Pitfalls of Combining DC, DNS, DHCP

Discussion in 'Windows Server' started by SWE, Aug 3, 2004.

  1. SWE

    SWE Guest

    We have limited funds at my company and are getting ready to purchase a
    Windows 2003 Server to be accessed by 35 users. I know we can put the DC,
    DNS, and DHCP all on the same machine. However, I'd like to know what kinds
    of problems we might run into by combining all these services. Also, if it's
    recommended that they be separated (may not be an option for us though)
    which services are more likely to play nice with each other?

    If you need more information from me in order to answer this question,
    please let me know what I've missed. Thanks in advance.
    SWE, Aug 3, 2004
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  2. I do this in smaller installations such as yours all the time...
    particularly with DNS and DHCP.

    I would be concerned about having only 1 domain controller. If one machine
    crashes, your whole active directory installation is toast and you have to
    start over. Even if it's just a crappy spare box running AD and nothing
    else, I highly recommend a second domain controller.
    Patrick Kremer, Aug 3, 2004
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  3. These will run fine on the same machine. Typically you want DNS to run on
    your DC's because of how tightly integrated AD and DNS is. DHCP will do just
    fine too. These types of services really don't bring the system down as much
    as running multiple applications on the same box like SQL or Exchange. I
    would recommend that those apps run on seperate servers but what your
    describing should run great!
    Scott Harding - MS MVP, Aug 3, 2004
  4. As the others have said, DCs and DNS go hand in hand, as you will want to
    use Active Directory-integrated DNS to simplify things and that requires
    that your DCs are DNS servers anyway.

    Notice that I said "DCs" (plural). A second domain controller really is an
    essential rather than a luxury, particularly if you're using Exchange 2000
    or 2003. A second dedicated domain controller doesn't have to be an
    expensive machine. For that size of company, I wouldn't have a problem
    combining a DC with another service, such as file and print or perhaps even
    Exchange. I would rather keep Exchange on a member server, but you should
    do whatever's necessary to ensure your domain has two DCs.


    Oli Restorick [MVP], Aug 4, 2004
  5. SWE

    Jeff Cochran Guest

    And just to add to the others, you might consider Small Business
    Server for the value. It's a single server, but for 35 users it would
    be a good fit.

    Jeff Cochran, Aug 4, 2004
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