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Active Directory 2003 and 2008 Backups

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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I'm running multiple Windows Server 2003 domain controllers and multiple Windows Server 2008 domain controllers.  I'm currently taking backups of both 2003 and 2008 DCs.  

Do I need to backup both types of DCs or am I ok only backing up the 2008 DCs?
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Site Reliability Engineer
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Most Valuable Expert 2011
Commented:

Technically you can do a System State backup of the server which holds all your FSMO roles and it will give you a full Active Directory backup, since all the DCs will hold a replica of the same Active Directory data.

To be honest, if your DCs are just that - DCs - then I treat them as disposable. If they fail, there is no need to restore them from backup; you can rebuild the machine and repromote it as a DC, which is a much tidier method of returning the DC to service, rather than restoring from backup. You should, however, have a System State backup of at least 2 DCs, so that in a full server outage you do have something to restore Active Directory from.

However, if you have other roles on the DCs - printers, file storage, IIS and so on - then you should be doing full backups in the event you need to restore.

-Matt

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Commented:
Thanks Matt.  It looks like we have all our FSMO roles on a single box, so I'll go this route.
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