Today we suffered from a hard drive failure on an old server that was acting as a domain controller (Windows Server 2008). It was also sharing our printers and acting as a DNS server. Luckily, all the user files and folders were on a seperate server that's backed up to an external hard drive.
As a side project of mine I have been gradually learning more about virtualisation. So now that I have got to rebuild our domain controller I wondered if it was a good time to move the DC to a virtual machine.
We now have the following servers:
- HP ProLiant DL360 G4 3.0GHz Xeon 4GB RAM. 73GB HDD. x3
- HP ProLiant DL360 G4 2.4GHz 3GB RAM. 292GB HDD
- HP ProLiant ML110 G6 3.0GHz 8GB RAM. 250GB HDD
Currently the three DL360's have VMware ESXI 4.1 installed and the ML110 is the domain file server which is also running VMware vCenter server.
Currently the only VM's that are in use are a couple of Windows XP machines that I converted to virtual machines as a test case.
We have ~35 workstations all running Windows XP Pro SP3, 2 LAN Printers and a seperate server that's maintained by an outside contractor.
The biggest issue with the domain has always been that users log in for about 2 minutes then move to another workstation (we are an animal hospital with nurses and vets all moving around the building), because of this the login time is almost always too long in the users opinion. To be fair 30 seconds does seem like a long time when there is a sick animal waiting on their attention!
So my question(s);
- Would you stick with a domain or downgrade to a workgroup?
- How would you use the hardware available if using a domain?
- Anything glaringly obvious that will cause problems that I may have missed in relation to the hardware and VMware vSphere?