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Replicating Active Directory

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  • Replicating Active Directory

    A large organization has an Active Directory setup with lots of divisions and groups. They have legacy custom applications built around the Active Directory in PHP etc. Now they want all custom applications to be migrated to ASP.NET.

    My first concern to do this is to replicate Active directory off the production system onto my development machines. Is there a tool that can export a win 2003 Active directory with its structure and data, and enable the same to be imported on a blank Win 2003 installation, to create the same production environment on dev machines??

    Any guidance, pointers would be appreciated.

  • #2
    Re: Replicating Active Directory

    Daniel's article on setting up AD from a System State backup would be good reading.

    Other than that, any bare-metal restore-capable backup product...
    Gareth Howells

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    • #3
      Re: Replicating Active Directory

      I'm presuming that you want to setup a test envoirnment for your new ASP.Net applications??

      You could also create a new DC in your existing domain, allow replication to occur and then disconnect the server from the production LAN, cleanup the metadata on the production LAN to remove it.

      On the test box you would then need to seize all the relevant FSMO roles and never connect to the production LAN again.


      • #4
        Re: Replicating Active Directory

        If you are restoring AD to dissimilar hardware, in my experience it is flaky at best. If you are restoring to different hardware, always use a bare metal backup and restore program.

        I find Acronis does this well, but it is expensive. There are freeware applications available that do the same thing.
        Steven Roberts
        IT Mercenary

        MCITP:EA|MCTS|MCSE 2003 (Messaging and Security)|MCSA 2003 (Messaging and Security)|MCP|Prince2 Practitioner

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        • #5
          Re: Replicating Active Directory

          I like Wullies approach, but remember to remove the test server from the production AD (will have to be a forced removal and metadata cleanup) after you have disconnected it

          Damn -- he said that already. I should have gone to Specsavers
          Tom Jones
          MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
          PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
          IT Trainer / Consultant
          Ossian Ltd

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