[Last Call] Learn how to a build a cloud-first strategyRegister Now

x
  • Status: Solved
  • Priority: Medium
  • Security: Public
  • Views: 867
  • Last Modified:

Active Directory on Virtual Server ESX 4.0

We have two Host Vmware ESX 4.0 server and two DC's.
For fault tolerant and faster recovery i want to move both dc's to two seperate Host server.
(one of the DC is also a dhcp server)

Is it a good idea to setup active directory to virtual server environment?
did anyone had any problems?

Thanks

0
PeterMatthews
Asked:
PeterMatthews
  • 9
  • 6
  • 2
  • +4
3 Solutions
 
farazhkhanCommented:
Hi,

There is no restriction but there are Considerations when hosting Active Directory domain controller in virtual hosting environments, see this: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/888794

Regards,
Faraz H. Khan
0
 
Mike KlineCommented:
There was a great discussion over at activedir about this a few weeks ago, worth looking at
http://www.activedir.org/ListArchives/tabid/55/view/topic/postid/38204/forumid/1/Default.aspx
Personally we are going to soon virtualize our domain controllers at our regional sites (about 20).  Our man hub/HQ site will still always have physical DCs.   With the physical boxes we won't run into some of the issues mentioned in the activedir thread.
Thanks
Mike
0
 
DCMBSCommented:
We successfully ran for several years with virtual Domain Controllers in a VMWare environment and had no adverse issues whatsover.  It is  a good idea to virtualise servers.
0
Veeam Disaster Recovery in Microsoft Azure

Veeam PN for Microsoft Azure is a FREE solution designed to simplify and automate the setup of a DR site in Microsoft Azure using lightweight software-defined networking. It reduces the complexity of VPN deployments and is designed for businesses of ALL sizes.

 
Glen KnightCommented:
I have several customers running AD on ESX.

One thing I would advise in a multihost environment would be to have 1 DC and 1 DNS server outside of the virtual environment.

I found out to my cost that if you don't have this and you need to shut everything down then you will have to connect to your hosts through the web interface and start everything up because the Virtual Server will not be able to communicate with the hosts because there is no DNS because they are all on your virtual machines!
0
 
Glen KnightCommented:
The issue I came across was particularly bad because the storage was on iSCSI SAN which of course also relies on the DNS

it was an interesting task to get it all back up and running again!!
0
 
DCMBSCommented:
Yes I agree with demazter. We did have a physical machine which was our backup server and this also had AD and DNS on it.  It was also configured with DHCP (disabled) so that if all the virtual machines went off line we could at least get up and working with just this machine on line.  
0
 
ollfriedCommented:
If you have two esx hosts then create a rule to run the DCs on separate hosts. It will also be a good idea to have an IP list for the case something goes terribly wrong.
0
 
snusgubbenCommented:
This is mentioned in prevoius links provided above, but three things I'm thinking of:

1. Never ever restore a snapshot of a DC

2. Make sure disc caching is disabled on the virtual disc holding the AD database. By default caching is enabled, but DCpromo will try to disable it. On ESX 2.5 dcpromo was unable to turn disc caching off.

3. Don't let the guest sync its time with the VM host.


SG
0
 
PeterMatthewsAuthor Commented:
Snusgubben-
1) Once we've virtualised the DC's we will be using Vmware VCB 1.5 to backup the VM's to tape drive, i assume vcb will be taking snapshots. Are you saying should we face catastrophic failure with dc's we should not restore from the backup taken using vcb's?
If yes, could you please guide me to recovery method?

2) Please guide me on how to disable disc caching on vmware esxi 4.0?

3) how do i disable vm sync time with VM Host?

Many thanks
0
 
Glen KnightCommented:
You just need to ensure you are taking regular system state backups.
please see here for Microsoft's guidance on this: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd363545(WS.10).aspx

I have never disabled disc cachine and don't have any problems with either ESX 3 or 4

To disable time sync, right click on the Virtual Machine (whilst turned off) and select Edit Settings, under Options and VMWare tools you will see a checkbox for syncronise guest time with host, turn this off.

0
 
PeterMatthewsAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the valuable link, does this link also applies to Windows 2003 Standard server as we're currently using it?
0
 
Glen KnightCommented:
Yes.
It's just a general guidance document.

See here for further information about 2003: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/888794
And also here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd363553(WS.10).aspx
0
 
snusgubbenCommented:
Snapshots are not a supported backup/restore method of a DC. Restoring a snapshot will put your domain in a USN rollback state. System state backups is the supported way. This also gives you the option of running authoritative restore of single objects.

Disable disc write caching: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/259716.
On earlier versions of ESX this was grayed out and you couldn't disable it. I dunno in ESXi.

demazter: You will not have any problems with disc write caching enabled until you got an unexpected powerloss in the middle of a replication cycle. Then you'll have problems with the USN's. (the USN is commited but is not written to the AD database as it is located in the disc cache)
0
 
snusgubbenCommented:
0
 
Glen KnightCommented:
It's disabled in version 4, just checked.
You cannot change it.
0
 
Glen KnightCommented:
Incidentally, UPS protection ensure your servers ate shutdown correctly sontjis shouldn't be an issue if the UPS is configured correctly.
0
 
snusgubbenCommented:
True with physical servers, but the ESX host might crash (HW/SW errors), but since the write cache is disable by default on ESXi then this isn't a issue :)
0
 
Glen KnightCommented:
No the write cache is enabled by default and it cannot be changed.

If your using UPS protection (correctly configured) then the virtual servers will shut down correctly therefore this will not be an issue.

I have several virtual environments running, including 1 with 3 ESX hosts, running on an iSCSI SAN which are all configured in this way.
0
 
snusgubbenCommented:
I thought you said it was disable in http:#26170157 ?

I know on ESX 3 and 3.5 you can disabled it because the SCSI emulator do support it. UPS is one thing, but if the ESX host power off/reboots unexpectedly due to HW/SW issues then it doesn't matter if the host got UPS power. All guests will terminate.
0
 
Glen KnightCommented:
Disabled as in it's greyed out so you cannot change it.

But it's greyed out and enabled.

esx4.jpg
0
 
snusgubbenCommented:
oh I see :)

On a ESX 3.5 test environment I got I promoted a 2008 DC then radio button changed to "Optimize for quick removal" during dcpromo. The other none-DCs in the test env. got it ticked like you got.

0
 
Glen KnightCommented:
Good point!
That is a member server!

Don't have any 2003 DC's to check! They are all 2008 R2.
0

Featured Post

Creating Active Directory Users from a Text File

If your organization has a need to mass-create AD user accounts, watch this video to see how its done without the need for scripting or other unnecessary complexities.

  • 9
  • 6
  • 2
  • +4
Tackle projects and never again get stuck behind a technical roadblock.
Join Now