Convert Physical Domain Controller to Virtual

Posted on 2014-07-22
1 Endorsement
Last Modified: 2014-07-26

In our current environment there are 2 physical Domain Controllers at 2 different remote locations acting as the main domain controllers.  What we are trying to do is convert the physical domain controllers to virtual domain controllers.  I've already done a lot of research of what everyone is suggesting and basically to just spin up new virtual machines and make them domain controllers instead of doing a P2V, which is perfectly fine with me.

Location A:
- DC1
- All FSMO Roles
- DHCP for that location

Location B:
- DC2
- DHCP for that location

For right now I'm working on Location B.  I've spun up a virtual machine, made it a domain controller, added it to the domain, and all replication for Active Directory and DNS has been successful because its currently pointing towards the original 2 domain controllers for replication for DNS.

Since DC2 in Location B is a DHCP server for this location, I already Exported the DHCP by running the following command in CMD:

netsh dhcp server export C:\dhcp.txt all

Now from what I've been told for the next steps would be to perform the following:

- Stop the DHCP Service on DC2
- Run the following command on the new domain controller to import the DHCP Export file from DC2
netsh dhcp server import c:\dhcp.txt all
- Make sure the services for DHCP are running on the new domain controller
- Open DHCP and verify that it's Authorized.

Everything in Location B has their DNS initially set to look towards DC2 (Ex: currently.  If we are spinning up a new virtual domain controller, with the steps above almost carried out, can we just change the new virtual domain controller to have the same IP as the original DC2 domain controller?  Because if we had a new domain controller for this Location B, everything is already set to point to DC2 and not the new domain controller.

Suggestions please...

Question by:Lumious
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LVL 58

Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 40213125
You could, but I'm not a big fan of changing IP addresses of infrastructure servers. It is just as easy TO change the setting in DHCP and reboot client machines. As they check their leases, the new setting even if the lease hasn't expired yet. Less risk of ab issue arising.

Author Comment

ID: 40213194

As of right now, "nothing" is looking towards the new domain controller that I created.  So are you suggesting "not" to change the IP of the new domain controller to the original IP of DC2?

If I change the settings in DHCP to the new domain controller I created, client machines will probably be fine, but what about other devices that have their DNS set to the original DC2 address (Ex: applications, routers, switches, printers, etc...)

Suggestions please...

LVL 58

Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 40213202
Most of those devices don't use DNS. So it'd be a non-issue. And the ones that do....change them.
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Author Comment

ID: 40213224

If we decide to change in the DHCP Settings to point to one of the new domain controllers, could you provide the steps to perform these changes when you get a chance?

Still Open to Suggestions...

LVL 58

Assisted Solution

by:Cliff Galiher
Cliff Galiher earned 250 total points
ID: 40213243
Open DHCP, expand the scope, expand scope options, edit the DNS scope option. Very very straightforward.
LVL 16

Accepted Solution

vivigatt earned 250 total points
ID: 40213873
Specifically, you have to change the DHCP "DNS Server" option (option 6) for it to have one of your working DC as the 1st IP address (preferred DNS server). The clients will have to release their lease and request a new lease or to be rebooted for this setting to be taken into account (or you can use some kind of scripts, for instance based on "ipconfig /release ; ipconfig /renew" commands).

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