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AD and DC Builds, tweaks, configurations... (1)

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I received a mail from a blog reader (Jim) who asked:

"Can you provide any insight regarding and tweaks or configuration settings you guys use on your DC builds?"

Sure, I'm happy to do this, so here I am typing happily along, and realized that there is a lot more configuration/tweaking/settings that we use than I should reasonably put into a single blog entry.  Instead this will be the first of multiple entries...

So, let's start at  the very beginning (it's a very good place to start)...  With our standard hardware platforms.  All MS IT domain controllers are based on either our "large" or "small" SKU...internally, we call these are DC-E (enterprise) or DC-F (field) platforms.

The DC-E specs are:

  • DL585
  • 2 x 1.8GHz AMD Opteron (64-bit) dual core processors
  • 16GB RAM
  • 172GB total storage
    • Internal Array Controller - 2 x 72GB - RAID 1
      • 50GB OS partition
      • 18.8GB partition for Log files (L: Drive)
    • Array Controller 1 - External Storage - 6 x 36GB - RAID 0+1
      • 103.2GB partition for DIT, SYSVOL, Backups (M: Drive)

The DC-F specs are:

  • DL385
  • 1 x 2.2GHz AMD Opteron (64-bit) dual core processor
  • 8GB RAM
  • 137GB total storage
    • Internal Array Controller
    • Disk 0 - RAID 1 - 2 x 72GB
      • 50GB OS partition
      • 18.8GB partition for Log files (L: Drive)
    • Disk 1 - RAID 0 + 1 - 4 x 36GB
      • 68.8GB partition for DIT, SYSVOL, Backups (M: Drive)

All of our DC's run x64 OS's...well...unless we have some dogfood requirement for 32-bit OS runtime (which we periodically do)...but for all intents and purposes, let's just pretend because we really WANT to run all 64-bit OS's.

Somewhere previously I mentioned that our average DIT size is 10-11GB on disk.  The DC-E with 16GB of RAM let's us cache the entire database with room for growth, the DC-F with only 8GB of RAM is usually deployed where we need services, but don't have the load so caching is less of an issue.  In that case, the DC-F is significantly cheaper for us.