Virtualising existing domain controllers

This is just a general question to all the vSphere, AD experts out there.

Is there any harm in virtualising all the Domain Controllers in your environment, I've heard some say that you have to leave at least one or two physical?

If not whats the best methodoligy of going about P2V Domain Controllers in a domain 2003/2008/2012?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
There is no harm in having ALL Virtual Domain Controllers, as ESXi is not depedant on AD, all
your DCs can be virtual.

Some organisations, like to have a physical DC so they can "touch it"!

also see here

If you have virtual DCs, to not time sync with the host, and also never Role Back a Snapshot!

As for P2V, recommended to build new DC's and Transfer FSMO roles, if you need to P2V, use the sync options, see my EE Article

HOW TO: Improve the transfer rate of a Physical to Virtual (P2V), Virtual to Virtual Conversion (V2V) using VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0

HOW TO:  Synchronize changes when completing a P2V or V2V with VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1

HOW TO:  P2V, V2V for FREE - VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1

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As previously stated having all virtualised DC's will not be a problem, some people like to keep a physical for peace of mind but as long as you have some redundancy in your virtual infrastructure there wont be a problem.

To avoid problems you would be better to build new domain controllers in the virtual environment and then migrate the roles and shut down the physicals. You don't say what OS your running on your domain controllers so maybe you could include an OS/domain upgrade in the process (I know my management like it when we have a reason to do something!)
damejenAuthor Commented:
Thanks LHT_ST, OS on current DC's is Windows server 2K3 though possibly looking to upgrade DC's to 2008 R2 or even 2012.
in that case throw that into your plans - build your new DC's as 2008 R2 (or 2012) and migrate onto them.

Be prepared to triple check everything though - certification authorities, DNS etc etc
damejenAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all the help sorting this out.
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