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The limitations to a Virtual Server and SBS 2003

By TechnoBaron ·
Recently I have had the exprience of clustering two Enterprise 2003 Servers Nodes 1 & 2 and installing an SBS Server 2003 on a virtual server platform on the remote hard disk storage server(an IBM DS3200).

Basically in a nut shell by doing this, the SBS Server 2003 is available even if the first Cluster Server (Node1)goes down where a script I have added on the Cluster Servers will bring the SBS 2003 server back up on the second cluster server (Node2).

Problems however appeared when I noticed the following restrictions on having such a solution implemented..

1. The SBS Server 2003 is restricted to 170GB as microsofts virtual server only allows a limited capacity on the drives that you create.

2. The Virtual Server the you create will only allow an additional 4-max virtual hard drives added to the virtual server (somewhat annoying).

3. The Exchange Server in the SBS 2003 has to have the database installed on a seperate drive as there is seriously not enough capacity for users otherwise.

4. 16GB is the limited on standard Exchange Server unless you download and install SP2 on the server allowing a woping 75GB in total (way too little space if you ask me).

5. Once you have created the script for the virtual server in this case SBS Server 2003 if you try to shut down the virtual server for any reason it starts up again either in the first Cluster server Node1 or on Node2 which can be frustrating. Basically you need to shut down the 2nd Node in the cluster and de activate the script while you need the server down.
Which is a positive in a way because at least you know your virtual server is covered.

Basically there are some real restictions that I have noted in creating a virtual environment and wonder how many out there have had similiar experiences and wonder if it is really worth all of the bother?

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Given that this is a hypothetical situation

by CG IT In reply to The limitations to a Virt ...

I'd have to ask why virtual? What's the point?

you can't have redundancy like one would standard edition where there is fail over to another cluster node. SBS just doesn't do clusters.

If you need redundancy, you could put DCs in a virtual environment, you could, theoretically put Exchange in a virtual environment in so much as Exchange 2007 in a virtual following the best practices for Exchange 2007 in an SBS environment.

Other than that, SBS isn't designed to work like Enterprise or Standard Edition. It's designed as an "All in One Box" small business solution. And the "All in One Box" is quite literaly, "One Box".

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Yes SBS 2003 is Cluster aware!!

by TechnoBaron In reply to Given that this is a hypo ...

Hi I understand your post and what you think I was perhaps explaining.


However SBS 2003 is cluster aware and happily works under an enterprise server cluster (remember this is under virtual Server 2005).

This is a working solution supported by Microsoft and though would seem like an unlikely solution given that there are two enterprise servers... I thought I might give it a shot to see what it was like.
I wanted to experiment a little with this to see what it was like.

IT works..
But there are some restrictions on this kind of environment.
You could check out the following link if you like on how to do this...

Wouldn't be a preferred solution for most organisations but would suite a company requiring perhaps a small workshop server on a seperate domain, that didn't warrant say a new server.

check out the links below for further details.

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/virtualserver/deploy/cvs2005.mspx

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