Before I go to the main question, I'll explain the current situation:

  • My current employer uses VMware vCenter to run a fully operational, virtual environment (mostly domain controllers and RDP servers).
  • vCenter itself is installed on a physical server where the VMs are deployed.
  • The working environment has their own static subnet and VLANs.

The manager and I have agreed to create a new virtual server and client for test purposes, so we can test new software before trying to implement it within the company.

My question is: Is it possible to run a test environment next to the working environment?

The test environment would run the following software:

  • Windows Server 2016 with Active Directory installed.
  • DHCP and DNS services.
  • Remote Desktop services, so I can log in remotely.
  • Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 client which will be connected to the Windows Server 2016.

I have already thought about possible IP conflicts I might run into and that it might be better to isolate the test environment from the existing VMs.

If there are more things to take in consideration, then please let me know.


Can I run two domain controllers within VMware vCenter on one physical server?

Yes...but there's a catch.

Basically yes it'll work, but both ESXi and vCenter absolutely NEED fully working DNS entries (including PTRs) - so if they're being generated outside of this environment then things will be fine. If your DNS is being ran by your AD infrastructure then those entries won't be present at the time of booting the first ESXi host and the vCenter unless you instrument it to start the AD/DNS before the vCenter - does that make sense?

  • I think it makes sense as far as the DNS part goes. Both environments would require a certain degree of isolation. As far as generating the DNS entries, both servers should have their own DNS entries c.q. the DC from the working, virtual environment has it's own DNS services. Or my employer would have a weird construction where physical and virtual machines use DNS entries from a VM but I digress there. I am going to do some further research and I'll answer any questions regarding the test environment. – SP-Brown Oct 2 '15 at 9:31

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