Server 2003 or 2008 - File Server on a DC?

genXrcistgenXrcist Member Posts: 531
Hey everyone,

I've read in numerous places that putting a File Server on a DC is a bad idea but I wondered what your thoughts on the matter were? Certainly this can't be a bad idea in all situations?

I'm administering an environment of about 120 users and most of them hardly use their PCs. I wanted to place DFS/FSRM on a DC and then use a hub & spoke topology to replicate to DC's at each site (5 external sites, all connected with T1's).

Good idea? Bad idea? Why? If you need more information on our environment I'd be happy to provide.

1) CCNP Goal: by August 2012


  • ipconfig.allipconfig.all Banned Posts: 428
    MS recommends you to have DFS/FSRM in a member server. This is a good idea because of performance/security issues.
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,314 ■■■■■■■■□□
    You always need to take a look at what is ideal compared to what is feasible. If you need to accomplish X with Y number of servers, that's just the way it is. It may simply not make sense for small businesses and/or organizations that don't deal with sensitive information to completely separate everything like that. All organizations have finite resources, and it's up to you to make the best use of them.
  • earweedearweed Member Posts: 5,192 ■■■■■■■■■□
    +1 While MS recommends keeping the DC seperate, if you have to do it you can.
    No longer work in IT. Play around with stuff sometimes still and fix stuff for friends and relatives.
  • DevilsbaneDevilsbane Member Posts: 4,212 ■■■■■■■■□□
    It can be a security risk. I used to manage a classroom, and we had a file server, DC, DHCP, DNS, all running on one server. Not a big deal because of the enviornment.

    I think in pretty much any corporate enviornment, not so good.
    Decide what to be and go be it.
  • NetAdmin2436NetAdmin2436 Member Posts: 1,076
    (Basically what Dynamik said) Sure, it's better to have as little as possible running on your DC's. But it all depends what servers/hardware you have available or what you can get your management to purchase. If they won't sign off on purchasing another server then then Microsoft recommendations become moot.

    I would just have a meeting and or email your management with pro's and con's and ask for a separate server. Let them know of the security risks and what is recommended by Microsoft.
    WIP: CCENT/CCNA (.....probably)
  • brad-brad- Member Posts: 1,218
    Our organization was like that for a while, it wasnt a big deal at all. We have since been able to improve that situation, but it wasnt a negative IMHO.

    I think it really matters more on the size of your organization and how much file useage would be on that machine. We have around 100 users, about 40 use the file server when it was also a DC. No problems.
  • Hyper-MeHyper-Me Banned Posts: 2,059
    This is pretty common in SMB's, especially those using SBS.

    As stated before, try to segregate things that need it the most (like when dealing with stuff such as HIPAA)
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