Starting out Small Business Domain Controller Virtualisation

June 4, 2019 at 04:39:11
Specs: Windows 10, Ryzen 1600, 32GB Dominator RAM
Hi

A concept I want to learn is to deploy Windows Server Services for small businesses , mainly DC and ADDS . Initially had toyed with this in a lab/test environment , on a physical Desktop Computer. I just installed Server 2016 and then set up the DC and ADDS roles - pretty straight foreword .

However I have read that its best to virtualise the Server , so now I am wondering the following:
On the physical machine , what OS should it primarily have ( Windows 10/7/Other) ?
Which virtual machine software should the physical machine be hosting ( virtualbox/ HyperV) ? I understand Hyper-V is part of Windows server but , having a server within a server is pretty confusing concept

I just to get an idea how best to start virtualising the Windows server .

message edited by 90Ninety


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#1
June 4, 2019 at 05:21:42
If you have Windows Pro then use Hyper-V. Otherwise, Virtual Box or VMWare Player will do the job for free. All three programs are very similar, but Hyper-V is the most closely integrated with Windows.

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#2
June 4, 2019 at 07:17:49
@ijack

I have windows 10 Pro keys but , I am more familiar with VirtualBox . Though I am somewhat concerned running virtual machines on Windows 10 , as Windows 10 will be using resources .

Citrix looks like it uses less overhead because it does not have all the additional bloatware that comes with WIndows 10 . Alternatively I guess HyperV within Server is possible also ?


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#3
June 4, 2019 at 21:10:41
I dislike installing domain controllers on VMs. DCs are the linchpin of your Windows network, and you want as few layers to troubleshoot as possible when they inevitability break. Especially the small business variants, where you're not allowed to have a second DC as a backup.

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#4
June 5, 2019 at 02:45:11
I may have misunderstood the OP. I thought he was talking about a test/learning environment rather than a commercial setup. I agree that, in a production environment, it's better to have separate DCs, unless you have some pretty serious hardware to run the virtualized servers. In a test environment VMs are fine.

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#5
June 5, 2019 at 10:35:33
My point is that it's not "best to virtualise the Server." A virtualized DC would be easier to port over to a cloud service, and that's why people with clouds to sell say it's a best practice, but the industry itself doesn't agree.

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#6
June 6, 2019 at 05:59:17
@Razer

I would like to agree with you , my job will be simpler if I am just Learning DC/ ADDS on a physical Machine (for Deploying into an environment later)

However A lot of posts , forums and articles all suggest to go to VM , due to its portability and cloudifying and redundancy ( backing up ) ability

Still a bit confused on how to start . Physical would be easier in the short term but , ultimately going VM seems to be a longer term goal

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#7
June 7, 2019 at 09:09:04
It's not difficult, you just need to decide whose "industry best practices" you want to break. For instance, your Windows server will want to run DHCP and DNS. Your VM server's "industry best practice" will to be to have your network up and stable before launching VMs. So you'll probably want another box to at least do DHCP, but that breaks Microsoft's "industry best practices." So you see where this is going, right? Everyone has their own conflicting "best practices," and it's up to you to come up with your own set.

Broad strokes: you'll want to set up your VM host; set up the VM that'll host the DC, Microsoft has a document on the technical considerations that's mostly beyond your setup; configure the VM to auto-start with the VM host; configure the VM's network to communicate with the VM host, if applicable; set up your DC; if VM host has some AD integration you wish to use and it won't prevent the VM DC from auto-starting, configure that last.

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