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It' possible virtualize a Domain Controller

Posted on 2009-05-06
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Hello everyone, I have multiple servers virtualized with Hyper V and work well now we both silver virtualising domain controllers, but before. I would like to know the pros or cons of this technique with the Anti domain.

Thank you
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Question by:limonero
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by:mikeewalton
mikeewalton earned 50 total points
ID: 24320791
I have virtualized many DC's, their are no major issues with doing this, in fact Microsoft now supports it.  From experience I will say if you are converting an existing DC to a virtual you will need to use a product that supports AD to do this, or it will disable replication and you will have to fix that.  Have a look at this it is the MS KB on this topic.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/888794
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by:jhyiesla
ID: 24321253
We are getting ready to move all of our DC's to VM's.  I have done this in a test environment without any complications.  Now we are using VMware ESX so can't comment directly on the hyper-V solution, but if you install servers as VMs and then promote them to DCs and do this in the proper order waiting for all replications to happen before moving to the next step, I don't see any why any issues should arise at all.  However, the article referenced above does have a few caveats for doing this that apparently are present using Hyper-V.
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by:vmwarun - Arun
vmwarun - Arun earned 150 total points
ID: 24321830
We experienced Replication problems when we tried to P2V one of our Domain Controllers.

IMHO, the best way of doing this is installing a Windows Server 2003 VM, use dcpromo to promote the VM as an additional Domain Controller in the existing Active Directory Domain.

Transfer any FSMO Roles which the physical Domain Controller would have to the VM (DC).

Demote the physical DC using dcpromo and make the Server a member server or decommission it entirely.
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by:jhyiesla
jhyiesla earned 50 total points
ID: 24321863
Right... I would never do a P2V on a DC... the best way to do it is as you have described.
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paulsolov earned 250 total points
ID: 24322794
From doing a number of these it is best practice to standup a new virtual machine, DCPROMO it to a domain controller and move and FSMO roles if desired afterwards.  You can then demote the old Domain controller.  

Just make sure you're running at least one physical DC for DR purposes, it is a good idea to have at least one physical DC running.
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by:vmwarun - Arun
ID: 24323618
Spot on, paulsolov.
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