
Jeff GloverSr. Systems Administrator
Commented:
To be honest, limiting it to AD/DNS/DHCP is kind of a waste. I do 2 cores (you have 8 cores in that processor), 8 GB RAM with normal drives for AD.
  But to answer.... Yeah, you're fine
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Author

Commented:
Thanks guys!  ~350 users roughly at that site.
More than adequate.

A DC usually has a very small load. Even with 350 users an old desktop pc with an i5, a 200Gb hard drive and 4Gb of ram would work just fine, as a DC. DNS, DHCP and AD really do not need much.

Although virtualised DCs are now supported, I always prefer to have one physical DC holding at least the PDC emulator role in an otherwise virtualised environment. I also configure it to start a couple of mins before the VM hosts when power is applied, and have the UPS shut it down last. That way VM hosts have DNS, AD and a time source up when they start.  Sometimes you get to "choose your battles" and having an actual DC tends to make things simpler and easier.

Author

Commented:
Totally agree.
Thanks bunch Mal!
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
No way I setup a physical DC - HUGE waste of resources.  Anything short of an ATOM CPU would be sufficient with 2 GB of RAM.  DC functionality and it's commonly associated services is REALLY light weight.  Especially considering that your network will have TWO DCs.

Author

Commented:
Hey Lee, there are few reasons for that.  I like to keep Domain Controllers physical separate from VM hosts.  The way I configure they, they are crunching specific processes and getting bounced maybe x1-2 per year.  And given AD is most stable MS product it requires less maintenance.
That way I avoid any types of VM host performance issues, resource shortages, and downtimes.  These 1-2 boxes just sitting there and just forget about them. I feel its safer that way.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
That's why you have 2 DCs on two different hosts.  The odds of having to reboot both at the same time are REALLY low.  In my opinion, especially for systems that are ONLY DCs (as opposed to DC/File Server or other shared service servers), there's rarely a good reason to go physical.  It's a waste of money in my opinion... If you want to buy something like an HP Micro Server or other small, low powered system, it's less egregious, but a server with the specs you've posted - that's a HUGE waste of money in my opinion given your described usage.  Consider it's also using power and causing you to have better cooling in the area by having the additional physical hardware.  It's not JUST the cost of the physical server.

Author

Commented:
The price is very insignificant here $2-3K for the box.  And power.. seriously!?
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
I don't know what you pay for electricity - but at $0.20 per kWh with actual usage of at least 150 watts per hour, that's 72 cents per day per physical server or about $260 per year.  5 year lifespan - $1300.  And that's not including the cooling considerations. It's great if your company makes crazy money and doesn't mind throwing away that amount... but most companies would be pleased you save them money.

Additionally, by not virtualizing, you're potentially throwing away an additional Windows license that could potentially be useful.

You seem quite set in your ways - you MUST have a physical server... good luck... because most people reviewing your config would question the need.

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