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Free Hyper-V 2012 & Domain Controllers


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Hi all. I have been recently researching free hyper-v 2012 and I like what it can do from what I have read and seen on youtube. I like that there is not restrictions such as ram limits etc like free ESXi has. So here is the question: Is it safe or a good practice to run a domain controller such as WS2012E as a vm? My concern is that if the hyper-v box goes down it takes everything including domain infrastructure down with it. I have read discussions on the forum where best practice is to allow WS2012E to handle dhcp, dns etc. I am also very new to servers and hyper-v in general and worry about "screwing" something up with hyper-v and taking down the network. The follow up questions would be if is it not a good practice would the n54l be fast enough to handle streaming dvd, blu ray etc to htpc's as my son likes to bust up the original dvd, so I was gonna convert them for playback on the htpc. Also, I know I can use WS2012 and install the hyper-v role but that seems to be a very expensive way to go for a home user. I would be interested to know how some have set there network up. I have read no controls article on his website which is very well written but I think he is using WS2012. Thanks for the advice and information 

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You sir would be correct.  However if you have a UPS, or not, there is a setting in the BIOS that once power is reaotred, the server can boot back up to an operational state.  If you have someone at home who can push a button, then I would not worry about it.

 

Enterprises get around this by usually keeping half of their DC's in a physical state.

 

As far as DHCP, DNS, etc this all depends if you join clients to the Domain or not.  If yes, then let the server handle those roles.  If not, keep them on the router.

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Thank you for the fast response. I did think about setting the bios up to restart the computer on power outage but I was thinking about hardware failure. Could you give me some insight as to how I can minimize the impact if the only hyper-v machine goes down due to hardware failure? Obviously having a good backup plan is the start. If you are saying having the domain controller is okay, then I think I am going to go down the hyper-v path. If not, then I was gonna put it on an n54l then build the hyper-v box separately. Thank again for the fast response.

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If DHCP and DNS are on the server you can mitigated the issue by remembering some rules.  Put dual DNS entries on each client (one for the server and one for your ISP) and as long as a client does nt reboot after the server goes down, the IP address will still be good until the lease expires.

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I remember there are challenges running a Hyper-V barebones and trying to join a domain that is a VM.  But maybe they are better with 2012.

Edited by Big Worm
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If you like PowerShell, then run a Core Installation, if not run the GUI, which I recommend for this crowd.  However, there is nothing wrong with running the whole thing as VM.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Unguided,

 

Couple questions/omments:

1) When you mention "free" Hyper-V, do you mean on a Windows 8 system, or the Hyper-V server core? The Hyper-V server core is great, but I don't recommend it as your first take at Hyper-V as it requires remote admin and is more difficult to set up since there is no GUI. If you meant Hyper-V on Windows 8, just remember that the virtual machines (VMs) are only as stable as the base OS. I.E. If you will run a domain controller (DC) as a VM, I highly recommend you leave the base OS (Windows 8) as clean as possible.

 

2) You can always install TWO domain controllers (on separate machines, preferably...) They can both be VMs. That way if you have to turn one machine off for repairs, it crashes, whatever, the other DC will run the domain. You can do this on two VMs on the same physical machine, but this only helps if you have to "reboot" one of the DC VMs. Obviously if the host machine is rebooted or crashes you're still out of luck this way. You can have the more powerful machine do the transcoding and file hosting as double duty while a low powered machine acts as DHCP and DC only.

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