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Rensul

Planning to setup a backup domain controller

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Rensul

I'm currently running WSE 2012 R2 Essentials at home.  The PCs in my house are all joined to the domain and I use the server to provide DHCP and DNS services as well as backups.  I've also backed up the server so I know I can do a bare metal restore of the server if needed.  Now that I've got that all set up and working fine I now want to set up a backup domain controller -if for no other reason than I'm bored with my config and want the challenge...  My question is can I deploy WSE 2012 R2 (not the essentials version) as a backup domain controller and also can I remove the backup domain controller in the future, if necessary, without any issues?

 

I ask only because its like the big brother being the backup for the little brother if you know what I mean...

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Rensul

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jmwills

I do believe, just like with SBS, the Essesntials box can be the only DC in the forest.

 

Edit: It does appear you can but it has to be a replica DC.

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kylejwx

If you virtualize your essentials box, couldn't hyper v replica be used for back up?

 

Does any one know if the free version of hyper v core supports replica/live migration fail over?

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Rensul

What's the difference between a backup DC and replica DC?

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jmwills

Really, I've never heard of a backup DC and I think the OP meant a secondary DC.

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ikon

Small side question Rensul: you say you've backed up the server so you know you can do a BMR if needed. Have you actually done a BMR?

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Rensul

icon,

 

I've "almost" performed an actual BMR.  In addition to the standard essentials server backup that I set up (2x / day) via the Dashboard, I manually ran a server backup to a network file share.  Then (to simulate a BMR) I ran a server install on a VM and selected the "Repair your computer" option during the initial install process (prior to hitting the "Install Now" button) and was able to select the server backup on the network file share to restore into the VM (I didn't actually go thru with the install - figured I was good at that point...)

 

With this setup, in the event of a server OS drive failure, I would replace the failed server OS drive with a new one and restore using the process described above - I figure I could point the install process to either the network file share or one of the Dashboard-driven server backups that reside locally on another drive within the server itself.

 

That's my server BMR backup plan but please let me know if I've missed some obvious way of achieving the same result!

 

Thanks

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jmwills

Why not just use the .exe Restore files from the install files and do the restore to a drive in a docking station?  Put that drive away and perform the same action monthly.

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ikon

Rensul, I would recommend going through with a real Restore -- it doesn't work until it works. When I test my setup I restore to a spare drive, and I disconnect all my data drives before booting up from the spare drive. Once I've established that the restored drive works I normally put the original drive back into service, but I also use the test as a opportunity to swap out the OS drive so I can SpinRite  it.

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Rensul

Good points icon and jmwills - I'll get an additional drive and then do a full restore to it and then swap it in and test.  Icon - are you disconnecting the data drives for the test for a particular reason?

 

Thanks

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