Domain controller as physical vs Virtual machine

Is there any advantages having a physical server as a windows domain controller?
I have seen in few places that the techs prefer the physical machine as DC.
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
If you have a reliable host ESX server, it really should not matter.  I like a physical box for Domain Controller. It can have a hardware problem also, but so long as it is running, you can always connect in and work on the other boxes.

Really, it should not matter.
Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
It is completely find to have DC's as VM's however you should at least have 1 DC that is physical. If your entire SAN/ESX environment goes down you are stuck. If you have 1 physical DC then your users can still authenticate.

Also if you have Server 2012 there are some new advantages with virtual DC's. You can now do DC cloning. Which helps you recover or spin up new DC's very quickly.

However there are specific requirements for this to work. See the link below for details.

Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
As has been suggested above, this can depend on your virtualization platform and the version of Windows you are using.  

If you are using Hyper-V before 2012 AND joining the Hyper-V server to the domain, then it's strongly recommended to have at least one physical DC so that upon boot, the Hyper-V Server can get group policies.  If you think about it, a machine MUST ask the DC for group policy settings AT boot - often before any VMs are loaded.  If your DC is a VM then it won't be online to provide the group policies to the domain joined Hyper-V server when the Hyper-V server boots.

If your system is hosted by VMWare or some other platform or the newer versions of Hyper-V (with some previously mentioned requirements), then the host isn't domain joined so it really doesn't matter.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows Server 2008

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.