Backup Domain controller server 2012 r2

Hi Experts,

The company I am working for needs a backup solution for their domain controller at the lowest cost possible.  
At the moment they have a Dell R710 which is running ESX5.5 with 3 VMs (Domain Controller, IIS and File server)

The domain controller is holding the GC, DNS, DHCP.    They do not want to spend too much money as they still have 4hr parts/support from Dell for the next 2 years.

So I was thinking of getting a regular computer with enough CPU power(intel i7 or i9) and memory(16GB) for about $1200, dollars.

Basically this computer will ONLY hold the Domain controller with its services.  This way users can still get internet access and IP.

Is this a good TEMP backup solution for domain controller(server 2012 r2) ?  Please give me the Pros and Cons and how will you do this differently
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Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
If you are looking to add a second domain controller this is a good way to mitigate all of the load on the FSMO role holder. This DC however will act as an online DC servicing other clients as well. This is part of the solution. The other part of backing up DC's is using backup software to perform a System State Backup.

The cheapest solution for achieving this is using Windows Server Backup which is included in the Server OS as a feature 2008 and up.

Thsese combined give you the most flexible means of performing a resotre in different Supported scenarios.


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Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
having a cheap system like that is fine though 16gb is probably too much for just AD
i probably wouldn't go more than 8; it is not resource intense so it doesn't need a lot of horsepower
for cpu, i would go with i5; don't need to waste an i7 for something like this and should bring the cost down below $1,200

not a substitute for backups but relieves your single point of failure
I would recommend getting a used server - this may give you some options that a standard pc would probably not give you, such as the ability to use a true hardware-based raid controller. Having RAID1 could save you from the headache of doing a restore if one of the drives fail.  I have several clients with domain controllers running with a couple of cores and 4GB of ram and it works just fine.
I checked on Ebay for you, and I saw plenty of options for a Dell PowerEdge T320 Server that would work fine for that price range.  That is just an example, but a bit of looking on your part should help you find the model with the perfect fit.
If a used server makes you nervous, you also can get a good inexpensive PowerEdge new, direct from Dell that is in this price range - especially if you already have the Server 2012 license.

Hope this helps.
Dirk MareSystems Engineer (Acting IT Manager)Commented:
Plus one for Azure! Some ISP are starting to offer Azure services contact your ISP.

Azure AD

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Windows Server 2012

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