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Issues with a domain controller running in a DR environment

Posted on 2013-12-17
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Last Modified: 2014-01-14
Hi

We replicate our environment to a DR site every night using Veeam backup and replication 7 patch 1. In order to do our DR testing perform a failover, do our testing, then undo failover. In the past this has worked well, but trying to do a test now and it is becomming a nightmare, spent two full days trying to resolve, Really need to get a DR test in before EOY

We have two domain controllers, 1 virtual which we replicate and 1 physical which we do not.

Primary site is ESX 4.1
DR Site is ESXi 5.5

Veeam is configured correctly for replications, checked with Veeam support.

The issues we are having is

1) when booting the DC from the replica, no clients can login, they get an error saying "there are not domain controllers available......" login to the DC and try load ADUC, get errors "naming information cannot be located because: The specified domain either does not exist or could not be contacted"

2) doing anything on this VM only takes a very long time, login takes 15 mins, things like my computer etc take upto a minute to load etc, other VMs running at the DR are runing at expected speed (DR server / Storage is of HIGH spec)

3) The network on the DC is classed as unidentified, not domain.
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Question by:wsc-it
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by:Mike Kline
ID: 39725627
So the DC in the DR site is a replica of the DC in primary?   Does that mean it is an exact copy?   Just trying to get a feel for what you have setup there.

Thanks

Mike
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by:wsc-it
ID: 39725630
Yes it is a replica, Which is created using Veeam and is supported.

I am not replicating the DC2 however as it is a physical box.
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by:Mike Kline
ID: 39725636
Ok I won't blow smoke never used this scenario.  I'd just have another DC and have it replicate normally.  If Primary goes down then DC2 is still there and working.

It will be interesting to see the ideas.

Thanks

Mike
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Expert Comment

by:WiReDWolf
ID: 39725641
Is the subnet the same?  This sounds like a DNS issue.  If on the same subnet, possibly an ARP Cache issue or a change in IP address?  For instance, the DNS client ooking for a DNS server at an address that currently doesn't exist.
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Author Comment

by:wsc-it
ID: 39725648
Sorry, I do have that scenario running

two DCs, one virtual, one physical, in production running fine

BUT part of our Disaster Recovery plan is to have all virtual machines replicated to our DR site every night, then in event of DR test, or disaster you can fire them up and use them

So, Im replicating DC1 only, each night using Veeam, but upon boot i am plagued with issues.
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Author Comment

by:wsc-it
ID: 39725652
Yes the subnet / network infrastructure is also replicated at the DR site, so all IP addressing etc remains the same, just in an isolated network obviously.
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by:WiReDWolf
ID: 39725659
Probably a stupid question but where is the GC?
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Author Comment

by:wsc-it
ID: 39725660
I believe both the DCs are a GC
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by:Korbus
ID: 39725685
I'm confused.  How does the virtual test machine run on an isolated network?  Doesn't it need the physical DC to performe some roles?

You could test:  How does the virtual machine run in the production environment WITHOUT the physcial DC connected?  Do you get the same problems as in your test environment?
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Author Comment

by:wsc-it
ID: 39725686
We have two DCs in our prod environment, One is virtual, one is physical, called DC1 (virtual) and DC2 (Physical) Now they replicate between each other fine and everything works fine.

Now, nightly, we use Veeam to perform a backup replication to another ESX server at a remote site on an isolated network.
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by:Korbus
ID: 39725692
So, does DC2 (physical), or a virtual copy of it, exist at the remote test site?

Perhaps I am misinterpreting replication...  do you mean the whole server using virtualization, or just active director replication?
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Author Comment

by:wsc-it
ID: 39725698
Using virtualization replication, for DR use only.

No DC2 does not exist at remote site.
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by:Mahesh
ID: 39726083
What is the OS version of both domain controllers ?

Mahesh
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by:Steve M
ID: 39726816
I have a lot of questions to try to get a better idea of your environment...

When DC1 is brought online on the isolated DR network, does it retain the same IP address?
Does DC1 also run DNS services or is there another DNS server on that isolated network?
Do all the PC's on that isolated network point to the correct DNS server?
Does the DC1 point to the correct DNS server?
Is the isolated Network the same network address/subnets as your production?
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Accepted Solution

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Steve M earned 500 total points
ID: 39726877
Something else you should know is who has the FSMO roles in your domain.  I suspect that the replicated DC should have all these roles, but here's how you check..

on your production domain (any domain member pc/server):
Command Prompt, type the following and hit enter> NetDOM /query FSMO

The results should be something like this:
Schema master               dc1.yourdomain.com
Domain naming master        dc1.yourdomain.com
PDC                         dc1.yourdomain.com
RID pool manager            dc1.yourdomain.com
Infrastructure master       dc1.yourdomain.com
The command completed successfully.

As I said, I'd expect that all these roles should be on the replicated dc (DC1), if not you should likely consider moving them off the physical DC over to the virtual DC.

./Steve
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by:WiReDWolf
ID: 39727716
The other aspect is one I know very little about which would be how the networking on the ESXi 5.5 is configured.  A VLAN configuration assigned to the physical NIC's could interfere, or a misconfigured vSwitch.  Or the NIC assigned to the DC is in on the Management Switch and not on the same vSwitch.  

On the replicated DC in the virtual offsite environment do you still have Internet access?  Once the DC finally boots and lets you get to a desktop can you hit google or any other websites?  Can it also see any replicated virtualized workstations on the same ESXi host?

I can practically guarantee the issue is related to DNS but without hands-on I can't quite see the answer, unfortunately.
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Assisted Solution

by:wsc-it
wsc-it earned 0 total points
ID: 39766596
I resolved this myself thank you, Had to force seize of the fsmo roles on the DR site, and all is well
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Author Comment

by:wsc-it
ID: 39768893
I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

Accepted answer: 0 points for wsc-it's comment #a39766596

for the following reason:

I was able to resolve this myself.
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Expert Comment

by:Mahesh
ID: 39767249
If you could share exact issue ad resolution you done for knowledge sharing, it will be great

Mahesh
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by:Steve M
ID: 39768894
Did I not help find this resolution on my post "ID: 39726877" when I said "Something else you should know is who has the FSMO roles in your domain. I suspect that the replicated DC should have all these roles"?

/Steve
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Author Closing Comment

by:wsc-it
ID: 39778788
I was able to resolve this myself, as above
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