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Great... More work... Maybe you can answer a question :(

Discussion in 'The Lounge - Off Topic' started by wagnerk, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

    As most of you know Modey (Dom) and I work together at the same place. We both work in an educational establishment supporting 550 machines (laptops & PC's) about 1350 users, as well as another educational establishment with the the view of taking on more - provided we get more staff (there's only us two)...

    Anyway, I came in Wednesday morning to find that no-one can log in, find out that the server that hosts DNS, printers and other roles died at 3am that morning. After 30 mins got the server back up and running when it literally sparked up, but now having problems (no duh...). The printer spooler keeps on dying, yet there's no message in event viewer. This affects all users, not just printing but with changing fonts, don't ask me - they must be linked. I can't afford a new server right now and I can't afford to wait for the server to die again...

    So you can guess what we're going to be doing Monday morning... Building another server to take over DNS & printing. Now this server is going to be a virtual server, it's going to be the second live virtual server that we'll be implementing (we're got a couple of virtual server, but they're for testing proposes only).

    Now my question, has anyone implemented a virtual print & DNS server and have come across any problems? I've read a couple of whitepapers and it's do-able, I just want to know if anyone as had any problems so that I can deal with them proactively instead of reactively. The virtual server will be done via Microsoft's Hyper-V, not VMWare.

    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  2. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

    That's the fun and sometimes frustrating issues we've to deal with working in IT as a career:) but wouldn't swap careers for anything else.
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  3. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

    True, true... but I probably swap some of my users :)

    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  4. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

    I thought Phoenix was our resident expert on virtualization. You might consider PMing him (it's early morning here, so you probably won't get a response until he wakes up, has a cuppa, and logs on.
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  5. Modey

    Modey Terabyte Poster

    I think we should just setup DNS on the main fileserver mate. It's a DC so it should just replicate over. Then maybe just virtualise the print server. Probably an easier job.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCP, MCDST, MCSA 2K3, MCTS, MOS, MTA, MCT, MCITP:EDST7, MCSA W7, Citrix CCA, ITIL Foundation
    WIP: Nada
  6. jiggy

    jiggy Nibble Poster

    Ive virtualised a print server before on vmware using the physical to virtual converter. Ran like a charm with no gotchas at all. Obviously that wasnt Microsofts flavour of virtualisation but as long as the server that you are running has enough resources to deal with the job then my guess is that you will be fine. Great thing about p2v-ing is that if it all goes pear shaped you just plug the network cable back into the original server and try again :)

    Certifications: MCSE
    WIP: ABC's
  7. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

    What sort of environment are you virtualising to? Microsoft? VMware (ESX? VMWare Server?)

    That has a lot to do with what you want to achieve.

    For instance, there's not really much point in virtualising a production server handling 24x7 duties like DNS is you don't have the virtual infrastructure to support it. If you're virtualising to ESX, go for your life - we run almost everything on ESX (File & Print, AV, Exchange, DNS, Web Servers etc) with only our main production DB and a couple of other services that can't be virtualised because they're high-grunt still on standard tin.

    However, if you're only running something like VMWare Server, then I agree with Modey - P2V your print server as it won't be used outside core hours. That way, if the VM Host box goes down, you'll only have lost printing (you should also take the VM down and clone it so that you'll have a backup if printing goes belly-up during the day)

    I know being in education you're probably running a very, very tight ship, but as far as I'm concerned, the first rule of thumb with AD/DNS is always, always separate authentication and name services from any other functionality. Printing, though a lot more stable than the good old days of NT (where one of the first things I did on any new print server was stick a shortcut to a batch file on the desktop that restarted the spooler service - LOL), is still liable to kick you in the teeth on a semi-regular basis.
    Certifications: A few
    WIP: None - f*** 'em
  8. GrumbleDook

    GrumbleDook Byte Poster

    Stephen has set up a number of virtual servers (VMWare) to do this sort of thing as he plans to move to fewer boxes over the next few years. On the old domain (he has just finished a new domain on Server 2008) he had set up a virtual DC to cover for similar faults and has a standard image ready to drop in for cases when something goes wrong and can be quickly be rolled up to provide a variety of services.

    He hasn't done new images yet for the new domain though as he is finalising recycling the roles of the servers.

    Give me a call on Monday as I may have a spare box for you to help you out for a few weeks (trying to build up a few spares pieces of kit to share between schools for cases like this!)
  9. nugget
    Honorary Member

    nugget Junior toady

    Hi Ken, I did this a short time ago in preparation for an office move. We had 1 physical DC with AD, DHCP, DNS and print server running. I then set up a second DC as a VM with AD, DHCP and DNS and so far no problems with anything. It all replicates/communicates/functions with no trouble at all. All I need to do now is set up a second print server and everythings perfect.

    I don't see that you should have any problem running DNS as either a MS or VMWare VM.
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP (270,271,272,290,620) | MCDST | MCTS:Vista
    WIP: MCSA, 70-622,680,685

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