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Hyper-V host on the domain when DC is its guest

Posted on 2016-09-15
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Last Modified: 2016-09-29
I only have one license of Windows server 2012 R2, and I am running 1 DC and 1 file server at a remote location.
Do I want to put this host on the domain whose DC is its guest?

It is a very small environment, so I really don't need 2 DCs. I am wondering if I leave the host as is (workgroup), or put it on the domain.
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Question by:Member_2_7970390
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by:Cliff Galiher
Cliff Galiher earned 83 total points
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With 2012 and newer, both are options. I prefer joining to the domain as management is he really easier. But 2008 era folks still get nervous, so personal preference.
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by:Lee W, MVP
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Agree with Cliff.  I literally just got home from setting up a system and I joined it to the domain.  But there's not of a difference either way.
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by:Philip Elder
Philip Elder earned 83 total points
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Our preference for standalone Hyper-V settings is to leave the host in a workgroup.

While not foolproof, it offers a bit of a security barrier between the production network and the host which is vital to that network's functioning.

Our primary reason though is it just works.

Management is done via RSAT, RDP inbound rules on the firewall, or Intel RMM/iDRAC Enterprise/iLO Advanced.

EDIT: RSAT method requires some changes via John Howard's HVRemote setup. We don't use RSAT we just log on. :)
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kapsionu earned 251 total points
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It is a bad choice to add Hyper-V host to domain if there is no second DC out of the host itself. There is no good way to get updates from GPO when guest (DC host)  is down “yet” when system is restarting. Yes, it can be updated manually, but it is not a good solution to do it. If You have one extra DC outside of this host, then it is OK. I would recommend not to join host to domain and leave it as workgroup.
Other issue is time drift in the domain if guest is only DC and host is domain member. You HAVE to leave synchronization of system time inside of Hyper-V guest settings unchecked, it keeps whole domain system time steady.
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by:Member_2_7970390
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Dear all,
Thank you for your comments. First it seemed that it would be easier to manage if I put the hyper-v on the domain, but there may be potential issues like kapsionu pointed out. So I decided to leave it without joining the domain.

Now I just have to go through how to manage the host from another 2012 R2 machine. It sounds a bit complicated, but it is just one-time thing.
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by:kapsionu
kapsionu earned 251 total points
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RDP and port forward is enough, RSAT is a little bit overkill if no vpn or dedicated connection between locations involved.
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