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steveori

Virtualized Second Domain Controller

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steveori

Hi all,

 

I'm currently running a WSE2012R2 box (it's just had it's first birthday!) and while it's been absolutely perfect I have a problem with my network.

 

Basically due to a wiring issue in my house every couple of days the server goes offline, it's easy to fix and I plan on replacing the wiring this summer (if I get the time) but the problem is that this box is currently my ONLY Domain and DNS controller and if I'm away from home it causes issues with the others getting online.

 

As I solution I was thinking about setting up a virtual Domain/DNS controller using Hyper-v on my gaming PC. (I know it would be better to build a dedicated box but that's not an option unfortunately) 

The PC is used daily so it would be on most of the time and it runs a "Home" version of Windows 10 so it doesn't need to be on the Domain itself to login.

 

Is this an insanely stupid idea?

I'm wondering specifically if there be any issues arising from the fact that the VM would be shut-down at night, or at most a day?

Also what version of Server should I install for use just as a secondary DC/DNS? (I can get any licence except Data Centre through my company)

 

I do plan on building a dedicated box as soon as I have the space/funds so this will only be a stop-gap solution.

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mattb75

Hi

 

Is the issue that it's stopping other devices in your house getting an IP address from the DHCP service running on the WSE2012R2 machine, if so could you move the DHCP allocation back to your router and add in the WSE2012R2 IP address as one of the DNS addresses within the leases given out by the router (alongside its own IP address) - then if the WSE2012R2 box is unavailable all other devices can still get DHCP renewals and access DNS services via the router, and when the box is available any local domain DNS queries will still be routed to the WSE2012R2 box?

 

Alternatively if the wiring is the only problem is there a way to run a power line adapter (or a wifi bridge) in place of your current wiring until it's fixed?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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steveori

Ignore the wiring fault - it's a bit lengthy to get into here but it's not explicitly related to the ethernet - it's a power issue.

 

The DCHP is part of the problem but having active directory down is an issue too.

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mattb75

Ah ok - thought because you'd mentioned the Gamer PC was Win10 Home that the AD side of things was more 'experimental / lab' side rather than integrated into the rest of your home network / devices!

 

With WSE2012R2 you can add a secondary domain controller - it would need to be Server 2012 R2 standard version or 2016 rather than another essentials server edition.

 

Don't see any reason why you couldn't run it within Hyper-V on the Gamer machine - just make sure you configure it to auto-start and shutdown with the host machine - and explain to whoever may be using the machine when you aren't around that it could take longer to shutdown than currently so don't just hold the power button down to kill the machine!

 

Couple of other thoughts

 

DHCP

If you are intending to keep the DHCP services on the WSE2012R2 box you'll have two options for redundancy:-

 

Split Scope where you would also need to configure a separate scope on the new Hyper-V Server instance which uses a separate range of addresses (eg re-configure your WSE2012R2 box to allocate 192.168.0.1 - 192.168.0.128 and the new server to allocate 192.168.0.129 - 192.168.0.254.  Because when a device makes a DHCP request it could be answered by either box you will end up getting different IP addresses depending on which box replied).

 

Or with 2012 onwards you can configure a Failover approach where both servers have the same scope to allocate and either have the new Hyper-V server configured as a Load Balance or a Hot Standby server - there's a Technet guide available here - https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831385(v=ws.11).aspx.

Make sure within the DHCP configuration you add the IP address of the new Hyper-V server for DNS services as well.

 

File Shares

If you've also got File Shares configured for key folders like Documents / Pictures / Videos etc... on your WSE2012R2 you may also want to have these replicated on the new Hyper-V box.  You'll need to configure DFS to enable the client devices to be able to access either server in the event of one being offline without having to reconfigure the UNC share destinations each time. You'll also need to configure DFS to do file replication of these key files between the two servers - make sure you keep an eye on the event logs for the available space in the staging area to ensure all files are duplicated correctly and maintained in sync.

 

Hope this helps!

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jmwills

YOu need to do some research on whether or not Essentials will allow a second DC within the environment. I think you can but it's a little trick from what I can remember.

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mattb75

YOu need to do some research on whether or not Essentials will allow a second DC within the environment. I think you can but it's a little trick from what I can remember.

 

R2 introduced the ability to add another Domain Controller -HSS Star described their experience in this thread -  http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/7352-planning-to-setup-a-backup-domain-controller/?p=81045

 

Just re-read through it (and the second page of threads) and noticed HSS Star had a similar config experience with DHCP and DNS as well.

 

@Steveori definitely worth a read of the thread mentioned.

 

Cheers

Matt

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jmwills

That's good to know. 

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HypervIsntThatBad

As an alternative, have you thought about Hyper-V Replica? Unsure if supported in Windows 10, but it's designed to keep an offline clone of a nominal VM up to date so that if one host goes offline, the clone spins up and becomes 'active' - saving you from maintaining two separate VM's.

 

Otherwise, a secondary DC (not RODC) running DHCP in hot standby mode is probably your best/simplest bet.

 

Cheers.

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Drashna Jaelre

This isn't a stupid idea at all.  I run a secondary domain controller on my hyperV server, SPECIFICALLY for this reason. 

 

 

As an alternative, have you thought about Hyper-V Replica? Unsure if supported in Windows 10, but it's designed to keep an offline clone of a nominal VM up to date so that if one host goes offline, the clone spins up and becomes 'active' - saving you from maintaining two separate VM's.

 

Otherwise, a secondary DC (not RODC) running DHCP in hot standby mode is probably your best/simplest bet.

 

Cheers.

 

Replica is not supported on client OS versions. 

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ShadowPeo

Yes good idea to run a secondary DC, it's always good to have a secondary of critical services after all two is one, and one is none. so I would keep it running after fixing the wiring. But do fix the wiring, it's not a solution to avoid fixing the main problem

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