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I am sorry if it's not a question should be ask in here.

I have brought two new IBM x3650 M4 Servers with 2 CPUs, 64GB Memory and 4x 1TB 2.5" HDD. I also have Windows Server 2012 Licence.

What I want to accomplish is use these two servers as hyper-v hosts and virtualise everything. But later I read that It is bad to install Domain Controllers to a virtual server (unplanned restarts can cause problems).

So I need some guidance about how to setup my system.

I need to install:

  • A reliable DNS Server
  • Active Directory
  • A Mail Server (Ubuntu)
  • A Web Server (Ubuntu)
  • SQL Server

These are my important servers that must run. So I want to know which one of them should be virtualised and which one of them should be run on physical server.

BTW We have two factories and these factories will be connected to each other via hardware Firewall that supports VPN.

I am not really sure if I am asking to teach me everything about servers :) I want to learn how to setup a good server system like this but it is hard to find some good tutorials/documants about these sort of thinks.

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    Do you have old servers? That's what I use for my physical DCs. (OK, they're old blade servers, but same principle.) Apr 11, 2014 at 17:31
  • Yes I have old server but I will use that old server on the new factory that we are currently building.
    – Valour
    Apr 11, 2014 at 17:54

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There is no real reason to avoid running virtual domain controllers, but there is a circular dependency issue if you are clustering Hyper-V, because a Windows cluster needs an Active Directory domain in order to work; if you only have virtual DCs in a Hyper-V cluster, you'll be unable to start the cluster until at least one DC is online, but you'll be unable to start any VM if the cluster is not running, thus nothing could start at all; to avoid this, you need at least a physical DC, or a virtual DC running on a non-clustered host.

If you are not running a cluster, you can safely virtualize your DCs, provided you follow the usual recommendation of never using snapshots on them.

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  • I will not cluster those two servers. So It's safe to virtualize my DC. To make it stronger should I virtualize a secondary DNS server?
    – Valour
    Apr 11, 2014 at 17:55
  • @GokhanOzturk Yes, always have at least two Domain Controllers. And keep them on separate hosts too. Apr 11, 2014 at 18:04
  • Thank you @HopelessN00b. Could you point me a document about how to setup an Active Directory with two domain controllers?
    – Valour
    Apr 11, 2014 at 18:09
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    @GokhanOzturk Same way as setting it up with one. Except, on the second one, you're adding it to an existing domain, not creating a new one. Apr 11, 2014 at 18:14
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    One warning if all your DCs are virtual: make certain their time is syncing properly and not drifting. HyperV should take care of it but it doesn't always work. If the clocks get too far out of sync it can break things.
    – Grant
    Apr 11, 2014 at 19:22

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