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We are a smallish educational network (about 70 clients) with a single server running Windows Server 2008 Enterprise, functioning as both domain controller and file server.

The educational pricing for Microsoft Forefront Endpoint Protection 2010 is irresistible as a managed anti-malware solution, but it requires System Center Configuration Manager 2007.

I know best practice is not to run System Center Configuration Manager on a domain controller, but it's the only server I have to work with.

Will installing SCCM on a domain controller cause problems? What conflicts might I need to take into account when planning deployment?

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You can install them all on the same server, but this will really load it down. SCCM + FFEP requires SQL (SSDS, SSRS, SSAS, and SSIS). I'd recommend a minimum of 8GB of RAM (preferably 12+), 4+ cores, some speedy disks. These are all pretty heavyweight products.

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I had a domain controller (with DNS and DHCP, nothing else), and installed SCCM on it.. I wont ever do that mistake again.

SCCM is -extremely- resource hungry. You can have 10 clients, and it will still behave like you have 10.000 clients.

I'd strongly consider getting another server for this.

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We have branch nodes that have only one server, and we use them as both as a read-only domain controller and SCCM site server. They have 8GB of RAM and dual core Xeon processors. The servers run just fine in that configuration. While your loading will be greater (due to full-access domain controller and FFEP), the low number of clients should allow for acceptable performance.

Just be sure to make a backup of the domain before you do it (and plan for an outage, since I think you have to do a few reboots).

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  • Thanks for sharing your experience. We're running 4GB of RAM on a 3-year-old domain controller, so I've decided against SCCM.
    – Brent D
    Mar 8 '11 at 14:37

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