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exchange and domain controller

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exchange and domain controller - 13.Jan.2009 7:49:17 AM   


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Can exchange be a domain controller? My co worker have two different answers, we need to know before we make any changes to our network infrastrucure
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RE: exchange and domain controller - 13.Jan.2009 7:52:43 AM   


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And Exchange server can be on a DC. It will need to be a GC and it will never go to another GC if the local DC component goes wrong so you introduce a single point of failure. If you have small business server then DC/Exchange/Files on a box is fine. If you have a full infrastructure with DCs, Exchange, SQL, Oracle blah blah you will not want to put Exchange on a DC. But you can, if you want.


Mark Arnold (Exchange MVP)
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(in reply to cbeausoleil)
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RE: exchange and domain controller - 13.Jan.2009 8:17:32 AM   


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According to me it is not a good idea to have Exchange 2003 on a DC. Since your DC will have other tasks to perform as well. There may be some performance issues in future, even MS does not recommend to install Exchange on a DC.

(in reply to cbeausoleil)
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RE: exchange and domain controller - 13.Jan.2009 8:37:57 AM   


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hi mate,

I am adding few information just as an value add what mark comment on this..

Mark is right and even i agree.
Reason why we don't the exchange on a DC,
Domain Controller plays a vital role in term AD replication and database
Exchange plays vital role in terms of Exchagne database

Both of them are very much critical
If anything disaster happen both will be impacted if they are existing in the same server.
Moreover you will enable some port if required for exchange and it is not good practise to have it on critical server

(in reply to mark@mvps.org)
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RE: exchange and domain controller - 13.Jan.2009 1:50:41 PM   


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The question you asked has a simple nswer. Installation of Exchange 2003 on a domain controller can be done absolutely.. However, Microsoft does not recommend it that way. If you have other options, why go for the wrong one. It would be very difficult to change the settings once it is done !!


Meera Nair

(in reply to ismail.mohammed)
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RE: exchange and domain controller - 13.Jan.2009 5:55:01 PM   


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My answer would be NO.
Overview of operating system and Active Directory requirements for Exchange Server 2003: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/822179

If you could refer to the second paragraph: Changing the role of a server after you install Exchange Server 2003 may result in loss of some Exchange functionality and is not supported.
The real question is not whether you can, but do you really want to ??
Dont take a risk coz it can be a headache in a longer run....
Added info :

Why is it NOT recommended to install Exchange Server 2003 on a computer that is also a Domain Controller?
There are a few issues you should be aware of before installing Exchange Server 2003 on a computer that is also configured as a Domain Controller.

• The server must NOT be a cluster. Exchange 2003 clusters co-existing on Active Directory servers is not supported by Microsoft.
• Installing Exchange 2003 and Active Directory on the same server has a significant performance impact.
• The server must be a Global Catalog server (not just a DC).
• DSAccess/DSProxy/Cat will not load-balance or fail-over to another DC/GC. • Avoid the use of the /3GB switch, otherwise the Exchange cache might monopolize system memory. Additionally, the number of user connections should be very low, therefore the /3GB switch should not be required.
• All services run under LocalSystem so there is a greater risk of exposure should a security bug be found (e.g. a bug in AD which allows an attacker to access the AD will also allow them to access Exchange, and vice-versa)
• If Exchange administrators will be able to logon to the local server. Because they have physical console access to a DC, potentially they can elevate their permissions in the AD
• It may take approximately 10 minutes for the server to shutdown. This is because the AD service (LSASS.EXE) shuts down before the Exchange services, and DSAccess will go through several timeouts before shutting down. The workaround for this issue is to manually stop the Exchange services (specifically the Store) before initiating a system shutdown or restart.


(in reply to cbeausoleil)
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RE: exchange and domain controller - 15.Jan.2009 2:04:03 PM   


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It seems to be the case for installing ( or will) Exchange on a domain controllers happening time to time and this makes me say
---->  No, No, No (- :
Is it technically possible to install exchange onto domain controller, the answer is like others said  several times is, sure why not.
Remember it is technically possible jump in front of a car on a busy street and get killed for nothing or do the same thing in none busy street ( since there aren’t many cars) odds are you get run over buy any car is less likely. You got the idea.
In general, Domain controllers busy they authenticate users, they deal with (.dit) directory services database and they don't like sharing their resources with any other applications as well as exchange.
Exchange design same way, Exchange is extremely reluctant when it comes to sharing resources (Memory, CPU,I/O etc).
Store.exe and lsass.exe won’t get along well if they meet on a same server most often times.
As conclusion, remember old saying says “Don’t put all the eggs in a same basket” if you do don’t cry if anything happens to your basket (- :
If you don’t care about the basket & eggs or you careless about getting run over by car nor don’t mind seeing DC is not liking exchange or vice versa and don’t want to listen people saying don’t do it, go for it (-:
Why we should not install Exchange on Domain Controllers


Oz Casey Dedeal
MVP (Exchange)
MCSE 2003 M+ S+, MCDST
Security+, Project+ ,Server+
http://smtp25.blogspot.com (Blog)
http://telnet25.wordpress.com (Blog)

(in reply to cbeausoleil)
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RE: exchange and domain controller - 15.Jan.2009 3:39:42 PM   


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Technically speaking, yes you can install exchange on a DC. As Mark mentioned earlier, doing this means that exchange will only see itself  as a domain controller and will never look for another. So if the DC is not a GC, you are looking at some trouble. So the question comes back to you...Why would you want to put yourself into this situation?? As you have read in this posting, more than half the people (me being one of them) do not recommend this setup and in fact Microsoft doesnt either!


Ibrahim Benna - Microsoft Exchange MVP
Forum Moderator

(in reply to consultOz)
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RE: exchange and domain controller - 15.Jan.2009 4:47:30 PM   


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This post was of great help.
I really do appreciate that.


(in reply to consultOz)
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