Cloning, rolling back, and snapshotting Virtual DCs with Windows Server 2012

Tom at AskPfePlat has put some time in to looking at virtualized Domain Controller support in Windows Server 2012.

Until now, cloning, snapshotting, copying, or pretty much doing anything but rebuilding from scratch to a virtual domain controller wasn't just unsupported; it had the potential to be really bad for your directory. Cloning or restoring snapshots of DCs could result in USN rollbacks or lingering objects, just to name a couple of problems.

Starting in Windows Server 2012, we now support DC cloning as well as snapshot restoration of domain controllers. With the RTM bits available, I found myself rebuilding my lab and took the opportunity to document the process to demonstrate just how easy it is to clone virtual domain controllers with Windows Server 2012.

There are quite a few requirements that need to be met, and hoops that need to be jumped – we’re not quite looking at just a right-click-restore for a DC (but then, given that domain controllers provide a distributed directory, restoring information on one box would almost never be a matter of right-click, restore anyway), but support for this feature allows for new, interesting and varied cloning and recovery options!

More at the post.

Posted by Tristan Kington, MSPFE Editor (Wensleydale)

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