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Will I get the right kind of redundancy from virtualizing a DC off site incase of disaster..?

Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-07
Hi All, I currently have a single tree forest AD on server 2003 running in 2000 mixed mode I am working on upgrading functionality to 2003 once the NT4 domain goes away.  

Currently the 2003 domain is very simple, about 70 workstations, 10 servers and 2 onsite physical DC's with AD integrated DNS.  

After backing up system state and preparing a test restore of AD on dissimilar hardware, I realized that I can only recover the domain in the event that one of the servers fail, and are able to be physically restored.  If the building were to god forbid burn down, both physical DC's would be gone and the domain would cease to exist making domain recovery impossible, Yikes!

As far as disaster recovery goes I'd like us to be better protected but do not have it in the budget at present to procure physical hardware for off site redundancy, but do have preexisting hardware off site and could conceivably run a virtual DC on Virtual Server 2005.  

Questions are:

Will having an offsite virtual DC that has no FISMO or GC roles allow me to get the domain back up and running in the event of total onsite disaster?

What happens to AD integrated DNS zones (almost all of our zones are) if both DC's were to catastrophically fail and I need to rely on the virtual DC to rebuild?

The DNS servers are also onsite and would conceivably go at the same time if an extreme situation were to take out all physical servers here in the building.  

I am learning as I go here so may post more questions as I think of them but that is the gist of it for now.  

Your thoughts and suggestions are appreciated, I read the Microsoft KB on the subject but it does not talk about a lot.


-Self taught Domain Admin
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