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Redundant AD Server

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  • Redundant AD Server

    This post sort of follows on from a previous one.

    My customer has a Windows 2000 server which is their 'domain controller'. It has all the FSMO roles, issues DHCP, WINS, DNS, and has all their printers and data installed.
    Also on their LAN they have two other AD servers with the Global Catalog

    They have a Windows 2000 server (in a cupboard) which they plan to use should their DC die. They envisage this server will have all the printers, DCHP, WINS and DNS ready to just be enabled.

    I can get my head round seizing the FSMO roles to this server, enabling DHCP etc and restoring their specific data and setting it to be the master browser, but what about all the user profiles etc which would be on the dead server.

    What would need to be backed up on the DC, ready for a restore to the 'hot' spare and would it restore the DC name etc ??

    Of course, the easier way would be for them to buy a licence for the Windows 2000 server (in the cupboard) and not use the same licence as the active DC.

    Hope this makes sense as the user has screwed with my head today too much already

  • #2
    Re: Redundant AD Server

    So what, they want to make that server stay offline for the time when it has to take over?

    No go. No no no.

    AD needs replication every 60 or 180 days (depending on the OS and SP level).

    DHCP cannot be replicated.

    WINS can be replicated but needs to kick in every so and so days, otherwise it'll delete the replicated DB.

    DNS can live offline, but it won't be current.

    User's files won't be current either, even if you use a script to replicate them all over the place.

    If they need a DRP solution then sit with them, explain what DRP is, what SLA they are willing to go for, and how much it will cost them.

    Cheap is expensive. Remember that.

    Daniel Petri
    Microsoft Most Valuable Professional - Active Directory Directory Services


    • #3
      Re: Redundant AD Server

      Also, if they have purchased these "server" machines with an OEM license, it can NOT be moved between systems. The OEM license MUST stay with the hardware it came with. I believe a full retail version does not have that limitation.
      Joined: 23rd December 2003
      Departed: 23rd December 2015


      • #4
        Re: Redundant AD Server

        Exactly as I suspected, but just wanted someone else to tell me !!

        He will just need to upgrade his 'DC' to 2003 (as you can't buy 2000 any more ), use the legitimate copy of 2000 on his 'DR' box and trust AD and his backup routines. He will never pay for a proper DR solution with clusters etc.

        What woud you suggest as the best backup strategy. He has tape drives in all the below servers with ArcServe and they are on the AD.

        'DC' holds all the data, user areas and printers
        'DR' is another data repository and runs DHCP, DNS and WINS
        'MAIL' is his Exchange 2000 server
        'SQL' is his SQL server
        'KIR' is at another site and just has local printers

        Thanks for you assistance


        • #5
          Re: Redundant AD Server

          How many users in this organisation? If less than 75, SBS 2003 is a good cost effective option. Lots of bang for your buck!!
          Joined: 23rd December 2003
          Departed: 23rd December 2015


          • #6
            Re: Redundant AD Server

            Nope, 150 +

            Nay ideas on backup stragegy


            • #7
              Re: Redundant AD Server

              Do it often and keep a copy off site!

              How much data are we talking about?
              What backup device(s) do you have?
              Joined: 23rd December 2003
              Departed: 23rd December 2015


              • #8
                Re: Redundant AD Server

                Yeah, thanks for the reply, but I am keen to understand the best way to document a backup and restore plan for their Active Directory as I have never had to before. See my earlier posts which list their AD servers......

                Daniel has replied with the answers I was looking for regarding redundant AD, I just need to propose a 'watertight' backup option to argue against their twisted need for redundant AD which they cannot afford, and really do not have the need for.

                Would just like people's opinions and thoughts thru previous experience.