I have recently installed as SBS 2011 Server in my small network environment, and this has caused me to revisit and revise my DR plan. In doing my usual online research, I have noticed several options and scenarios, and realize now that the best approach for each specific network might be very different, so here are my details and my questions:
SBS 2011 is the primary AD controller, and the Exchange server and Sharepoint server for our small network. (20 users) I have a separate Windows 2003 Standard server that is configured as an additional AD server, and catalog server, for fault tolerance purposes. I am using the built in Windows Backup solution for the SBS 2011, and getting a full "bare metal" backup every night, including all drive partitions with my data. I have another server that I plan to only use in the event that the SBS 2011 server breaks down, and the hardware issues can't be quickly resolved. I have tested the Bare Metal restore of the SBS 2011 to this machine (which is not connected to the network - because I'm just testing) and was successful with the exception that AD is not operational. After what I have read online, I think this would be normal.
My question is - if this were a real-life disaster and I restored the bare metal backup of SBS 2011, and then connected the machine to my network, would everything replicate from my current backup domain controller? The only other option I could see would be to take the backup DC offline (or demote it) and then in addition to the bare metal restore on SBS 2011, also perform a system state recovery in DSRM mode... I guess I am asking which would be the preferred method to recover from a complete failure of the SBS 2011 machine... Thanks for any suggestions.