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Options for hyper-v for a small school

    Question

  • I'm about to start setting up a server for a small school (Windows Server 2016 Std). In the interests of providing access to students who are interested in the Linux world (and my own desire to tinker), I'll provide Debian in a VM. My question is: is it preferable to install hyper-v on the "bare metal", then Windows Server as one VM, and Debian as another VM, or install Windows Server first, then the hyper-v role, and Debian as a VM under hyper-v under Windows server, i.e.

    Hardware |

    ---Hyper-v |

    -------VM---Windows server

    -------VM---Debian

    OR

    Hardware |

    ---Windows Server with hyper-v |

    -------VM---Debian

    The Windows server will be doing all the administrative work - AD with 3 OUs, file+print, backups, WSUS, deployment, etc. The Debian machine will serve as a playground, but it might just become a production environment if one or more students decide to make a school intranet, or similar. Thanks


    Bernie Dwyer Clarity Computing Services

    Thursday, October 11, 2018 4:51 AM

Answers

  • On the note about more than 2 VM's, Leon is not correct. You can purchase separate Standard licenses for Windows Server that 'stack' onto one another. Each Standard Server license allows for 2 VMs. If you wanted to have 5 or 6 VM's, you'd have to buy 3 Standard licenses of Windows Server. The tipping point is about 8 or 9 VM's where it's cheaper to buy a Datacenter license vs multiple Server Standard licenses. Each works fine, however if you're planning to have more than 8 or 10 VMs (4 or 5 licenses of Windows Server Standard) on it in the future, it may be advantageous to buy the Datacenter license now. If you're unsure, stick with Standard. It may cost you more in the long-run if you get up that high, but it's cheaper right now.

    Adam Marshall, MCSE: Security
    https://www.ajtek.ca
    Microsoft MVP - Windows and Devices for IT

    • Marked as answer by Bernie Dwyer Friday, October 12, 2018 6:23 AM
    Thursday, October 11, 2018 5:54 PM
  • Hi,

    It's up to you

    Microsoft has no requirements that at least one DC be physical. They do have a recommendation that there is at least one but this is to ensure that you always have access to the domain in the event the virtualization HOST is unavailable. If a site loses its virtual HOST then all guests on this HOST are unavailable including any DC’s. 

    Having a physical DC at a site is to just ensure there is fault tolerance in the event a virtual DC fails there is a second one to continue to provide ADDS services

    Best Regards,
    Frank


    Please remember to mark the replies as an answers if they help.
    If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com

    • Marked as answer by Bernie Dwyer Friday, October 12, 2018 6:22 AM
    Thursday, October 11, 2018 6:26 AM
  • Hi Bernie,

    I would definitely recommend to go with a Hyper-V on the physical server and the other 2 servers as VMs. 

    Further, I would also recommend to divide the other roles (if you have the capacity). For example you should have 1VM for AD+DNS+DHCP, another VM for File Server, another VM for WSUS etc. 

    Even if you don't have the capacity for dividing all roles into separate VMs, at least try to run AD+DNS+DHCP on one VM separately (that is my rule always).

    Everything will work even if you put all roles into one server, but dividing the roles will make it easier to manage the roles and if one server goes down for any reason, the other roles will not be affected.


    Always remember to mark helpful posts as answers so they might help others too! Regards, Caki Teofilovski

    • Marked as answer by Bernie Dwyer Friday, October 12, 2018 6:22 AM
    Thursday, October 11, 2018 8:32 AM
  • Hi Bernie,

    As mentioned earlier, this is a decision that will be entirely up to you / your school.

    I would personally recommend installing Hyper-V on bare metal and provide the rest on virtual machines (VMs).

    As Caki also mentioned, if possible, try to separate the AD roles.

    If you can get decent enough hardware for the server with enough capacity then, I would do as follows:

    VM 1

    • DC
    • DNS
    • DHCP

    VM 2

    • File Server (File shares, DFS etc...)

    VM 3

    • WSUS (Update Server)

    These can all be combined into one VM, it isn't recommended to do so but it will work.

    Note:
    If you have more than two (2) VMs then you will need a Windows Server 2016 Datacenter Edition license which is more expensive.
    If you want to have only two (2) VMs then you can go with the Windows Server 2016 Standard Edition license.

    More information about the Windows Server 2016 licensing here:
    Windows Server 2016 Licensing Datasheet

    Best regards,
    Leon


    Blog: https://thesystemcenterblog.com LinkedIn:

    • Marked as answer by Bernie Dwyer Friday, October 12, 2018 6:22 AM
    Thursday, October 11, 2018 9:14 AM

All replies

  • Hi,

    It's up to you

    Microsoft has no requirements that at least one DC be physical. They do have a recommendation that there is at least one but this is to ensure that you always have access to the domain in the event the virtualization HOST is unavailable. If a site loses its virtual HOST then all guests on this HOST are unavailable including any DC’s. 

    Having a physical DC at a site is to just ensure there is fault tolerance in the event a virtual DC fails there is a second one to continue to provide ADDS services

    Best Regards,
    Frank


    Please remember to mark the replies as an answers if they help.
    If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com

    • Marked as answer by Bernie Dwyer Friday, October 12, 2018 6:22 AM
    Thursday, October 11, 2018 6:26 AM
  • Hi Bernie,

    I would definitely recommend to go with a Hyper-V on the physical server and the other 2 servers as VMs. 

    Further, I would also recommend to divide the other roles (if you have the capacity). For example you should have 1VM for AD+DNS+DHCP, another VM for File Server, another VM for WSUS etc. 

    Even if you don't have the capacity for dividing all roles into separate VMs, at least try to run AD+DNS+DHCP on one VM separately (that is my rule always).

    Everything will work even if you put all roles into one server, but dividing the roles will make it easier to manage the roles and if one server goes down for any reason, the other roles will not be affected.


    Always remember to mark helpful posts as answers so they might help others too! Regards, Caki Teofilovski

    • Marked as answer by Bernie Dwyer Friday, October 12, 2018 6:22 AM
    Thursday, October 11, 2018 8:32 AM
  • Hi Bernie,

    As mentioned earlier, this is a decision that will be entirely up to you / your school.

    I would personally recommend installing Hyper-V on bare metal and provide the rest on virtual machines (VMs).

    As Caki also mentioned, if possible, try to separate the AD roles.

    If you can get decent enough hardware for the server with enough capacity then, I would do as follows:

    VM 1

    • DC
    • DNS
    • DHCP

    VM 2

    • File Server (File shares, DFS etc...)

    VM 3

    • WSUS (Update Server)

    These can all be combined into one VM, it isn't recommended to do so but it will work.

    Note:
    If you have more than two (2) VMs then you will need a Windows Server 2016 Datacenter Edition license which is more expensive.
    If you want to have only two (2) VMs then you can go with the Windows Server 2016 Standard Edition license.

    More information about the Windows Server 2016 licensing here:
    Windows Server 2016 Licensing Datasheet

    Best regards,
    Leon


    Blog: https://thesystemcenterblog.com LinkedIn:

    • Marked as answer by Bernie Dwyer Friday, October 12, 2018 6:22 AM
    Thursday, October 11, 2018 9:14 AM
  • On the note about more than 2 VM's, Leon is not correct. You can purchase separate Standard licenses for Windows Server that 'stack' onto one another. Each Standard Server license allows for 2 VMs. If you wanted to have 5 or 6 VM's, you'd have to buy 3 Standard licenses of Windows Server. The tipping point is about 8 or 9 VM's where it's cheaper to buy a Datacenter license vs multiple Server Standard licenses. Each works fine, however if you're planning to have more than 8 or 10 VMs (4 or 5 licenses of Windows Server Standard) on it in the future, it may be advantageous to buy the Datacenter license now. If you're unsure, stick with Standard. It may cost you more in the long-run if you get up that high, but it's cheaper right now.

    Adam Marshall, MCSE: Security
    https://www.ajtek.ca
    Microsoft MVP - Windows and Devices for IT

    • Marked as answer by Bernie Dwyer Friday, October 12, 2018 6:23 AM
    Thursday, October 11, 2018 5:54 PM
  • Yes Adam that's correct, I was too much of in a hurry when writing so it didn't come out right...
    Thanks for clarifying this though as it might indeed come in handy for Bernie.


    Blog: https://thesystemcenterblog.com LinkedIn:

    Thursday, October 11, 2018 6:16 PM
  • Thanks everyone for your responses - that's exactly the sort of information I need. The school is small and growing - expecting 20 students and 5 staff next year, so I think standard edition will do for now. If growth continues at the current rate, I should have enough justification for an additional server, but until then most of the roles will have to stay with one DC. Backups will be taken care of by OneDrive - each educational MSOffice licence comes with heaps of storage, so I think it makes more sense to send backups offsite. I'll run the intranet off the Debian VM, and leave the other "big" roles for the Windows Server. Honestly, it's not going to be working very hard.

    The server and software will arrive next week, but isn't needed until next year, so I've plenty of time to play with various configurations.

    The server is an ex-lease Dell T320 with extended warranty - Xeon CPU with 32GB RAM, 2 x SSD for OS+programs, and 2 x HDD for user files, etc.

    Thanks again for your replies, it's very helpful. I haven't done this since I migrated a customer from SBS2003 to SBS2011 !!!


    Bernie Dwyer Clarity Computing Services

    Friday, October 12, 2018 6:54 AM