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I want to deploy a new DC + Fileserver using Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Standard Edition on a Dell PowerEdge R410 and iSCSI storage for a small business (~30 people).

Should I install the system native on the server or use a virt layer? I don't have a budget for virtualization so i gotta go with something free...

What's a better working routine, taking snapshots of vm's or taking backups (Acronis/CloneZilla) of systems?

If I use a virt system, I need a GUI for some people in the business to reset the system to a earlier state in emergency situations. I wanted to install phpVirtualBox once but never finished, is it suitable in a productive environment?

server specs: Intel Xeon E5620 CPU (2,40GHz, 4C, 12MB Cache) 8GB RAM Dual Rank LV RDIMMs 1333MHz 2x 1TB SATA 7,2K 3,5, RAID1

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What are you connecting too with iSCSI? –  Zoredache Jul 3 '12 at 0:40
    
QNAP TS-412U NAS qnap.com/de/… –  hub Jul 3 '12 at 0:42

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

What's a better working routine, taking snapshots of vm's or taking backups (Acronis/CloneZilla) of systems?

When it comes to DCs, never restore from snapshots. Ever.

It seems like your concern is really fast restoration. If that's the case, you should separate the file server role from the Active Directory Domain Services role. If you only have one piece of hardware, that means virtualizing.

You should also really have at least two DCs on two separate boxes. Even if the second box is just an old PC with a second hard drive and software RAID, it's better than nothing.

I wanted to install phpVirtualBox once but never finished, is it suitable in a productive environment?

No, VirtualBox is not a server virtualization product. VMWare ESXi is free. You don't get vMotion or any of the other paid-for goodies, but you do get the Hypervisor for free. In your case, that's really all you need with a single box.

Also, Hyper-V has taken some big leaps forward. Hyper-V Server 3 looks really really good, though it's not out just quite yet.

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FYI - Current version of Hyper-V is certainly up to this task. We run our entire production environment on it including database servers, domain controllers, file servers and Exchange servers. –  uSlackr Jul 3 '12 at 2:00
    
@uSlackr Agreed, I didn't mean to imply that it wasn't, only that HV3 looks mouth-wateringly good and is just around the corner. –  MDMarra Jul 3 '12 at 2:03
    
Yes, we will have that in production within days after release. The new VMM'12 is excellent too –  uSlackr Jul 3 '12 at 11:02
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Restoring from a snapshot causes a USN rollback, among other things. That is a complicated answer and if you really want to know, you should ask it as a separate question. And there are no hardware limitations that you would hit with a T410 that in aware of. Honestly, it's not that difficult to google if you're really concerned. To get the free version, you have to register on their website. Seriously, google some of this basic stuff. –  MDMarra Jul 3 '12 at 11:52
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@user126890 "I already signed up for the free version, downloaded the free version and installed it on the R410, didnt fit the hardware limitations so it didnt stayed a free license" - You don't know what you're talking about. I've installed ESXi Free on dual quad core servers with 32GB RAM. Trust me, if you do it right, it will work fine on your R410. I'm going to assume that you simply installed it and went on your way, rather than going to the license tab in the management console and inputting your free key. Seriously, google some of this. –  MDMarra Jul 3 '12 at 12:33

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