How to set up my servers?

Custom / CUSTOM
October 30, 2009 at 12:13:38
Specs: Microsoft Windows XP Professional, 2.802 GHz / 3007 MB
I am trying to set up a Domain Controller (with 2 500 GB Hard Drives to make this a file server), an Exchange Server and a Terminal Server.

I have no idea what I should use. I have a Beefy Pentium D 3.00 GHz with Virtualization Technology and 3.24 GB of RAM. I have a Pelco VMX300 with a Pentium 4 3.00 GHz with 1 GB of RAM and another Pentium 4 3.00 GHz with 1 GB of RAM.

I don't want to run 3 servers in my house because then there will be too much power wasted on 3 servers running 24/7. Plus there is only 3 users in my house plus 1 user remotely accessing via Terminal Services. There will be more users as well accessing the Terminal Server as well.

Now, I am trying to make the Pelco VMX Server run a Terminal Server since I would like to get the Internet to go through there using Routing and Remote Access. I do not want to use my Router because VPN will not work.

Now, my Pentium D, I would like it to be a Domain Controller as well as well as a File Server. I install VMware Server on it and then I can put Exchange Server on it.

The problem is that, people say that I should put Exchange Server on a Physical Machine or use VMware ESX Server. That is no problem, my Pentium D server can run VMware ESX Server, but then I can't have it as a file server becuase ESX doesn't support physical hard drives preformatted with existing data, plus I don't know how a file server would perform in a Virtualization environment. Someone told me not to even put a DC in a VM. My Terminal Server would be actually be a good DC while my ESX Server would be a good Exchange and TS, but I can't have a DC being connected direcly to the Internet.

Now I am getting REAL confused.

What should I do? Does anyone have any tips?

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October 30, 2009 at 14:08:58
On a normal system you guess or test to find out load. My thinking is you don't have enough load to worry about but you would need to know that based on actual use tests. Permon is the best free installed way to log many parameters.

All that can be virtualized but we are back to loads.

A real drive can be run as a vdi. Takes some fooling with to make it work. Not recommended by Vmware but many people do.

You can also use Vm's products to virtualize an existing system.

Even the P4's can run VM's your 1G makes it a problem but can still use qemu to use hard drive swap file to augment ram. I wouldn't suggest it. Each 2003 OS should have 1 G in OS. (varies on load and use)

You could run this all on the best system and include a VM running a firewall such as untangle or other to protect lan. Run all wan in and out of VM.

See VM's virtual appliances too. Many premade and demo OS's.

You would need to test the esxi hypervisor to see if your system is supported.

Playing to the angels
Les Paul (1915-2009)

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October 30, 2009 at 16:03:37
jefro, thank you for your replies, but I think the loads won't even be high at this point of time. how about i just use vmware server and install it on my domain controller or would it make better sence to install exchange server on the pentium 4 and put terminal server in a vmware server on top of the domain controller which contains 3.24 gb of ram?

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October 30, 2009 at 16:34:53
I don't think we have an understanding of electrical loads here.

Running vms or whatever isn't going to consume more power than when the system is just turned on and running. You don't consume more power the more the cpu works. Only way to conserve power is to have devices power down [sleep] which is not desired for servers.

Electrical loads are different than application loads. The more apps loaded the more the system has to process in memory. Smaller memory [ram] means more swapping around. This can slow the server but it does not make the server consume more electricity.

If you were going to play with virtualization the 3.24 gig memory server would be the one to use.

Otherwise, if this was a business, it would be as follows;

3.24gig memory = exchange - no DC
1gig memory = DC
1gig memory = Terminal server - no DC

Considering your HIGH usage [4 users total] you could do as follows;
3.24gig memory = exchange and TS server - no DC
1gig memory = DC
1gig memory =RRAS server

It is not recommended that your rras server, which is your gateway, should also be a TS server.

If you are seriously concerned about power consumption consider using vmware and putting EVERYTHING on the 3.24 memory server.

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October 30, 2009 at 17:55:08
Thanks for the reply wanderrer, but when I mention electricity, I mean when I run 3 servers, it will suck more power than just one.

Is it recommended to make the 1 GB Server an Exchange Server and make the 3.24 a Domain Controller, while installing VMware Server and making the guest be an Exchange Server? Or maybe the opposite, Make the 1 GB the Domain Controller and get the 3.24 to be the Exchange Server while installing VMware Server and make the guest the Terminal Server?

I would use ESX but I am going to have trouble mounting the hard drives on the VM's and I don't know how the File Transfer speed using the VM's will be, so that is why I am too afraid to use ESX.

My 1 GB Machine doesn't have any places to put the hard drive while the 3.24 has hot swappable bays to put them in. The 3.24 also has 4 SATA Ports while the 1.00 has only 2. If I am going to make the 1.00 the Domain Controller, I just might think of making that the file server.

As for Routing and Remote Access, I might use the 1.00 GB, but then that is the Domain Controller. See, I am stuck here.

I think if I can use ESX, I will make a VM for Routing and Remote access by adding another 100 D Link Desktop Adapter and get the VM to see that, if I can do that.

I am using Windows Server 2003 and Exchange Server 2003 by the way.

Would this be a solution? Use ESX on the 3.24. I will make my 1.00 Domain Controller the file server and find a place to put my 500 GB hard drives for storage, that way I can just serve the files using my DC.

As for the 3.24, use ESX on that and run 3 Windows Server 2003 VM's, one for Exchange, one for TS and another small one for Routing and Remote Access, sharing the 2nd D Link NIC.

How does this sound? Will the machines be fast enough?

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November 2, 2009 at 12:28:10
Thought I suggested that you run only the single system.

Playing to the angels
Les Paul (1915-2009)

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November 21, 2009 at 18:12:20
I decided to just use all 3 servers and making my internet gateway also the terminal server, it works perfectly.

only problem is that 3 machines don't make sence for my kind of environment and power is going to be very high, but i had no choice.

esx would do nothing but eliminate the host of being an actual windows server, running vmware server would only make my server system bogged down and small, if my server was a quad core and had 8 gigabytes of ram and if i had another basic server with a good gigabit ethernet card, then i would make the quad core an esx server and then the 2nd server would be the file server. i don't know about the internet connection on how to connect it to a vm, but that would be a better setup.

The problem is that the server with the 3.24 gb ram is a typical file server with proper raid hard drives and making it an esx server would only mess that up.

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