Exchange 2013 FWS in Azure

For an on-premise Exchange 2013 environment has anyone put a File Witness Server in Azure? If so did you have to also put a DC in Azure. The only article I could find said you need a DC also. I'm trying to avoid putting a DC in Azure.

Here is the article I'm referring to:

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Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
You need to have a domain controller as you have to create an AD site in Azure for it to work correctly.
Therefore it isn't possible to have the FSW in Azure without a domain controller.

If you didn't have a domain controller then the FSW has to belong to one of your existing sites.
If that site goes down then failover will not happen, because the domain controller the FSW is using is unavailable, so the machine cannot do any authentication.

JTOCCOAuthor Commented:

Thank you for your response. I'm assuming for any domain joined server in Azure there needs to be a DC in Azure because that is a separate AD Site. There is no way to have your current AD Site "extended" to Azure, correct?

Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
All machines belong to a site.
Therefore you could have the Azure VM in one of your existing sites but adding the Azure internal IP range to the subnet for that site.
However that wouldn't help for the reasons I have given above. If you want to run the FSW in Azure, then you need to have a domain controller there as well - end of story.


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