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I want to setup a little fileserver/domain controller/sharepoint server.

SharePoint shouldn't run on the DC directly, so I want to use HyperV. But I never used it before, so I wonder: Should I install the Domain Controller and HyperV Role and run 1 VM for SharePoint? Or should I run HyperV server and then 2 servers, one for SharePoint and 1 for DC?

Usage is minimal with only 1 user. Hardware will be an Athlon II X3 with 3x2.9 GHz and 4 GB RAM.

Operating System will be Server 2008 R2 Standard in all cases.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Put it on the hardware. This way you ahve full DC functionality. I run a couple of those - 16gb, dc and file serving from hardware, as well as hyper-v role. 4gb ram are taxing it, though. Get at least 8gb like a normal workstation should have ;)

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Agreed, a bare metal hypervisor would be preferable. – John Gardeniers Apr 29 '10 at 8:19

I believe a DC should be a DC and nothing else, so I would make that the guest. Just be aware that the DC and anything it serves will not be available to the host when it boots.

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-1 - f that is asmall install, not availble includes things like group policy startup scripts. Simply not practical. been there. – TomTom Apr 29 '10 at 7:48
@TomTom, it's perfectly practical if due care and consideration is given. e.g. Don't try to log on till after the DC is up. You'll find quite a few articles written on this very subject. – John Gardeniers Apr 29 '10 at 8:18
Sorry, no - some things have to run from the DC during boot, like startup scripts. – TomTom Apr 29 '10 at 8:23

We run all our DCs as VMs on Hyper-V. The only caveat to be aware of is 'clusters will not start without at least one domain controller'; if you have a cluster, make absolutely sure at least one DC is not on the cluster or the cluster will not start the next time you lose power.

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ouch, I cringe just thinking about that! – Chance Jun 8 '11 at 17:46

HyperV should be the only role installed, any other configuration is not supported. Once you have HyperV installed, then it makes sense to set up seperate VMs, one for your DC and one for your application server.

The dynamic memory management in Server 2008 R2 SP1 works very well and avoids having to pre-assign large chunks of RAM to each server.

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It's perfectly possible to run a domain controller within a Hyper-V host: The Domain Controller Dilemma (There is also a Technet article on the subject).

For your environment, you can probably run the domain controller as a Hyper-V guest along with the SharePoint virtual machine.

Note that, unless you have special licensing provisions, as a Hyper-V host Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard only allows you to run one guest operating system without an additional server license and that Hyper-V host has to be dedicated to only Hyper-V, i.e., you can't run both Hyper-V and domain controller roles on the same bare metal machine.

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I know this is an old post, but I am running AD on the HyperV host and another on a dedicated guest for redundancy purposes. It seems to work great in this configuration.

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