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Cloning Win2k8 R2 Domain Controller

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  • Cloning Win2k8 R2 Domain Controller

    Dear VMware Gurus,

    Please help me with the following scenario:

    A rather small company of 100 user community scattered over three offices geographically spread in the UK. The UK office has a Dell R710 16 GB, 2 TB RAID acting as a DC serving DNS/DHCP/file/print server. Additional servers are Exchange 2010 member server, another Dell server which was the (very) first DC in the forest.

    I would like to:

    Convert the Dell 710 R2 as a Vmware ESX5.0 host and put the (same) domain controller back on this virtual host and therefore have a much better utilisation of this powerful server by having other VM's on it such as sharepoint etc.

    so far I have done:

    Using the standalone Vmware converter 4.0, I have cloned this DC (entirely) on to a temporary EXS5.0 host on the same LAN. The two NIC's are powered off and NOT connected in the VM for obvious reasons. I have not yet disconnected the physical DC in order to test/mount the virtual clone on the LAN.

    The plan is:

    To trash/format the Dell 710 and install the ESX5.0 on it and then using the Vsphere/Vcentre transition the the DC residing on the temporary host back on to the (now) converted Dell 710 R2 Vmware virtual host.


    my biggest worry is that I may have missed something so that when I mount/bring the cloned DC on to the LAN it would not register and some sort of corruption with the SID etc occurs making the backout/undo process (mounting the physical back on to the LAN) impossible.

    Please kindly advise on what extra steps/measures/considerations you think I must take in to account before proceeding with the plan. I have taken a full system image backup of the physical server DC in case the whole thing goes belly up and I need to restore the entire server from scratch.

    Many thanks in advance for your help and assistance.


  • #2
    Re: Cloning Win2k8 R2 Domain Controller

    I would encourage you to read this VMware KB on the exact same topic:

    A complete and detailed procedure is described that you can use as a start.

    Implementing an active directory infrastructure using virtualization requires you to follow some best practices:

    In general timekeeping is crucial for your virtual machines, please follow best practices listed here:

    Freelance, Business Owner, Virtualisation & Cloud Computing Fan Boy, VCP4/5/Cloud, VCAP4/5-DCA/DCD, vEXPERT '10-'14, EMCCA-Specialist, VMware Alumni.


    • #3
      Re: Cloning Win2k8 R2 Domain Controller

      Many thanks indeed.

      went through the link and the "Important Notes"
      section potentially saved my life. This source server was having the FSMO roles!!

      Thanks a millon for your time and help mate.